I am in charge of desserts this Thanksgiving, a responsibility I do not take lightly. On the one hand, I want to maintain tradition, and few are more exalted than the pumpkin pie. On the other, I want to wow the crowd and not settle for same old, same old.
Soggy pumpkin pie kills me. In recent years, when we’ve eaten at the club, I’ve forgone pumpkin pie entirely. This sublime pie can be ruined in many ways, but the worse offense is a crust that is both burned (around the edges) and soggy (on the bottom).
Solution #1 – fried pumpkin pie.
I grew up in a part of the country that is arguably the south, but did not frequent establishments that served fried pies. Well, Antone’s did have fried pies, but as a Middle Eastern import market, it didn’t really have the whole southern vibe going on. (Sorry – no link to Antone’s – the family sold the business, and I can’t bear to link to the current owner’s page.)
But I digress …
Found this recipe for fried pumpkin pies on DCist. Some might argue that DC is more southern than Houston, and I might even be one of those. Certainly, when it comes to southern soul food, DC has it going on. I will admit that today, I used store-bought crust, but plan to use homemade on Thanksgiving.
Behold, the fried pie. AKA the pumpkin hand pie. The key is not overstuffing the rounds – you don’t want the pumpkin to leak. I used egg to seal the dough, not water, and tended to do a double-crimp to boot. That is – I brushed the edges with egg, folded in half, sealed with a crimp, then folded the edge over again (after brushing with egg) and re-crimped.
Tomorrow, or perhaps Tuesday, I hope to try Rose Levy Beranbaum’s technique for keeping pumpkin pies from getting soggy – a mixture of pecans and gingersnaps crushed into the crust, and baking on the floor of the oven. Somehow, however, I doubt that anything can beat the pumpkin hand pie.