Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My Favorite Pumpkin Pie

Growing up I was not a fan of most of the dishes served at Thanksgiving. Cranberry Sauce, no thanks. Sweet potatoes, gross. Ham, get it away from me...I only stuck to a few things, turkey, rolls and pumpkin pie. Nothing could touch my Grandma Dorothy's pumpkin pie, I always served myself a few plates of her pumpkin pie. Enjoy a homemade recipe of delicious pumpkin pie today :) 


Homemade Pie Crust (full recipe makes 2 crusts: 1 for bottom, 1 for leaf decor)
2 cups (15oz can; 450g) pumpkin puree*
3 large eggs
1 and 1/4 cups (250g) dark brown sugar*
1 Tablespoon (15g) cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger*
1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg*
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves*
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
1/4 cup (60ml) milk (I use 1% - any is fine)
1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon milk

1 cup (120g) fresh cranberries*
2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
1 cup (240ml) water


If decorating your pie with sugared cranberries, start them the night before. You'll also begin the pie crust the night before as well (the dough needs at least 2 hours to chill; overnight is best). The filling can be made the night before as well. In fact, I prefer it that way. It gives the spices, pumpkin, and brown sugar flavors a chance to infuse and blend. It's awesome. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
For the cranberries: Place cranberries in a large bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of sugar and the water to a boil and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour sugar syrup over the cranberries and stir. Let the cranberries sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight (ideal). You'll notice the sugar syrup is quite thick after this amount of time. Drain the cranberries from the syrup and pour 1 cup of sugar on top. Toss the cranberries, coating them all the way around. Pour the sugared cranberries on a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and let them dry for at least 2 hours.
Make the pie crust through step 7 according to my directions, explanations, and visuals.
For the filling: Whisk the pumpkin, eggs, and brown sugar together until combined. Add the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, cream, and milk. Vigorously whisk until everything is combined. Filling will be a little thick.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Make the pie crust leaves: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the balls of chilled dough (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Roll out into any shape you really want (doesn't matter) and 1/8 inch thickness. Using leaf cookie cutters, cut into shapes. Brush each lightly with the beaten egg + milk mixture. Cut leaf veins into leaves using a sharp knife, if desired. Place onto a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside to cool.
Turn oven up to 375F degrees.
Roll out the chilled pie crust: Remove second pie dough from the refrigerator. On the same floured work surface, turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch deep dish pie (one that is 1.5 - 2 inches deep). Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. With a small and sharp knife, trim the extra overhang of crust and discard. Crimp the edges with your fingers, if desired. Brush edges lightly with beaten egg/milk mixture. Pre-bake crust for 10 minutes.
Pour pumpkin pie filling into the pre-baked crust. If you did not use a deep dish pie pan, you will have too much filling. Only fill the crust about 3/4 of the way up. Use extra to make mini pies with leftover pie dough scraps if you'd like. Bake the pie until the center is almost set, about 55-60 minutes give or take. A small part of the center will be wobbly - that's ok. After 25 minutes of baking, be sure to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or use a piecrust shield to prevent the edges from getting too brown. Check for doneness at minute 50, and then 55, and then 60, etc.
Once done, transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool completely for at least 3 hours. Decorate with sugared cranberries and pie crust leaves. You'll definitely have leftover cranberries - they're tasty for snacking. Serve pie with whipped cream if desired. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Pumpkin pie freezes well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

* Light brown sugar is OK but my taste testers and I prefer dark brown sugar.
*I prefer canned pumpkin in this pumpkin pie recipe. 
*3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice may be used instead of these spices.
*Fresh cranberries, not frozen. The sugar syrup doesn't coat evenly on the frozen berries, leaving you with rather ugly and some very plain shriveled cranberries.

(image and text via sally's baking addiction)

On Being Thankful

This year has been long and full of big changes. I am both grateful and appreciative to all who have been a part of those changes and being supportive when needed. Go ahead, share what you are thankful for this year!

1. I am thankful for having a job. It has been a year of job searching, disappointment, exhaustion, applications, interviews, soul searching and finally landing a position I really wanted. 
2. I am thankful for having a great team to work with on a daily basis. There is nothing worse than working somewhere where you don't get along with colleagues.
3. I am thankful for being independent and financially supporting myself!!!
4. I am thankful for having two semesters left of graduate school and getting that degree.
5. I am thankful for having an intimate group of girlfriends who are loyal, supportive and the coolest girls around. My boyfriend of two and half years for being there through all the stress of school, the best and worst moments and being my best friend. And lastly my family, I am thankful for everything you've done for me!

(image via levo league)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's That Time of Year

With holidays and birthdays coming up in the next few months, I am already hauling out the wrapping station. I came across this Etsy shop the other day and wanted to order everything. My favorite, the map wrapping paper :) 

(images via Norman's Printery)

Tips and Tricks At Home

With my love for interior design and decorating, I have exhaustively researched, read about and even participated in workshops on learning how to make your space pretty, relaxed and a visual extension of who you are. Over the years I've come across many helpful tips and fun do it yourself projects from the experts, hgtv show marathons, bloggers and books, so I'd like to share a few house rules I've learned along the way. 

1. When it comes to decorating, keep everything low (even your art). This is especially important if you are living in a small place. Your home will look much bigger. 

2. If you are able too, move your furniture away from the walls and situate a bookshelf behind the sofa. It adds texture, homeyness and extra storage. 

3. Every room can use a touch of gold, it adds a little something extra. 


Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up

weekend wear. 
early evening walks and loving the view.
90s girl to the max.
birthdays at the ritz, mood music please. 
fresh pink and purple flowers from my mom.
complete lazy bum sunday evening.

(images via instagram)

Quote of the Day

"Little girls with dreams become women with vision." 

(image via completely catherine)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Happy

I have been waiting for Brooke Fraser to release her latest album for over a year. It finally came out and I've been listening to it all week along. Then my guy completely surprised me with tickets to see her in San Diego in late January, I cannot wait!!! Pre-order it and tell me what you think? What's making you happy this week?