Since Thanksgiving is the major holiday of November (at least for a Yankee like myself), it seems appropriate to consider a classic recipe usually featured in the holiday’s gluttonous feast.
If you like food, specifically with lots of fat and sugar, then you may find Thanksgiving a holiday worth celebrating annually too. The only food item that seems even remotely healthy is the turkey.
So this time around, I have decided to focus on the dessert end of the spectrum. Pumpkin pie is easily my favourite pie. Although it’s associated with Thanksgiving, it’s delicious all year round. Pumpkin pie has found its way to a permanent place within my regular cooking cycle.
If you’ve never had it before, you may be surprised to find that pumpkin has a relatively mild flavour. This pie tastes mostly like cinnamon and when you look at the ingredients, it’s not altogether unexpected.
Pumpkin pie is best paired with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, although it’s very good by itself. This recipe includes an optional cream topping as a part of the pie.
As to the piecrust itself, the recipe I know for making piecrust is surprisingly complicated.
Instead, it can be easier to just purchase pie dough from the grocery store and often that is exactly what I do.
For the Pumpkin Pie Spice, simply combine:
4 tbsp ground cinnamon
4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp ground all-spice
For the Pie:
1 basic pie crust, rolled and fitted into pie pan
1 hokkaido (sugar) pumpkin, cut in half horizontally, with the seeds and pulp removed
150g packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for serving
1 tsp pumpkin-pie spice
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
240ml heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on baking pan, then pumpkin halves open-side down onto the foil. Bake about an hour, until tender. Scoop out insides and puree.
Press a sheet of aluminum foil onto crust, draping over rim of pie plate. To blind bake: fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until edge of crust is firm, about 20 minutes. Remove beans and foil; let crust cool completely and set aside. Reduce heat to 175 degrees.
To make the filling: in a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, pie spice, vanilla, and salt; whisk in cream. Pour mixture into cooled crust; place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until filling is set, about one hour.
Let cool on a wire rack, for one hour, and then refrigerate to cool completely – about another two hours.