Monday, October 31, 2011

Shepherd's Pie and Pumpkin Pie

I love slow food. It’s generally easy to put together and so I figured that shepherd’s pie would be a perfect dish to make at VN’s.


VN was eager to make pumpkin pie from scratch. I’ve never made the pie pastry from scratch before, though I’ve watched Mom whip it up hundreds of times. Challenge accepted.


As you can see the canned pumpkin in the background, we didn’t make the filling “from scratch”.  *Shrug*  Close enough.



Since the pastry had to rest for a bit, I started making that first. I followed the Tenderflake’s recipe this time. There wasn’t any adjustments or tweaking this time. VN didn’t have a pastry cutter so I used two butter knives. I had thought I did a good job cutting the lard into the dry ingredients, but that wasn’t the case.


Exhibit A: When I emptied the mixing bowl onto the table, half a cup of dry ingredients stared and laughed at me. Fail.


I added a bit more water, which I had reserved, and rolled the pastry together; divided it; covered it with cling film; and chilled it.

If you look closely, you can see that the pie was over-worked. When you make pie dough, you do not want yours to look like this. The pastry should be speckled with shortening/lard bits.


VN and I made the ground meat next. After sautéing the vegetables and herbs, we added broth and then the ground beef. Just like the meat pie filling I made before, the ground beef slowly cooked in the broth.



VN whipped up the filling by following Anna Olson’s pumpkin pie recipe. We omitted the whipped cream and liqueur. The pumpkin pie filling was set aside until the pastry was ready.


With the help of an electric mixer, we made some mashed potatoes with milk, butter and parmesan cheese.


DG used an improvised rolling pin to roll out the pastry, lined the baking pan, and then put it in the fridge to chill some more.




Putting together the shepherd’s pie was easy. Unlike the last time I made shepherd's pie, there wasn't a thick layer of mashed potatoes.



Since everything was already cooked, we just broiled it until the tops were golden. I ate my slice with lots of ketchup – not that it needed it.


We were able to make two pies with Anna Olson’s pumpkin pie filling recipe. After baking the pie, the kitchen was perfumed with a sweet sent of cinnamon and nutmeg. We couldn’t wait until the pies fully cooled down, so we sliced into one of the warm pumpkin pies.


You can see that the pastry was a bit soggy. The pie pastry wasn’t even close to how flaky Mom made it. She told me that it was because I handled the pastry too much at the beginning.

The pumpkin pie flavours were warm and comforting. Even though we barely added nutmeg, it really came out and complimented the cinnamon. I couldn’t detect the cloves, but it was meant to have a supporting role. I’d have to try the filling with and without the ground cloves side by side to detect a difference. The pie was also perfectly sweetened. I liked that it was more about the pumpkin and spices and less about how sweet the pie was.

I’m definitely going to be making pumpkin pie again in the future!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome looking cottage pie you've there!

    Friend of mine makes a low cal version with ground lean veal and cauliflower...Need to go bug her for a recipe!

    You take beautiful shots!


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