Easy as Pie…?

November 21, 2010


Streusel Topped Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

I LOVE pumpkin.  I have this special talent that enables me to devour anything pumpkin flavored quite rapidly.  Whether it’s my mom’s palatable pumpkin bread, Starbucks pumpkin muffins, the new pumpkin flavored Hershey’s kisses, or roasted pumpkin seeds drizzled with salt, I’ll eat it all in record timing.  So when I found out that we had the option of baking a streusel topped pumpkin pie with whipped cream, of course I chose to do that.

Leveling the Flour


Measuring a Wet Ingredient

Preheating the Oven

The first step of my process was meticulously drawing out and then setting up my mise-en-place. Since there were four different processes in total (making the dough, the filling, the streusel, and the whipped cream), I easily took up the entire counter space.  I started with making the dough. As I explained in an earlier post, my classmates and I are dough-experts.  I combined the flour, salt, butter, and water in the food processor and did the correct combination of mixing, pulsing ten times, and then just pulsing for ten seconds in order to watch the mixture magically turn into dough. (Yes, this is still my favorite part of baking…).


Coarse Sand

Small Peas

After I formed the dough into a circular disk, I put it in the fridge to chill while I began the filling.  As I mixed the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in my mom’s favorite mixing bowl, the house began to have an aroma of Thanksgiving.  Every Thanksgiving, my mom bakes loaves and loaves (and we’re talking multiple dozens) of pumpkin bread, and the house smells like pumpkin for days.  Thinking that she was making pumpkin bread, my father and two brothers eagerly ran into the kitchen to see when we were going to eat pumpkin bread. They were slightly confused to see me concocting something instead of my mom…But their confused expressions quickly changed when they learned that pumpkin pie was in their near future.

Dough Wrapped in Plastic

Mixing the Filling

Now the dough was ready to be rolled.  I had no troubles dusting flour, rolling, flipping, or checking to see if the dough was sticking. It was the transferring of the dough to the pie plate step that truly became troublesome.  I did all of the normal steps and rolled the dough onto the rolling pin, but a perfect transition just wasn’t in the cards for me…As you can see in the picture below, my crust was in quite a few pieces. It was SO DEVASTATING.  You know that saying “easy as pie?” It’s not “easy as pie CRUST” for a reason.  Oh well—in the grand scheme of things, this one transition from parchment paper to pie plate isn’t a huge deal, but still. It was kind of heartbreaking.

Rolling the Dough

RIP Beautiful Pie Crust (Tear, Tear)

I attempted to the best of my ability to fix the piecrust, crimped the edges, and then poured the filling into it.  It was a relief to get it into the over, so I could take a second and mourn my ruined piecrust. Just kidding. After it went into the oven, I immediately started the streusel.  To do this, I got to show off my “cutting-in” skills to my photographer, Alexander (the poor guy was gracious enough to take pictures of me for a few hours).  When the pie was almost done baking, I sprinkled this streusel over the top of it and put it back in the oven for about 20 more minutes.

Crimping Away!

Packing down the Brown Sugar for the Streusel

Cutting the Butter into the Streusel Ingredients

Sprinkling the Streusel

Then I cleaned. And cleaned. And cleaned.  My former babysitter, Jamie, and her husband, Mike, were coming over for dinner.  Jamie and Mike got married a few years ago, and all three of us Weir kids were in the wedding. They recently moved back to Davidson, so we invited them over for a mini Thanksgiving dinner.  I realized that this would be the perfect time for me to make the pie, so that I could share it with all of the people that I love.

The "Knife Test"

Somehow I miraculously managed to clean the kitchen, shower, and look presentable before they arrived.  I left the dinner table a few minutes early so that I could prepare the whipped cream.  Everybody had to speak a little bit louder while I was whipping to soft peaks…but was definitely worth it.  Personally, I am not a huge whipped cream fan, so I put a little dabble of whipped cream on the pie for photography’s sake, and brought it over to the table.  I then cut the pie, passed it around, and then made everyone wait so that I could take a few pictures. Bradford and Alexander were especially impatient. It was like I was dangling treats in front of a dog.  After what seemed like a decade to them, I finished taking the pictures, and they dug in.  Despite my crust-dilemma earlier in the day, my pie turned out deliciously.  Everyone complimented me on the pie, but personally, I was most happy to know that I was sharing these baking skills with close family and friends.

Soft Peaks! (note the new, orange sweater for dinner...)

Everyone around the table (Bradford and Alexander were drooling at this point...)

It’s been fun! Have a fabulous Thanksgiving, Everyone! –Seltzer Sayre


One Response to “Easy as Pie…?”

  1. Sophia Spach said

    WOWO! amazinggg

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