We prefer the sweet flavorful flesh of the kabocha squash over any other pie pumpkin. The chestnut-like texture of this pie makes it especially toothsome.
Even people who aren’t big pumpkin pie fans will like this genteel version. Light, delicate, and sweet, it is a recipe from a kinder, gentler time. Its very name—“chiffon”—evokes a sheer and floaty fabric, a long way from today’s sturdy Spandex. Even after a hearty holiday meal, we find there’s always room for a small slice of this lovely pie.
Afra Lineberry, Agee to her family, opened The Jerre Anne Bake Shoppe in St. Joe, Missouri, in 1930. It was the last stop on the trolley line. Conductors would leave their cars running while they ran into Agee’s for a cup of coffee and a piece of pie. “It seems like I just always knew how to make a good pie crust. It may take a little practice for some, but the only time to get excited about a pie crust is when you’re eating it,” Agee used to say. The little shop grew to be a smashing success, and by 1990, with Geraldine Lawhon (Agee’s niece) running the place, it was selling 625 pies at Thanksgiving alone. Sadly, The Jerre Anne closed its doors in 2008. When you eat Agee’s pie, send your thanks heavenward.
This pastry dough calls for pastry flour, a special flour that you may not already have in your pantry, but the results are well worth acquiring it for a crust that's both flaky and tender. We prefer unbleached pastry flour, such as King Arthur. If you prefer, you can substitute cake flour for the pastry flour. The pastry or cake flour keeps the pastry dough tender, and the vinegar strengthens the gluten and adds elasticity. This pastry dough has more salt than most. Kosher salt is coarser than table salt. If you are using table salt instead, cut the amount of salt in half.
When my sister and I were kids about 7 and 8, we earnestly decided that the very best pie in the world would be one made with 20 ingredients.
Let cool for as long as you can wait. If you can't wait, vanilla ice cream helps cool a slice of pie on your plate.
This delicious hybrid, the specialty of my dear friend Jean Turpen, is one of those desserts that American bakers love -- it is relatively easy, makes enough for a crowd, and is utterly irresistible. Baked in a jelly-roll pan, it's a cross between a cobbler, a pie, and a big cookie. The pie can be made with just about any seasonal fruit -- peaches, nectarines, and Italian purple plums are all excellent substitutes for the apples -- adjusting the amount of sugar as needed. A layer of crushed cornflakes on the bottom crust soaks up and thickens the fruit juices so the consistency is always perfect.