Holiday Baking

IMG_20181107_184537I always enjoy baking much more than cooking. I’ve never been the best with improvising in the kitchen. Having an exact recipe is what I prefer. However, there are some recipes that work well with a little improvisation. Jaron found a bourbon pumpkin pie recipe on Epicurious. His eyes lit up and suggested we replace the bourbon with sherry. We thought of Oloroso, but went with Los Arcos Amontillado from Lustau since it was what was on hand.

I had very little part in the shopping or preparation. He pretty much took over the kitchen and made the house smell heavenly! The final product was perfect! The textures and flavors paired with a glass of Amontillado were exactly what I needed for the change of seasons. I just had to share the recipe for the coming holidays!

Pie Crust:

  • 3/4 stick cold unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 Tablespoons ice water
  1. Cut butter into 1/2 inch cubes
  2. Blend by hand flour, butter, shortening and salt in a bowl until mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size lumps.
  3. Drizzle 2 Tablespoons ice water evenly and gently stir with a fork until incorporated.
  4. Squeeze a small handful without crumbling. If it crumbles add 1 Tablespoon of ice water at a time until it no longer crumbles, but not overworked.
  5. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface  with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round and fit into pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2 inch overhang. Fold overhang under and lightly press against rim of pie plate, then crimp decoratively.  Lightly prick bottom all over with a fork.
  6. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (or freeze for 10 minutes).


Pie Filling:

  • 1 can (15oz) pure organic pumpkin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons of sherry
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Accompaniment: lightly sweetened sherry hand-whipped cream (add 1 teaspoon sherry per 1/2 cup of cream)
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF with rack in middle.
  2. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until side is set and edge is golden, about 20 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove weights and foil and bake shell until golden all over, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Cool completely.
  5. Whisk together all ingredients and pour into cooled shell.
  6. Bake until edge of filling is set but center trembles slightly, about 45 minutes.
  7. Cool completely (filling will continue to set as it cools).

This pie and whipped cream does take a lot of time, so it’s always best to make the day before and chill it in the fridge. The pie can be brought to room temperature before serving.



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