Introduction: Vanilla Pumpkin (Pi) Pie
Here is a recipe for amazing vanilla pumpkin pie, and lets face it - delicious vanilla pumpkin pie can only be improved upon by baking it into great shapes. So if you follow these steps then you can have a sweet treat that all pumpkin lovers will enjoy as well as pi. And pi is awesome, so I'm told.
Step 1: Well, First We Need a Pi Pan.
If you are interested in making a pi pan (which I definitely recommend, because fun shaped pies are, well, really fun) then you should make the pan first so your dough and pumpkin don't sit around while you mess with making a pan.
First, you have to draw your pi shape out on a piece of paper (I made mine only about 6inches by 4 1/2 inches, a great size for a little pie for two).
Then, cut your pi shape out on something oven safe and sturdy enough for pie. I used a disposable metal brownie tin and cut my shape out of the bottom of the pan.
Next, you have to make walls for your pan. I used tin foil folded over on itself a few times(sturdy things up a bit). Luckily tin foil is malleable and you can fold it to any shape. Make your walls about and 1 inch tall. Make sure that there aren't any holes in your pan for crust or filling to sneak out of.
Step 2: Next Step, the Crust
Pie crust is surprisingly simple. After trying a couple recipes, I stumbled on this one : http://tinyurl.com/6v4ksfa. It's easy to remember, can be quickly altered to any amount of crust needed, and holds itself up well in our homemade pi pan.
For both our little pi pan and a regular size pie, you need about to expand on the recipe a little. So you'll need:
1 1/4 c flour
5/8 c shortening
a little over a 1/4 c cold water.
Mix the flour and shortening together than add the water, sir until it's a dough.
Once you have a dough you can roll it out to fill your pi pan and your regular pie pan. To line the pi pan it will be easier to cut some strips the proper width of the pi pan to use to set the crust in the pan. Just make sure to pinch the dough together at the corners so the filling doesn't leak through the crust.
Step 3: Pumpkin!
Obviously the next step is your pie filling. At this point I would also start to preheat the oven at about 375*. Grab a large bowl and gather your ingredients, which are:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
Mix everything together in your big bowl until mixed well together.
Then, carefully pour your filling into the pi pan until just under the height of your crust. Pour the rest of the filling in your regular pie pan.
Now it's time to bake. The little pi pie will take about 15 minutes, and the regular pie will take about 40 minutes.
Step 4: Time for Pies
After each of the appropriate times (which may need to be adjusted based on your oven, you can always poke the filling with a toothpick and see if it comes out clean to test the readiness of each pie) take the pies out and let them cool.
Then, enjoy pie!