My radio talk show co-host convinced me that I needed to try making pumpkin pie made from real pumpkin this Thanksgiving. I had read that real pumpkin makes a much better pie than the canned variety but hadn’t spoken with anyone who had actually tried it. When Matthew told me both his friend and his friend’s mom said his pumpkin pie was the best pie they had ever had, I was convinced real pumpkin could turn me into a pumpkin pie lover instead of hater. It did. My recipe is based on one found at simplyrecipes.com.
- 5 c. pumpkin purée from a sugar or pie pumpkin
- 1 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
- 1 c. packed dark brown sugar
- 2/3 c. white sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 T. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- pinch of freshly ground dried whole cloves
- pinch of freshly ground dried whole cardamom
- zest of 1 lemon
- pie crust (I used a Cream Cheese Pie Dough recipe + 1 T. sugar)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare pie shell as directed to fit into a 10 to 11-inch deep-dish pie pan.
- Beat the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix into eggs sugar, salt, spices and lemon zest. Stir in the pumpkin purée, cream and milk. Whisk together until well incorporated – mixture will be very thin.
- Pour mixture into prepared pie shell and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake 60 to 80 additional minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack until nearly room temperature. Serve with whipped cream.
After a huge Thanksgiving meal this year I was so obtusely full I couldn’t even think about eating pumpkin pie. I actually felt so sick I crawled into bed. Eventually my curiosity won out over my distended stomach and I convinced my sister, former pumpkin pie hater, to try just a bite of the pie.
After trying one bite my sister pulled a plate from my cupboard to cut her very own tiny piece of pie. Both of us agreed it was the best pumpkin pie we had ever had – and that we would eat this pie again.
The next day I had to work. No joke. Unlike the rest of corporate America, my company does not designate the day after Thanksgiving a holiday. So I schlepped into work with the rest of the pie in hand to share with all the poor fools who, like me, could not request the day off due to the overwhelming business need for our attendance on black Friday.
The pie got rave reviews. Every person who previously thought pumpkin pie was rather ho-hum was mesmerized by my creation. Existing pumpkin pie lovers rejoiced. One guy, resident pie-eating champ, had three pieces.