The single most requested dessert at our Thanksgiving table is pumpkin pie.
To concentrate the flavor of pumpkin pie, the pumpkin flesh is roasted before being pureed. Fresh whipped cream is a cool counterpoint to the filling’s ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie just wouldn’t feel right. Here is our version of the classic pie, plus a few tricks to help you make it the best one you’ve ever had.
Canned pumpkin puree is quick and easy to use. Don’t substitute fresh pumpkin puree; it will be too watery.
Ingredients For the Dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons milk
Ingredients For the Filling:
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or all-spice
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and mix to combine. Add the butter and continue mixing until the mixture holds together when you clump it, and there are pecan-sized lumps of butter still visible.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks and milk in small bowl.
- Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap well and store in the refrigerator for several hours.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll half of the dough into a 11 to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Line the pan with the dough and crimp the edges. Chill the pie shell for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line the pie shell with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans. Bake the shell until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and beans.
- Combine the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and spices in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend continuously until the brown sugar is completely mixed in and the puree looks glossy.
- Transfer the puree to a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir frequently until you see wisps of steam rising from the puree, then stir continuously until the mixture is very steamy and “plops” when you pause for a second. The mixture will also start to smell like spices and cooked pumpkin. Total stove time will be about 5 minutes.
- Off the heat, whisk the milk and cream into the pumpkin puree. To warm the eggs and ensure that they don’t cook when you add them to the pumpkin mixture, whisk them together in a separate bowl, then whisk in a few spoonfuls of the warm pumpkin mixture. Slowly whisk the eggs into the saucepan with the pumpkin mixture. Whisk in the vanilla.
- Place the partially-baked pie crust on a parchment-lined baking sheet and set it near the stove. Carefully pour the warm pumpkin mixture into the warm pie crust. If it looks like there’s too much filling for the crust, stop when you come close to the edge of the crust.
- Carefully transfer the baking sheet with the pie to the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 375°F. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes — until the pie is puffed in the middle, but still jiggles when you gently shake the pan. You’ll also see small cracks form in the outer part of the pie and some bubbling around the edge. Check the pie every 15 minutes or so and cover the crust with a ring of foil when it becomes deep brown.
- Let the pie cool before serving — it will continue to set as it cools. This pie can be baked a day or two ahead; wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.