Pumpkin Pie with a Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust

Happy Post Thanksgiving! I hope you had a relaxing and cozy weekend, filled with good food and better company. We were definitely on the move in our household.  Thanksgiving lunch was spent with my side and dinner with his. I'm grateful that our parentals live only 25 minutes apart!

The food was the traditional meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, veggies, and (my all time favorite) stuffing. The older I get, the more I realize that turkey really isn't as magical as I remember from childhood.  Funny how nostalgia makes things taste better.  The giant bird is very hard to do well; plus my family keeps trying that turducken stuff which has been unimpressive. I think you need to be a true Carnivore to appreciate the art of turducken.

Usually, my mom doesn't want me to cook anything on holidays. Strange, right? Her philosophy is the less I do, the more I can relax. It's a bit of a catch 22. The kitchen is one of my favorite ways to relax. The stress sets in when I feel the pressure to be perfect. The only person creating this pressure is myself because food is a form of expression. For me, it's a tiny way to show my love. 

Hence why 6 hours were shot creating dinner rolls for Mike's family. *puts head on desk* See what happened was... a friend showed up on our front door unexpected the night before Thanksgiving. The dinner rolls were done shortly before they departed and they had come out perfect! In the midst of parting, I totally forgot that the dinner rolls were still resting in the oven. It was time to make the pumpkin pie, so I preheated the oven and... well... at about 400 degrees I smelt something toasting. Destroyed. 



Back at it. Measure, mix, knead, and rise for another hour. After forming the rolls, I slipped the unrisen dough into the freezer for Thanksgiving. The next day, chaos in my mother's kitchen overtook the poor dinner rolls. There was a battle between my tia's sweet potatos and my beloved rolls over oven space... and she won. Every time I turned around, she had slipped her tray of potatoes back in the oven, directly above the rolls. They never stood a chance.

Needless to say, this Thanksgiving, there was no Sprite in my red wine. Salude! Please feel free to share your favorite holiday kitchen disasters! It's all goodie though. The Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake, specially made for my brother, came out fantastic. This year, I decided to try something a little different with the Pumpkin Pie.

The filling of the pie is from America's Test Kitchen. The spices are standard issue for a pumpkin pie. The technique is the key! You warm the pumpkin puree over the stove to deepen the flavor and then pour it directly into a half baked pie crust straight from the oven. Everything has to be hot and timed! This will prevent the pumpkin from dampening the crust. Pretty slick, no?

The other exciting aspect of this year's pie was the Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust. Yah trust me- when my girlfriend shared this concept with me, I nearly threw a chair. For your viewing ease, I flipped once slice of pie to show off it's pretty under belly. All you need is some pre-made pie crust, a little butter, and some cinnamon. Check out Taste for Adventure's post for a detailed break down of the process.

Note: when you smooth the rolls into the bottom of the pie dish- make sure they're nice and thin. Mine were a little too chubby still and made for a thicker then desired pie crust. It should cover the entire pie dish.

The baking time of the crust and the filling magically aligned. The crust needs 25 minutes to pre-bake and a total cooking time of 40 minutes. How ideal! America's Test Kitchen's Best Pumpkin Pie recipe (not the one with the yams) needs 15 minutes to bake and requires a hot, pre-baked crust! So all you have to do is bake the crust (at whatever heat it requires) for 25 minutes, then you add the warmed pumpkin pie filling and continue to bake for another 15 minutes at the filling's required temperature.

If you're feeling extra frisky, top with home-made whipped cream with a touch of rum or bourbon and toasted pepitas!

Once again, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. It's quite obvious here as to what Autumn's grateful for! We both love this guy something fierce.

For the recipes, check out Taste for Adventure (crust) and America's Test Kitchen (pie filling).