MINI PUMPKIN PIES

yields 6

Crust:

8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter (cut into smaller pieces)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. ice water

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Pulse 2 or 3 times to mix.

Add the butter pieces and pulse 8-10 times until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs.

Add the ice water a little at a time and pulse 10-12 times until the dough begins to form.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape it into a 6-inch disk.  Wrap it in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.

Filling:

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar (dark or light)
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

If you’re using 6 mini cocottes or ramekins, cut your dough into 6 equal pieces and roll them out into circles.  Line your cocottes with the dough circles and trim & press with a fork to finish the edges.

If you’re using a regular 9-inch pie dish, roll out the dough into 1 large circle and line your dish, trimming to finish the edges.  For 1 large pie, you’ll need to partially pre-bake the crust.  To pre-bake, raise your oven temperature to 400 degrees F.  Line your pie crust with heavy duty tin foil and fill it with uncooked rice or beans to weigh it down and prevent bubbles from forming during the bake.  Place it in the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes until the edges are lightly browned.  Set the pie dish on a wire rack to cool before adding your filling.  Lower the oven temperature back to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar and evaporated milk.  Whisk until smooth.

Slowly whisk in the melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt until the mixture is smooth and well blended.  Pour the filling into your crust(s).

Bake until the filling is set, 50-55 minutes (same bake time for individual pies & 1 large pie).  The center should jiggle slightly when the pan is given a gentle shake.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.

Beat with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until medium peaks form.  Medium peaks are just able to hold their shape, but are still soft.

Drop a dollop of cream on each individual pie, or on each slice as you’re serving.

Journalist James Nestor explores the science of the “mammalian dive reflex,” the phenomenon by which water triggers an immediate decrease in heart rate.

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Why 35,000 Walrus Come Ashore in Northwest Alaska
“The World Wildlife Fund said walrus have also been gathering in large groups on the Russian side of the Chukchi Sea.
"It’s another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss," said Margaret Williams, managing director of the group’s Arctic program, by phone from Washington, D.C. "The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change."
Learn more from the Associated Press.
(via kqedscience:) Why 35,000 Walrus Come Ashore in Northwest Alaska
“The World Wildlife Fund said walrus have also been gathering in large groups on the Russian side of the Chukchi Sea.
"It’s another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss," said Margaret Williams, managing director of the group’s Arctic program, by phone from Washington, D.C. "The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change."
Learn more from the Associated Press.
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Why 35,000 Walrus Come Ashore in Northwest Alaska

The World Wildlife Fund said walrus have also been gathering in large groups on the Russian side of the Chukchi Sea.

"It’s another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss," said Margaret Williams, managing director of the group’s Arctic program, by phone from Washington, D.C. "The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change."

Learn more from the Associated Press.

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The sorrows of duty,
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But let stillness fall on you
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For the world is nothing.
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