Throwback Thursday: Our Search for The Perfect Pumpkin Pie, Round 2

Three more pies battled it out this week to see who will enter the Semi Finals of the best Pumpkin Pie competition. Aaron was on pastry duty this week as I’ve been busy working on an assignment, and when he went back to work the next day I made the fillings and baked the pies. Team effort is the way to go!

Pie 1:

Our first pie this week comes from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Shop and is a Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie. This was by far the most involved of the pie recipes this week, featuring a brown butter butterscotch sauce and carrot juice (which we juiced ourselves) in the filling! The pastry had a small amount of sugar and some apple cider vinegar but this didn’t seem to make it the nicest of the three pastries. The filling was shiny and super smooth, you could tell there was something special here! A refrigerated slice yielded a slightly nicer result than the room temperature version, but it was great as well.

Pie 2:

The second pie was from How to Bake Everything by Mark Bittman. This was the Food52 Baking Club‘s book of the year last year and is an encyclopedia of great baking recipes. (Aaron has been loving the doughnut recipes and is slowly working through learning how to make the different varieties.) This pie reminded me the most of my grandmother’s pumpkin pie and I preferred it at room temperature for that very reason – how my grandmother would serve it. A good result and a good baseline of a traditional pumpkin pie.

Pie 3:

Our last pie this week is from Art of the Pie and is another example of a traditional pumpkin pie recipe. It had the option of using either evaporated milk or coconut milk and since I had leftover evaporated milk from Round 1, I chose that. I’m not sure if that affected the overall result, but I wasn’t wowed by this one.  The texture was quite grainy and when compared to the silky texture of the first pie, it just didn’t hold up. It did however have the best pastry, and interestingly it was not prebaked at all before baking the final pie.

So which came out on top? The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie of course! How could it not when it featured a brown butter butterscotch sauce. So it moves on to the Semi Finals along with Flour, last week’s winner. Interestingly both of these pies were the most time consuming to make and I wonder if that trend will continue. Next week’s round will be the last of the more traditional looking pumpkin pies before we move on to some variations in the following three weeks.