Is there anyone in town better suited to hand out holiday pie-making tips than Megan Romano? At her new westside bakery Chocolate & Spice, the acclaimed local pastry chef—formerly of Aureole—will hold a holiday pie-cooking class on November 7 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
- Chocolate & Spice
- 7293 W. Sahara Ave. #8, 527-7772.
- Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
If you want to impress with pie-making this season, save your spot in the class. (The $65 price also gets you samples and a gift bag.) Check out the recipe for Romano’s personal favorite pumpkin pie, below. And here are a few of the chef’s general tips for pie making:
1. For easier entertaining, make the dough at least a day in advance or up to two weeks stored well-wrapped in the freezer.
2. Choose a filling based on the season’s best fruit. The filling can be made in advance as well.
3. Pies bake best from a chilled temperature so the water content in the butter has a chance to create steam for a crunchy texture.
4. In order to cleanly cut slices from a pie, bake several hours before company is due to arrive.
12 oz. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
7 oz. butter (sliced into cubes)
2 pieces ginger (peeled/sliced)
2-4 tbsp. ice water
pinch of vanilla pod seed (scraped from vanilla bean)
4 oz. sugar
2 oz. dark brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
13 oz. pumpkin puree
5 oz. whole milk
4 oz. evaporated milk
pinch of clove
Method:To make pie crust, slice vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape vanilla pod seed. Save vanilla bean in plastic wrap and store in a cool place. Sift vanilla pod seed, flour, sugar and salt. Work butter cubes into flour. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes.
Place mixture in mixer with paddle attachment and mix for four minutes. Pour in cold water in a thin stream. Continue mixing on medium speed until dough just begins to pull away from the sides. Place dough into a bowl and knead into a ball. Roll dough between two sheets of parchment paper and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Spray a pie pan with nonstick spray. Place in dough and shape to the edges. Trim edges and form a scalloped edge. Chill.
To make filling, mix together sugars and seasonings. In a separate bowl, whisk together remaining wet ingredients. Form a well in center of dry ingredients and whisk in all wet ingredients. Pour pumpkin pie mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Bake at 325 for 45-55 minutes. When top of pie has risen, turn oven off and allow pie to rest in oven for an even baking. Top finished pie with whipped cream and pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg or clove.