‘Tis the season! We’ve decked the halls with cobwebs and pumpkins, and are so ready for the final confrontation between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers in 2018’s Halloween, directed by David Gordon Green.
John Carpenter’s original Halloween film (1978), is iconic. We get the fearsome, stalky villain that launched a thousand slashers, the original Scream Queen, goddess Jamie Lee Curtis, and the spooky synth soundtrack that became a genuine classic. The film is almost beyond reproach. Almost.
The one problem…it doesn’t feel like Halloween at all! The houses are barely decorated, and a few half-hearted trick-or-treaters do not a proper Halloween make. Most of the lack of seasonal feel comes from the fact that though it’s set in the Midwest in October, it was filmed in Southern California in May. The film crew struggled to find pumpkins, used artificial fall leaves on streets lined with fully green trees, and every once in a while you even get a glimpse of a palm.
Here’s hoping the new film is every bit as scary and trope-y as the first, but pumped up with pumpkin spice! To honor the original, we’re making a pumpkin pie – the official pie of Illinois (which also happens to include our fictional town of Haddonfield) – marbled with California citrus. And not just any citrus: Myers, I mean Meyer, lemons. Meyer lemons are sweeter and less sharp than your basic lemons, but they aren’t quite in season – so if you have trouble finding them, using a mixture of lemon and orange works as well. The pie has a very snappy gingersnap crust, which is unfussy and compliments the filling well. There’s also a ribbon of pomegranate molasses flowing through, a quite autumnal ingredient with a gorgeous color that I never miss a chance to use. It works particularly well here to evoke blood. Slice with a BIG SHARP KNIFE and serve!
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Myers Lemon Pumpkin Pie
For the crust
9 ounces gingersnap cookies
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Heat oven to 350°. In a food processor, blitz the cookies to crumbs, then add melted butter and pulse several times to combine. Press into a greased 9 inch glass pie plate, using the heel of your hand to flatten and gently spread it up the sides of the plate, and toast in the oven for 10 minutes until golden. Cool slightly before filling.
For the pumpkin mixture
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup flour
Using a hand mixer or whisk, blend together pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, butter, eggs, vanilla, and heavy cream. Sift flour into the mixture and blend until combined.
For the citrus cream cheese
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons Meyer lemon zest (or a combination of lemon and orange zest)
2 teaspoons Meyer lemon juice (or a combination of lemon and orange juice)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Using a hand mixture, blend all ingredients.
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (you can purchase this at a Middle Eastern grocer, or make it yourself by boiling down pomegranate juice to about a third of its volume and cooling)
Pour pumpkin mixture into pie crust. Spoon cream cheese mixture over top and use a knife to marble it into the mixture. Drizzle pomegranate molasses on top and give it a last swirl with the knife before putting in the oven, at 350° for 50 minutes until just set.
Allow to cool at least 3 hours and even better, overnight, before serving.