Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pastís de carbassa for Thanksgiving

A favorite American holiday rolls  around one more year, making it that time of year I roll my sleeves up to prepare for a Thanksgiving feast on the last Saturday of November. Yes, we Americans all know that Thanksgiving is celebrated the last Thursday of November, but since it’s not a holiday recognized in Spain, I have no one to invite on a Thursday night, when everyone is working late during the week.

I will start preparations for dia d'acció de gràcies by getting a one day head start with baking a pumpkin pie. I start by oven baking the carbassa, I never use canned pumpkin even though I can purchase it here at a specialty shop. I once tasted a pie made from canned pumpkin and it was dolent. When the pumpkin has been in the oven after 15 minutes, the smell of pumpkin roasting in the oven wafts through the house. Simplement meravellós!

For the crust: I normally use readymade pastry dough to line my pie pan, although this year I am going to try to make a homemade pie crust. In Spain I purchase hojaldre  para tartas y respostería. The hojaldre is my back up if my pie crust does not take the form of pie dough.

Preheat oven at 220° C.
Cut (tallar) the pumpkin in half and remove seeds and pumpkin string with a spoon. Cut the pumpkin 
in large chunks and place in a pan with some water, shell side up and bake for 1 hour or until the shell starts to sag. Scrape the pulp from the shell and purée with a blender. Strain overnight to remove excess water from pulp. This will prevent having a soggy filling.




For the filling:

1 sugar pumpkin  (carbassa)                                               
2 eggs plus yolk of a third  (ous, més un rovell d’ou )
1 1/2 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk  (nata liquida o llet evaporada)
1/2 cup brown sugar (sucre morena)
1/3 cup white sugar (sucre blanc)
1/2 teaspoon salt  (sal)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (canyella)
1/2 teaspoon ginger (gingebre)
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg  (nou moscada)
1/8 teaspoon ground clove  (clau)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract  (extracte de vainilla)

Next day baking process.
  1.  Preheat oven to 220° Celsius.
  2.  Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat eggs in a separate bowl and add to dry ingredients. Stir in purée and then stir in cream. Whisk all ingredients until well mixed.
  3. Pour mixture into dough lined pan and bake for 15 minutes at 220° and then reduce temperature to 175° and bake for another 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. I like to refrigerate my pie, this is optional. Serve with whip cream (nata muntada).
My pie is finished and no I did not make a fresh crust because all the rolling pins were sold out. I'm off now to soak my gall dindi in brine for tomorrows feast.

Bona sort i FeliÇ Dia de Gràcies