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Today’s featured recipe: Race-to-the-airport Pumpkin Pie

on November 24, 2010

Reporter Laura Hautala was the chef behind the hearty pumpkin pies our racers carried to the airport during our recent race. Have your own sturdy Thanksgiving dish to add to our Community Cookbook? Email, Subject: RECIPE

Here’s Laura:

I made the pumpkin pies for my fellow reporters to haul during our Race to the Airport. They held up and people loved the pies (especially the crust), so I’m sharing the recipe with everyone. Now it’s your turn to bake a version of this sturdy pie and rush off to celebrate with your nearest and dearest.

One disclaimer: delicious pie crust relies more on technique than recipe. This simple list of ingredients comes from the eleventh edition of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, but the method comes from my mom. She worked briefly as a pastry chef when I was an infant, and she still possesses a magic touch in the kitchen.


Mom will tell you that no matter what you put in a pie crust, you’d better make it flakey. Here’s how:

Race-worthy Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients: Crust

  • 1 ¾ c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 c butter, shortening, or lard
  • 1/3 c ice water

Note: Makes crust for one 9-inch pie with extra for the top.

Directions: Crust

  1. Put a few cubes of ice into 1/3 cup of water. Set aside.
  2. Combine 1 ¾ c all-purpose flour with one tsp salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Measure out 2/3 c of butter. Shortening and lard are fine substitutes. Whichever you choose, make sure it’s cold! Separate into two portions, and place the first portion into the flour and salt mixture.
  4. Now, ready your pastry cutter! If you only have a fork, go ahead and use it, but remember that pastry cutters are cheap. What’s more, they make a much nicer crust and are easier to use than a fork (unless you are already a pie ninja, in which case you don’t need my advice). Cut the butter into the mixture, creating little flour covered bits about the size of a large pea.
  5. Repeat with the second portion of butter. By cutting two portions separately, you’re making differently sized pastry flakes in your dough, causing deliciousness.
  6. When no bits are bigger than a pea, stop! Don’t overdo it—you don’t want to warm up the butter. You should have a loose mixture of flour and flour-covered butter bits at this point.
  7. Pour in a generous amount of ice water and mold the mixture into dough. As a beginner, I found that it helps if you shout, “Be crust!” during this phase.
  8. Now wrap it in wax paper and throw it in the fridge for later, or roll it out like so: Heavily flour your countertop or pastry cloth. Make 2/3 of your dough into a ball and place it on the countertop, and sprinkle with flour (more flour = less crying). Using a rolling pin (floured), roll the dough away and toward your self, rotate the dough 90 degrees, and repeat. Work dough into a circle, and you’re done!

Ingredients: Filling

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can Libby’s pumpkin pie mix
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk

Directions: Filling

  1. Mix and pour!
  2. Bake pie at 425 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

Image: Cyclist (and reporter) Ted Trautman smiles at the pie he gets to eat if he can race to the airport without messing it up!

1 Comment

  1. […] Our recipe for Race to the Airport pumpkin pie – How to make your own, for wherever your travels will take you. […]

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