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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who’s celebrating today! It’s just like any other cold and rainy Thursday here in Germany so we won’t be making our Thanksgiving dinner until the weekend. Even if this is not a holiday that you observe you can still get in the spirit with a delicious piece of pumpkin pie and of course a little bit of rum to usher in the holiday season wouldn’t hurt either!

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Classic Pumpkin Pie with Rum

Adapted from Dori Greenspan’s Caramel Pumpkin Pie

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups Flour
2 Tbs Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt (if using salted butter omit the salt)
1 stick cold unsalted Butter
3 Tbs cold Vegetable Shortening
1/3 cup Ice Water

Combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the cold butter and shortening with a pastry cutter, two knifes or a food processor until the size of small peas. Add the ice water slowly as you mix to form a dough. As soon as you can form a ball of dough (not a sticky dough) by pressing everything together with your hands briefly, stop adding water. You may use less than 1/3 of a cup of ice water! Press the dough into a flattened sphere and wrap in plastic wrap. Let rest in the fridge for at least one hour and up to one day. When ready preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Roll the dough out large enough to fit your pie plate with a little overhang. Put the dough in the pan, fold the dough under around the edges and flute. If you want to pre-bake your crust (I didn’t for this pie but if you prefer to…) then, poke holes in the crust with a fork all over, line the inside of your pie crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans/lentils. Bake for 20 minutes then remove from the oven briefly, carefully remove the foil and pie weights and bake for 10 minutes more or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool slightly before filling.

For the Filling:
1 cup Sugar (divided)
3/4 cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbs Rum* (Optional but tasty)
2 Tbs Butter
2 cups unsweetened Pumpkin Puree (I made my own with a Hokkaido Pumpkin)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground Ginger
1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 large Eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) Put 1/2 cup of sugar in the bottom of a sauce pot. Cook over medium high heat until it melts and turns golden in color. Swirl the pot to stir if you need to but don’t use a spoon. Let the sugar continue to cook without stirring until it bubbles up and foams and the bubbles become large. The sugar should be dark brown or mahogany at this point. Don’t over cook or the sugar can turn black and burn rather quickly. When the bubbles are large and the sugar is brown pour the cream in. Cook while stirring until the mixture is smooth and even. Add the rum and butter and continue to stir until smooth. Pour the caramel into a bowl and let cool while preparing the rest of the batter. In a large bowl add the pumpkin puree with the remaining half a cup of sugar, the spices, salt, vanilla and eggs. Whisk together until well combined. Whisk in the caramel. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the filing is set in the middle (you can test with a toothpick or a knife). Allow to cool before serving. Enjoy with freshly whipped cream or a vanilla sauce on top.

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