Torta di Zucca (Pumpkin Pie)

27 Nov

Pumpkin pie, or torta di zucca, is a typical American dessert, often prepared to celebrate Thanksgiving. When I first ate it in the US, I thought how I might add a bit of Italy to this recipe. The recipe I propose is my creation, with some additional, typically Italian ingredients in the filling, such as amaretti and amaretto di Saronno liquor, while the crust is prepared with pasta brisee instead of American pie dough. The taste of amaretti goes very well with that of the pumpkin making this dessert doubly delicious (I also use this combination of ingredients with pasta, in the pasta con zucca e amaretti recipe. Pumpkin pie is traditionally served with sweetened whipped cream, but I personally prefer to eat it plain, to fully enjoy the pumpkin’s distinctive flavor. Every time I serve it, it’s really a big success, something a bit different to savor.

TORTA DI ZUCCA (PUMPKIN PIE)
Preparation time: 1h+15min.      Cooking time: 45 min.      Servings: 8
Torta-di-Zucca

INGREDIENTS
Pasta Briseè (Briseè crust)
250 g  (1 ½ cups) all-purpose flour
120 g (¼ cup) chilled butter
1 egg yolk
¼ teaspoon salt
60 ml cold water

Filling
450 g (1 heaping cup) mushed pumpkin
250 ml (1 heaping cup) fresh cream
50 g (¼ cup) brown sugar
100 g (½ cup) white sugar
10 amaretti cookies, finely crushed
100 ml  (½ cup) Amaretto di Saronno liquor
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8  teaspoon cloves
2 slightly beaten eggs

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 190°C (425°F)
1. Pasta brisee (brisee crust). In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time.  Add the egg yolk until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
2. Filling. To cook pumpkin see risotto di zucca. In a large bowl mix until well blended pumpkin, cream, brown sugar, white sugar, amaretti cookies, Amaretto liqueur, spices and eggs
3. Once the dough has rested, flatten it out on a lightly floured board, then transfer to a 25 cm (9 in) ceramic or glass pie or tart baking dish.  Gently pat the pastry dough in the pan to 4 mm (less than ¼ in) thickness, to line the bottom and sides.  The edge should have a slightly thicker layer of pastry than the bottom, about 5 mm. Prick the pastry bottom with the tines of a fork (four or five times is sufficient)
4. Pour the mixture into the pie shell. Bake for 15 min. at 190°C (425°F), then reduce the temperature to 170°C (350°F), bake about 30-35 min. longer until an inserted knife comes out clean
5. Cool on a racket and serve with sweetened whipped cream .  -Paola

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4 Responses to “Torta di Zucca (Pumpkin Pie)”

  1. Adri November 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    It surely is a tradition here in the U.S. For almost every American family Thanksgiving would not be complete without Pumpkin Pie. This sounds wonderful, a nice switch form the typical preparation. I bet the Amaretti and the liqueur lend wonderful flavor.

    • Passion and Cooking November 28, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

      Thanks Adri. I love pumpkin pie, it is one of my favorite pies. Try my recipe and let me know how you like. Your comments are very valuable. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Frank @Memorie di Angelina December 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    What a lovely idea! To tell the truth, pumpkin by itself can be a bit dull (especially as compared with a true Italian zucca) so it would really benefit from amaretti and a few drops of liqueur.

    • Passion and Cooking December 7, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

      Thanks Frank. I had this idea when I ate pumpkin pie the first time in the States. If you have the chance, try my recipe and let me know how you like it.

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