How to make pumpkin pie

How to make pumpkin pie

This makes one pie. You probably want two, so double everything.

PROCEDURE

PREHEAT oven to 425F. Set the rack to above the middle of the oven but not too high up.

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.
Mix wet ingredients in a different bowl.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together.

Put a pie crust in a pie shell. Make the edges all fancy looking by using a fork.

Stir the ingredients up one more time and put it in the pie shell.

Place the pie in the center of the rack.

Bake for 15 minutes
Remove pie, shut oven.
Put strips of aluminum foil around the crust to slow cooking of exposed crust.
Return pie to oven
CHANGE TEMPERATURE TO 350F

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes (usually about 47 minutes)
The pie is ready to remove from the oven when a stick or knife comes out of the center clean.
Don’t worry if there is a little bit of pumpkin pie stuff on the knife/stick. The pie is going to keep cooking for a while.

Place pie on top of stove/oven, which should be pretty warm, and let it cool slowly (on a rack or equivalent).

Eat or refrigerate, then eat.

INGREDIENTS

Dry ingredients:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt plus a pinch
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice

pumpkin-canWet ingredients:
2 extra large eggs
1 regular can of pumpkin stuff (pictured)
12 ounces of 50:50 mix of whole evaporated milk and heavy cream.

DISCUSSION

There are two main features in this recipe. First, the spices are approximately double the usual recommended spices. Second, the usual evaporated milk is partially substituted with heavy cream. You can if fact use 100% heavy cream if you like but the 60:40 to 50:50 mix of heavy cream:evaporated milk works best.

DSC_4468If you live in certain regions of the world, such as Australia, you may not be able to find a can of pumpkin puree. If so, obtain a pumpkin and cook it. Get a small cooking pumpkin for this purpose. Much up the cooked pumpkin and measure out about 15 ounces. You may mix any form of winter squash in there if you like. Some of the best pumpkin pie is only half pumpkin, the rest butternut, acorn, or the squash formerly known as “turk’s head.” (The various winter squash may have diverse local names.)

Remember the extra stir just as you are putting the ingredients in the pie shell. The dry spices tend to settle.

To help movie the pie in and out of the oven in the early stages of baking, use a flat cookie sheet in the manner that a pizza paddle is used to manage a pizza. Or use your pizza paddle if you have one.

When putting the aluminum foil strips on the crust, pinch the foil right on there to get it to stay in place and have close contact to avoid hot air circulating around the crust.

Use your favorite crust. I don’t divulge my crust recipe because it tends to enrage people and I don’t need that. But it is very good and very simple.

Comments

  1. #1 Doug Alder
    December 24, 2013

    Well Here’s my pie crust recipe (top and bottom 10″)

    220 grams sweet butter (unsalted)
    320 grams AP flour
    1 tsp Salt (if you use regular salted butter then make this a large pinch instead)
    8 to 10 Tbsp Ice Water

    Everything should be ice cold. If you have a food processor then stick the bowl and blade in the freezer for 30 minutes. The colder it is and the less you work your dough the fewer strands of gluten are formed and the flakier your crust will be. Toss butter and dry ingredients into food processor and pulse until butter/flour mix is like small peas (or if doing this by hand use a couple of knives or a pastry cutter – do not use your hands unless you are constantly dipping them in ice water – but best not to use them) Having bits of butter left is essential – as the crust cooks those lumps melt and give off steam which makes the crust flakier) Add 6 Tbsp of ice water and stir to mix add sufficient remaining ice water to bring the dough together – the actual amount will depend on the age of the flour and the water content of the butter. Roll into a ball with a couple of very quick kneads, split into two, wrap in saran wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

  2. #2 Doug Alder
    December 24, 2013

    Oh ya I forgot – happy Saturnalia to you Greg :)

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    December 24, 2013

    Excellent, I may try that.

  4. #4 adelady
    December 26, 2013

    Pumpkin pie “mix”? What weight of cooked pumpkin is this equivalent to? (For the benefit of ignoramus Aussies like me.)

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    December 26, 2013

    Just a can of pumpkin pie stuff. Do you have that in oz? We don’t even have scales in America.

  6. #6 adelady
    December 26, 2013

    I’ve only ever heard of “a can of pumpkin pie stuff”. We do have canned apple pie and apricot pie filling stuff, even though not every supermarket stocks it you can often find it lurking on a very top shelf. But pumpkin? Not that I’ve ever seen. Pumpkin is available all year round and soooo cheap, I can’t imagine why anyone would bother canning it here.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    December 26, 2013

    Yes, I’ve researched it and apparently Oz lacks canned pumpkin puree. One uses the caned product because in baking a pie you want the ingredients to be consistent across your various efforts and making your own pumpkin puree adds an element of variation (and art) to the process. Traditionally I make my own from pumpkin and squash but the recipe given here is designed to be relatively fool proof.

    The can is about 15 ounces. That’s volume, not weight. That’s 443.603 ml. You can probably round that off to 443.6!

  8. #8 adelady
    December 27, 2013

    OK. We can work with that – especially since it’s pureed. I might round off just a bit rounder.

    Though cooler weather might be a better idea. (It was 30C at 6 am today – it’s cooling down outside but I’ll wait to see what the wind change really brings.)