Friday, October 8, 2010

Sugared Cinema: Waitress (2007)

 For Jenna, pie is therapy.  She finds solace in creating pies that mirror her life's miseries while working as a waitress at Joe's Pie Diner.

I Hate My Husband Pie - You make it with bittersweet chocolate and don’t sweeten it.  You make it into a pudding and drown it in caramel…

Pregnant Miserable Self-Pitying Loser Pie – Lumpy oatmeal with fruitcake mashed in.  FlambĂ©ed, of course.

I Can't Have No Affair Because It's Wrong and I Don't Want Earl to Kill Me Pie - Vanilla custard with banana.  Hold the banana…

When Jenna (Keri Russell) unexpectedly gets pregnant, she (unenthusiastically) accepts the news while trying to devise a plan to escape her abusive and controlling douche of a husband, Earl.  At her first doctor's appointment, she meets the sweet but awkward Dr. Pomatter, played by Nathan Fillion.  Their conflicting personalities and unfulfilling lives result in a budding, undeniable chemistry.

Waitress was written and directed by Adrienne Shelly, who died tragically before the movie was screened at the Sundance Film Festival.  The cast includes Cheryl Hines, Andy Griffith, Jerermy Sisto as Earl (you might remember him "rolling with the homies" in Clueless) and Shelly herself as Dawn, Jenna's friend and fellow waitress at the diner. 

Today's recipe is my interpretation of a pie Jenna makes for Dr. Pomatter.  It's one of my favorite scenes in the movie, one that turned me into a newfound Keri Russell fan (I never did get into Felicity.)

 Naughty Pumpkin Pie

I used the tried-and-true recipe right on the back of the Libby's pumpkin can but made a few adjustments.  To deepen the flavor (and to live up to its name), I used brown sugar instead of white sugar and, of course, added alcohol.  You can use bourbon, rum or even vanilla vodka.

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 (15 oz.) can pure pumpkin
3 Tablespoons liquor (I used Captain Morgan spiced rum)
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 9-inch deep dish pie shell or 2 9-inch regular pie shells, unbaked

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a bowl.  

 I went for heaping amounts here.  I like my pumpkin pie to be zesty.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.

Add the pumpkin and spice mixture and stir well.

Stir in the alcohol.  Muahaha.

 I can see my reflection in there.  I feel like there is something symbolic to be said here.  Anyway, PIE!

Add the evaporated milk and mix well.  If you're worried about the pie getting too runny, omit the amount of alcohol used from amount of milk poured in.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie shell(s) and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the center passes the knife test.  Let cool for 2 hours.

To up the "naughty" factor, I added a dollop of rum whipped cream (whip together heavy cream + confectioner's sugar + a splash of rum) and drizzled on some melted semisweet chocolate.

I think Dr. Pomatter would approve.

Have a great weekend, everyone.  If you can, try to watch Waitress.  It really is a terrific movie, one of my Top 10, even.  And if you can't, least try to squeeze in a slice of pie.


  1. i love that movie. wonderful recipe!

  2. Oh man. You rock. Waitress, a Clueless reference and pie, PIE! I don't even care too much for pie but oh baby, I want pie.

  3. That looks like a ridiculous pie. BUT... Canned pumpkin in October? I call foul ;)

    Never seen Waitress before. Don't think Amanda has either... adding it to the queueueue now.

  4. Ali, love this movie. Wish I had it on dvd because I bet it has killer behind the scenes bonus features. Now I have a hankering for some pie.

  5. Lora - Such a great movie. And thanks :D

    Margie - that Elton reference was for you, homeslice.

    Liam - hahaha, you should see my pantry. Stocked with canned pumpkin (well, 3 cans.) I really do want to learn how to use fresh pumpkin. Thanks for the link!

    Wendi - the pie scenes are terrible to watch on an empty stomach. I may watch the movie tonight, pie in lap.

  6. YIPPEE!

    Have you been watching Juno?

  7. I'm giddy. Waitress, pumpkin pie (PIE!), rum, Clueless. All of that and you were even able to slip in a douche name calling. Perfect Post, Ali.

  8. Christine - thanks lady :D Earl is definitely worthy of the douche title.

  9. ooh I love this! I absolutely adore the movie Waitress and I have been searching for a new, better than average pumpkin pie recipe. Thank you!

  10. Ali, can we be friends? You are stinking clever and make the most amazing treats!
    Ps. I'm loving your modifications of the typical pumpkin pie recipe. Brilliant!

  11. LOL @ Earl the douche...absolutely nailed that! Personally I thought her pie was too "nice" for him even... it should've been something poisonous (good ol' poison apple pie).. but at least the end was good :D Great movie and loving the recipe idea!!

  12. I'm loving the additions of the brown sugar, rum and chocolate drizzle. I can't wait to make it...and that rum whipped cream looks luscious! I want a slice of naughty pumpkin pie with EXTRA drunk whipped cream please :)

  13. Erin - thanks! Always nice to see you on here :)

    Katie - only if you promise to make me a tater tot casserole. That's the deal, missy.

    Mae Belle - "I will flatten your sorry ass." Ha! Jenna is my hero.

    Christa - trust me, you will be sneaking bites of the drunk whipped cream (sans pie even) at the most random times :D

  14. That is a great movie. And a naughty pumpkin pie would be a fantastic substitute for thanksgiving. With all the family fun. Oh and your road trip looks like fun. Especially the beer stops.

  15. What's so naughty about the pie? I don't get it.