Food Friday 11/19/21: Holiday cooking with Jennifer Clair

Today on Food Friday, Jennifer Clair, founder of Home Cooking New York, offers her home cooking tips and tricks for the holidays. WAMC’s Ray Graf hosts.

The number to call with your questions is 1-800-348-2551. You can also email [email protected]

Jennifer Clair

Jennifer Clair launched Home Cooking New York in 2002. Before that, she was a Recipe Editor for The Wall Street Journal and a Food Editor at Martha Stewart Living, where she developed cookbooks and managed the Cooking & Entertaining department of marthastewart.com. She graduated from Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School in 1998 after receiving a full James Beard Foundation scholarship. Jennifer is also the author of Six Basic Cooking Techniques: Culinary Essentials for the Home Cook (2018) based on the school’s most popular cooking class, and the host of the cooking podcast, Kitchen Radio.

Pumpkin Pie (serves 8)

For the crust:

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée (not “pumpkin pie filling”)
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream, half and half, or coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup dark-brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • Whipped cream, for serving

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter pieces, and using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are the size of peas and coated with flour. Drizzle the cold water over the mixture and use a fork to combine it with the dry ingredients, until a dough just starts to form. Clean off the fork and continue working the dough with your hands until it holds together and resembles a b all of dough (do not overmix; overmixing leads to a dense, non-flaky crust). This can also be done in a food processor.

2. On a lightly-dusted work surface or a piece of parchment paper, wax paper, or a Silpat mat, roll the crust out into a 1/8-inch circle, about 12 inches wide. Transfer the dough to an 8- or 9-inch pie plate, pressing it into the corners. Fold the excess dough under, forming a rim, and crimp. Transfer to the freezer or refrigerator and chill until cold and very firm, at least 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Cut a 13-inch piece of parchment and use it to line the bottom of the crust. Fill the shell with pie weights, rice, or dried beans, and bake the crust for 12 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°. Carefully remove the parchment paper and weights from the shell (the rice and beans are still usable!), and continue baking until the crust is firm and lightly golden, about 7 minutes more.

4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the remaining filling ingredients, and whisk well to combine. Pour into the baked pie shell (it doesn’t need to cool first), and bake until the custard is set and wobbles very slightly when shaken, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes before serving, warm or cold, with a dollop of whipped cream.

Cranberry Ginger Compote (makes 2 cups)

  • 1 (12 ounces) bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained 1/3 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice (from an orange, not a carton)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger

In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and ginger. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer over medium low. Cook the compote until it’s thickened, stirring regularly with a rubber spatula, about 10 minutes, mashing the cranberries lightly against the side of the pan. Cool the compote completely.
Serve chilled or at room temperature. Can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in an airtight container.