French for “under vacuum,” sous-vide cooking is here to revolutionize your kitchen. It involves cooking food in a bag placed in a temperature-controlled water bath to enhance textures, flavors and tenderness. It’s a popular way to cook meat, but sous-vide can also be used to create delicious desserts.
With a sous-vide cooker, you can make a delicious pumpkin pie with a perfectly silky, smooth filling that’s never curdled or cracked. Set the sous-vide cooker to 176ºF. Heat the oven to 325ºF. Combine 2 cups canned pumpkin, 1 cup brown sugar, and 4 eggs a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add ⅔ cups heavy cream, ⅔ cups milk, 2 tsp. ginger, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. nutmeg, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. cloves. Stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a ziplock bag. Seal, place in the water bath, and set the timer for 1.5 hours.
To make the crust, process 2 tbsp. sugar and 9 broken-up graham crackers into fine crumbs in a food processor. Add 5 tbsp. melted butter. Process for 15-20 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch pie dish, spread evenly across the bottom and sides, and press down. Bake until golden brown (15-18 minutes). Transfer to a cooling rack. Remove the bag from the water once the timer goes off. Pipe the pumpkin mixture onto the crust, and smooth with a spatula. Chill the pie overnight in the refrigerator until it has set.
Chai spiced apple pie
A sous-vide cooker ensures the apples in this show-stopping pie are cooked to just the right texture (tender, not mushy). Combine 1 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp. cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and ginger in a bowl. Add the zest and juice of one lemon. Peel and core 5lbs of apples, cut into ½-inch slices, and toss together. Next, put the mixture in a large vacuum bag, and seal. Preheat the water to 160°F and submerge the bag. Cook for 1-2 hours. Remove the bag from the water, place the contents in a saucepan, and cook for ten minutes until the juices thicken. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roll out the pie dough into two 12-inch round discs. Transfer one disc to a 9-inch pie dish. Add the apple filling. Place the remaining disc on top, trim the overhang, and pinch to flute the edge. Cut 3-5 vents on top. Brush the crust with egg white, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F, and bake for another 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Serve both pies with freshly whipped cream. These sous-vide pies have a distinct flavor and delicate texture you simply won’t be able to mimic with traditional methods.