Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Nothing screams Thanksgiving to me like pumpkin pie. Sure there’s turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes, but what really gets me jazzed is the pie.

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There’s something about the flavor of pumpkin that sings holiday. Growing up, a staple at our Thanksgiving dinner was homemade pumpkin pie. My grandparents would make 8-10 pies accompanied with a fresh bowl of whipped cream. The best part about the pie was that there was almost always left overs. The tasty remains served as the perfect late night snack or breakfast the following morning.

Now that I’ve moved out of state, I’ve taken on baking the pumpkin pie as my personal tradition. This year I even ventured down the road of making homemade pumpkin puree for the filling; it was so much easier than I thought!

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The recipe below will satisfy your sweet tooth without overwhelming your taste buds. The pumpkin flavor isn’t too bold and pairs perfectly with the flaky, buttery crust.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (chilled)
  • 1 cup ice water

Filling

  • 1 sugar pumpkin (1 1/2 cups will be used)
  • All-purpose flour, for work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
  • 3 large eggs

Whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Crust

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut chilled butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture.
  2. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or knife and fork. Once finished, the mixture should be crumbly and butter should be pea sized. You can also complete this step by pulsing the mixture several times in a food processor.
  3. Next, add ½ cup of the ice water and mix. Continue adding ice water one tablespoon at a time until the mixture holds together. I like to start by mixing the dough with a wooden spoon and then switch to using my hands.
  4. Gather the mixture into a ball and divide in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (ideally two!). You can also prepare the dough ahead of time; it will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

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Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Wash, de-stem, and cut the pumpkin in half. After cutting in half, remove seeds and inner gooey flesh. For a tasty snack, keep the seeds and toast separately.
  3. Oil the outside of the pumpkin and place cut-side down on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool; once cooled, remove the skin and place pumpkin flesh into a food processor. Puree until smooth.
  6. Transfer pumpkin puree to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients: salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, brown sugar, cornstarch, eggs, and evaporated milk. Whisk until well combined.

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Pie Assembly

  1. Set oven temperature to 375 degrees; roll one disk of the chilled pie dough until it forms a 14-inch round circle. Transfer dough to pie pan; trim and fold edges so that it is flush with the plan.
  2. Cover the center of the pie pan with parchment paper or foil (covering the crust) and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake shell for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove weights and parchment paper/foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes; remove the pie from the oven.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Transfer pie filling to the pre-baked pie crust and place in oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the center is set (should spring back when touched).

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