Introduction: "Cow Pi" Pumpkin Pie

About: I am passionate about my career as a math teacher, enjoy anything outdoors, love to travel, and enjoy putting a smile on others faces through my creations.

This is my simple, yet very delicious version of the classic pumpkin pie that uses pantry ingredients.  I love having this recipe around for those times when I have company coming but don't have the time to go shopping for fresh ingredients.  I have put a twist on my typical recipe by decorating it with Pi day themed crust cutouts.  The cutouts are made to look like cowhide and are a delicious addition to your pumpkin pie.
Follow these simple steps and you can make the perfect Pi day pumpkin pi.

Step 1: Ingredients

For the Crust:
3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups of very cold unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup vegetable shortening 
6-8 tablespoons very cold water

For the Filling:
1 can pumpkin puree
1 cup of white sugar (for a richer pie use half brown sugar)
3 eggs
1 can evaporated milk (fat free or regular)
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamin

For eggwash:
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk

Step 2: Making the Crust

Here is my go to crust recipe.  This makes enough for both a top and bottom crust.  Since this is only a bottom crusted pie you have the option of using the full recipe or cutting it in half.  If you plan to make decorations for the top I suggest making the full recipe:

Mix together the dry ingredients including; salt, sugar, cinnamon (optional), and flour. Dice the butter into chunks and cut the butter and vegetable shortening into the dough until forming pea sized clumps.  Add in the chilled water a tablespoon at a time until the dough forms into one ball.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes or for as much as two days if necessary.  

Step 3: Mixing the Filling

Crack three eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk to separate.  Add in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, evaporated milk, and pumpkin and whisk to combine.  Thats it!

Step 4: Rolling Out the Dough and Filling the Pie

Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator and cut in half if you made the full dough recipe.  Roll one half on a floured surface to fit a 9 inch pie pan about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut off excess dough leaving a one inch overhang that you will tuck under.  Tuck the crust and crimp it for a decorative finish.  Brush the Pie crust with an egg wash created by whisking together an egg yolk with one tablespoon of milk.  Fill the pie with the filling mixture and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 50 minutes or until browned and set in the center.

Step 5: Decorating

With extra pie dough take a small piece (about the size of a golf ball) and fold in about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or enough to darken the dough.  if you'd like you can skip the cinnamon and add a food coloring or your choice.  Use water if necessary to incorporate the cinnamon into the dough.  Roll out some of the plain dough and scatter dough blobs onto the white dough to spot and make a cow like texture (like in picture).  Cut out the symbol for PI as well as the letters for "cow pi".  Brush the letters with the extra egg wash and bake on a sheet pan for 15- 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Add these atop your pumpkin pie.

Step 6: Eat Up!

Serve with ice cream or some whipped cream on top.  Enjoy! and remember HAPPY PI DAY!!!

Serious Eats Pi Day Pie Contest

Participated in the
Serious Eats Pi Day Pie Contest