Let me start by saying that this pie does require a little additional effort to make, but the filling is just magical. It is super creamy, pumpkiny and perfectly spiced. It was so good, I didn’t even miss the dollop of whipped cream I usually have on my slice. But the clincher is that Mike, who has not eaten a slice of pumpkin pie since we have been together (5+ years), has officially been converted!
When I first looked at this recipe, it seemed like there was going to be a lot of waste from half used cans; which can be slightly irritating, because I don’t like throwing food away, or feeling the need to make something else just to use up the leftovers. However, I made one change and did a little product research and got it down to only one can of excess ingredient instead of three. The first change I made was to drop the canned pumpkin down from 16oz to 15oz as 16oz did not seem to be a standard can size. This change only equated to a 0.7oz once reduction, because the can was a little over filled anyway. The second change/note I added, was to purchase the smaller 5oz can of evaporated milk – this is the perfect amount as one can contains 2/3 cup. The only excess that remained was the can of sweetened and condensed milk.
As the pumpkin cooks, it develops a deeper rust color, and helps to enhance and concentrate the flavors.
I tried the Pâte Brisée II recipe that was in the cookbook, but I had little success with it. I thought there was too little flour or too much butter; either way about 20 minutes in I had a buttery slick pouring out of the pie pan and a smoking oven (which is not fun when you have super sensitive apartment smoke alarms). So, I’ve included my tired and true Cooks Illustrated stand-by below.
Super Pumpkiny Pumpkin PieAdapted from Flour Bakery Cookbook Dough for a 9-inch single pie crust (my favorite is below or use your favorite) 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree 2/3 cup (150 grams) packed light brown sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, preferably freshly ground 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (200 grams) sweetened and condensed milk 1 5-ounce can (2/3 cup or 170 grams) evaporated milk 3 eggs 1 egg yolk 3/4 cup (180 grams) heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
While the pie shell is baking, start pumpkin filling. In a medium saucepan, stir pumpkin and brown sugar together with a wooden spoon, and place over medium low heat. Stir occasionally for 40 to 45 minutes or until the pumpkin has somewhat reduced and has become thick and dark. Remove from heat and whisk in cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolk until blended. Slowly whisk the cream into the eggs, and then add vanilla. Gradually whisk in the pumpkin mixture and continue whisking until well mixed.
Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared pie shell and bake for 55 to 60 minutes in a pre-heated 350-degree oven. It may be necessary to make a quick pie shield with aluminum foil, if the edges of the crust start to brown too much. The pie is done, when the filling is puffed around the edges and the center still has a slight wiggle. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Fully cool before refrigerating. The pie can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.
* I reduced the ground ginger by 1/2 teaspoon, as I thought 1 teaspoon would be a little overpowering. I also upped the clove factor from 1 pinch to 1/8 teaspoon since I love clove.
My No-Fail Pie CrustAdapted slightly from The New Best Recipe This can be done in a food-processor, as recommended by CI, but I prefer to do it by hand, because I think it comes out just as good, and I feel like there is a whole lot less to clean afterwards.
1 1/4 cups (6.25 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon table salt 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled 4-5 tablespoons cold water
In medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add the shortening and cut in with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture is like coarse sand. Scatter the butter over the mixture and cut in butter until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs. The butter should not be larger than small peas.
Sprinkle water over the flour mixture, and use a rubber spatula to fold and schemer the dough until it holds together, adding the remaining tablespoon of water if needed. Gather dough into a mound and wrap with plastic wrap. Form dough into a round 4-inch disk. Refrigerate for one hour, or up to two days. If you refrigerate the dough longer than an hour, you will need to let the dough rest for a few minutes on the counter, so it becomes pliable again.
Start oven pre-heating at 375 degrees. Roll the dough into a 12-inch round and fit into the 9-inch pie pan or dish. There should be about 1/2 inch of overhang in the dish; tuck the edges under and flute as desired, so the crust sticks out 1/4-inch above the dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 20 or until very cold.
Remove from refrigerator and line with heavy-duty foil or parchment paper and fill with 2 cups of ceramic, metal pie weights or beans (I used lima beans). Bake the crust for 25-30 minutes until the dough looks dry and starts to get a little color. Remove pie weights and return to the oven for an additional 5 to 6 minutes until it is light golden; transfer to wire rack and let rest until your filling is ready. If you wanted to use this recipe for a fully baked pie shell, bake for a total of 12 minutes or until a deep golden.