So I made my first pumpkin pie. I was quite worried about it for several reasons. The first is that I've not only never made pumpkin pie, I've never seen it made, and I haven't even tasted it in years. The second is that, to be honest, I don't even LIKE pumpkin pie. So no matter what I thought I was in for a disaster.
As I started making it, from the Joy of Cooking recipe, I ran into a new problem. It's a single crust pie, yes? Yes. And in a lot of single crust pies one must bake the crust while empty, yes? Yes. And, in order to keep the empty crust from bubbling and buckling, one must weight it with beans or something, yes? Yes. Fair enough. But then the recipe, by which I was already getting a little put out (I don't have beans), tells me to glaze the crust with egg yoke before putting it in the oven. So wait. First of all, I never glazed with YOKE. That's weird. Also, how are you supposed to weight the crust if it's glazed with ANYTHING? But ask as I might, the recipe never answered. So, armed with common sense, I weighted the pie crust, unglazed, with lentils. This may make for some sort of unpleasant surprise next time I go to cook my lentils for real, but the crust was okay.
I took the crust out after about ten minutes or so, removed the weights, and glazed it with the yoke. It looked weird. And I was completely on my own timewise, the recipe having given conflicting specifications.
So I put the crust back for five minutes or so, just until the "glaze" cooked. It was bright yellow and, since our oven is crap, burnt around the edges. It looked weird.
Only slightly daunted, I continued the pie without further incident, only being unsure as to what texture the pie should be once it was done.
The next weird thing about the pie was that, even though I remember pumpkin pie ranging from a rich brown to bright orange, this was yellow. Not yellow orange. Yellow. Like curry yellow.
I was reluctant to try it, but cooks must be brave. And: IT IS AMAZING. Best pumpkin pie I've ever had.
Only don't microwave it. Just eat it cold. Microwaves are a bad, bad invention unless you make a habit of sacrificing flavour for convenience.
In retrospect I figure the yellow colour was from adding an extra egg, which makes the pie much more custardy. Also, I will give my one and only complaint about the Joy of Cooking, and that is that I think it's been revised a few too many times, especially in the pie section. Too many times it gives conflicting instructions for one thing, and absolutely none for another. I was told many things related to cooking time, such as when to turn the crust, when to remove the weights, when to add the glaze, and yet... no cooking time at all... I had to infer from both "three quarters into the baking time" and "three or four minutes before cooking time ends" that it should be about fifteen minutes.
Maybe that book needs a real editor: not just a recipe tester.