Thursday, December 24, 2015

Holiday Baking With Holland America Line

Which will you serve on Christmas... pumpkin or pecan pie? No need to choose—here’s a pie to please everyone who craves traditional desserts—brought to us by Holland America Line's Master Chef Rudi Sodamin.

If, like me, you aren't much of a baker, this one isn't as difficult as you might think. There are a lot of ingredients, but you could cheat and used a store bought pie shell. Just don't tell anyone I suggested that! I'd also use double the pecans—and skip the walnuts—in the topping and prepare the topping in a saucepan, drizzle it on top of the pie, and skip the broiler step. In addition, you'll notice the pie illustration has a whipped cream layer, but the recipe doesn't mention it. I'm not sure what was up with that, however I would top my slice with a dollop of freshly whipped cream before serving. (I hope Chef Rudi doesn't follow my blog!)


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled vegetable shortening

2 cups pureed pumpkin, canned or fresh made
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 (13-ounce) can evaporated milk

Crunchy Pecan & Walnut Topping
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Pie Shell
1. In a cup, mix 6 tablespoons water with ice and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Using your fingertips, a pastry blender or two knives, work the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a food processor, using short pulses.)

2. With a fork, stir in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, using only as much as needed to gather the mixture into a soft ball. Pat the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to three days.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a round about 1/8 inch thick. Drape the dough over a rolling pin and fit it into a 9-inch pie pan. Fold the edge under and crimp. Place the pie shell in the freezer for 20 minutes.

1. Heat the oven to 425°F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, spices, and salt. With an electric mixer, beat in the eggs and evaporated milk until thoroughly combined.

2. Pour the pumpkin filling into the prepared pie shell and jiggle the pan gently to level out the top. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for another 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted halfway between the center and edges comes out clean. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let it cool completely.

Crunchy Pecan & Walnut Topping
Heat the broiler. In a small bowl, combine all the topping ingredients. Mix with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the pie and place it under broiler about 5 inches from the heat source until the mixture begins to bubble, about one minute. Let the pie cool to room temperature before serving.

Image Courtesy Holland America Line

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