Amaretto Pumpkin Pie - Cooking Vacations With The International Kitchen: Recipe Of The Month
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Amaretto Pumpkin Pie

December 2010

Here is the Italian version of one of the most traditional winter holiday desserts. This is no ordinary pumpkin pie. Using fresh pumpkin that is caramelized in the oven then combined with rich cream and fragrant cinnamon, this recipe brings out the natural sweetness and soft texture of the most celebrated fall vegetable. Italian ingredients like Grappa and amaretti cookies put a quintessentially European spin on this American classic.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb pumpkin
  • 3 oz all-purpose flour
  • 5 oz amaretti cookies or macaroons
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cream
  • 1 tablespoon Grappa
  • 1 pinch of baking powder
  • salt to taste
  • butter, to grease
  • confectioners sugar to taste

Directions

Cut the pumpkin into fairly large pieces and place on a baking sheet. Bake pumpkin in a 300°F for about 40 minutes so that it caramelizes.

When done, remove the pulp of the pumpkin from the peel. At this point, the pulp weighs around 1 lb. Place pulp in a bowl and blend or pass it through a sieve to get a soft, smooth mixture.

Separate the egg whites and egg yolks. Whip the whites using a whisk, either electric or manual, until soft peaks form.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the sugar for a couple of minutes until you have a fairly clear mixture. Then, continue whisking while adding, one at a time, the cinnamon, cream, pumpkin puree and the flour divided into two or three parts so that it can be easily incorporated into the mixture.

Crumble the amaretti cookies and add them to the dough. Mix well and add the yeast and grappa or rum.

Mix again, then add the whipped egg whites, folding them carefully into the mixture. 
Finish with a pinch of salt.

Then, grease a round pie dish with butter, dust with flour and remove the excess.

Pour the mixture into the pie pan, level it using a spatula. Bake in a 320°F oven for 45 to 50 minutes.

When the pie is done, remove it from the oven and let cool for at least an hour. Then, remove it from the pan and, if you want, dust it with powdered sugar.