French Thanksgiving Pumpkin Piepocalypse 2013

Very cute pie pumpkins from the Biocoop in Toulouse.

Very cute pie pumpkins from the Biocoop in Toulouse.

If you’re spending Thanksgiving in Europe this year, be prepared to spend a little extra time cooking the pumpkin that used to come out of a can marked Libby’s over in the States. Since my coworkers love pumpkin pie, I’ve spent the day cooking pies and pumpkin for tomorrow’s celebration of my recent marriage (pot de marriage).

I burnt three pie crusts by trying to do dishes and pre-cook the crusts at the same time. Then in a fury, I whipped together a series of pie crusts made with the only thing left in my cupboard – buckwheat flour, all while trying not to burn the pies already in the oven.

While I don’t recommend that you try to make a bunch of last minute pies for your office party with pantry leftovers, fresh pumpkin pie is a great way to celebrate your American heritage while away from the States. Here’s my favorite internet pie recipe:

However, the problem is that it’s all in American units with some ingredients that are hard or impossible to get over here. So, for your cooking pleasure, in French units with the translated names of each ingredient:

Slightly-tipsy French Pumpkin Tart

50 cl roasted pumpkin or other orange fleshed winter squash (citrouille or potiron).
3 large eggs (oeufs, that one was easy).
150 g red sugar (sucre roux) – get the stickiest one you find, may not be available in all stores. Cassonade will work in a pinch, but has less flavor.
25 cl liquid cream (crème fluide) – usually next to the crème fraîche.
2 soup spoons scotch whisky – Bourbon is expensive here and I don’t drink enough for this to be worth it. And when I say soup spoon, I mean the actual spoon you eat soup with.
1 soup spoon vanilla extract or 2 packets of vanilla sugar which is easier to find in France.
Pinch of salt.
Molasses (mélasse) – impossible to find, omit. Sorry, Holly Herrick, I failed.
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (canelle). As with soup spoon, I mean the spoon you use to stir the sugar in your coffee or tea.
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (gingembre).
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (clous de girofle).
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (noix de muscade).
1 blasphemous pre-prepared pie crust (pâte brisée or sablée). If you’re a little more motivated you can try making a pâte brisée and replacing half the flour with buckwheat (sarrasin) flour, which gives it a bit more flavor.

Mmm, pie.

Mmm, pie.

The full instructions for how to make the Holly Herrick recipe are on the Charleston Chow website. If you’re in a hurry, mix the pumpkin and liquid ingredients with an immersion blender until smooth and then add the sugar and spices, taking care to sprinkle the spices evenly over the mixture before another whirl with the blender. Then pour the mixture into the pie crust which has been lightly precooked (about 5-7 minutes).

Now that my fingers are all burnt and the work’s done, I’ll be off to bed soon. The hubby is on dish duty tonight.

Till next time, bonne nuit.


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