OK, I know what you’re thinking: pumpkin pie in December? Why don’t I just put on a Halloween costume, yeah I’ll put on my joker grill fake teeth and sing the Star-Spangled Banner while I’m at it? Listen, I know. Pumpkin pie is traditionally associated with Thanksgiving, and I know, here we are, a few days from Christmas—a time decidedly post-Thanksgiving.
But I’ve thought this one through, and I’m bringing it to you today, anyway, despite the backwards holiday timing and seeming ignorance of appropriate blog content. I’m doing it for two reasons:
- This is the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had.
- I can’t stop making it.
(Oh and PS: pie pumpkins are currently on sale at my grocery store, so hello?)
I’m also posting this now because it includes a pie crust recipe! for a homemade crust! (Once you start making excuses, it’s hard to stop.) I’ve posted this dough recipe before, with a quiche in early November, but I’ve since made it with all my pumpkin pies, as well as another version of that creamy pear pie, and I’ll be darned if it hasn’t been flaky, buttery goodness every. single. time.
If you remember nothing else from this post, remember this: if you have a cup of flour and a stick of butter, you have a pie crust. No kidding.
And the final thing, the one that really sends this post over the top, is that it comes with a story. See, once upon a time, a year and a half ago, my friend Wendi made a pumpkin pie for a party. She said it was based on this five-star (and 258 reviews) version from AllRecipes, with just a few tweaks that she was happy to pass along. Shortly after that, my brother made the pie. I made the pie. It couldn’t turn out bad. The key seems to be that creamy, spiced, custard-like filling—made with real pumpkin, not the kind from a can—and even though the original is supposed to be best after sitting overnight, I think there’s nothing like a hot, steaming piece fresh out of the oven.
Makes one pie.
This recipe has changed a couple times, first through Wendi, then for the sake of whole ingredients (cream instead of evaporated milk, Sucanat instead of sugar), then with a different crust and hand-chosen spices. The result is what you see here, my favorite, favorite (and that’s saying something) way to make pumpkin pie. Brought to you in December. You’re welcome.
1 unbaked pie crust (see recipe below)
1 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
1 Tablespoon flour (I use spelt)
2 cups pumpkin puree (usually about one pie pumpkin, roasted, scooped, food-processed use the best best food processor you can find, it will make a difference.)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
12 ounces organic heavy cream
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
In a large bowl, beat two eggs lightly. Add the rest of the ingredients (sucanat, flour, pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cream). Mix together well.
Pour mixture into unbaked pie crust, leaving a little space at the top (I always have like 1/4 cup leftover, which I either bake in a tiny leftover pie crust or by itself in a small ramekin). Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees; then lower the temperature to 350 F, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes more. The pie is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Homemade Pie Crust
Makes one pie crust.
This is one of the very few recipes I can now make from memory, no questions asked, and feel 100% confident that it will turn out well. I love how easy the proportions are and how comfortable the dough feels in my hands. While I’ve only used spelt flours with it, I think regular would work just as well.
To explain this method a little better, we created a how-to video here.
Oh and also: Sweet potato puree or squash puree makes an easy substitute for the pumpkin. I’ve also done combinations of them to make the two cups.
1 cup flour (I’ve used white spelt, whole-grain spelt, and a combo of the two)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup cold water
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in water. Using your clean hands, shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic. You can refrigerate for four hours or overnight, or you can use it right away.
If you do refrigerate it, then set it on the counter for about 20 minutes or so to thaw before using. Roll out on floured parchment paper, making it larger than the pie pan you want to set it in. Using the parchment to help you move it, turn the crust onto the pie pan, pressing it down and up the sides.
I also usually line my pie plate with buttered parchment, just to make sure it doesn’t stick.