We’ve been spending quite a bit of time with our favorite fall ingredient – pumpkin – in the past few weeks. For many people, nothing captures the goodness of this celebrated squash like a pumpkin pie. Many people think of apple as the quintessential American pie – and I don’t disagree – but I have to put pumpkin right up there, too.
For some of us, our love of pumpkin pie emerges from the memories of a Thanksgiving dinner, where a bountiful table overflowed with delicious offerings. And after everyone was good and stuffed but before anyone slipped into a food coma, out came the pumpkin pie! Thanksgiving is America’s holiday, and the crowing jewel on this wonderful celebration continues to be pumpkin pie.
Basically, this is a custard pie with pumpkin mixed in, but oh what a flavor it creates! Most people have their favorite pumpkin pie recipe – long cherished and passed down. This one is mine. This is the pie my mom made year after year and in multiples. As long as this pie is on my Thanksgiving table, my mom’s love and beautiful spirit will be right there with us.
1 cup flour
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup cold shortening
5-8 TBSP ice water
Making a crust is optional. Some people don’t want to bother with this extra step, and truth-be-told even my mom got into using the pre-made roll-out crusts. She said they were as good as any crust she could make and a whole lot easier. But if I have the time, I still like to make my own crust and think it has a better texture than the pre-made.
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add shortening (it is much better if shortening is cold, so I keep mine in the fridge). Using a pastry blender (or two knives if you don’t have one) cut shortening into flour mixture until pea-sized pieces are formed. Gradually add the ice water a tablespoon or two at a time and toss gently until dough begins to bind together and forms a ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerate for at least a half hour or more.
1 can (15 oz) Pumpkin (use the pumpkin puree, NOT the pumpkin pie filling!)
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
When your pie dough is ready, roll it out and line a 9-inch deep dish pie pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat two eggs with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add entire 15 ounce can of pumpkin and mix with eggs until combined.
Add sugar, salt and spices. Mix well until combined.
Add entire 12 ounce can of evaporated milk and mix thoroughly. Pour pumpkin filling into prepared pie crust.
Carefully place pie on middle rack in preheated 425 degree oven. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake for another 45-50 minutes. A knife inserted into the middle of the pie should come out clean.
Transfer pie to cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving. Serve with whipped cream or soft vanilla ice cream or just as-is!