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Nov 20, 2006 03:50 PM

Pumpkin Pie Questions

Hi! I am making my first pumpkin pie and have a few questions I was hoping you CH'ers could help me with. I have decided I am def. going with the whole canned Libbys pie (love the traditional ones) and I have a crust I am good at making ( a Pâte Brisée from martha) so I will use that. No prebakeing of crust (unless there is some reason I should ..?)

My questions are:

1. Do you guys use the actual recipe on the back of the can or do you use another recipe? I was thinking the brown sugar pumpkin pie martha ( ).

2. On the back of Libby's can they call for evaporated milk. Could I subsitute this with heavy cream? Does either taste better? For some reason I seem to be against evaporated milk ... probably because I have never used it and kinda wonder what it is...

3. I tend to play with spices and increase them / add others in. Some recipes call for cloves and others allspice (as well as cinnamon and ginger of course). Any favorites? could I use both or would that be crazy?

Thank you so much for reading this and any advice you could give me!!!

- Young Chowhounder

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  1. I have pretty much used the recipe on the back of the can, no sense fooling around with what most people find perfect. Eveporated milk is whole milk that has been cooked to remove some of the water and make it thicker so you could use half and half or light cream in its place. Pumpkimn pie spice, pre blended is a combo of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. I think whatever combo you like will work just fine.

    You should brush the unbaked pastry with either shortening or egg white before filling. It helps to keep the pie fillilng from getting the crust soggy.

    1. I agree with Candy. The Libby's recipe is perfect. Every other pumpkin pie I have tried does not come close. Just try it.

        1. #2. I've tried heavy cream in place of evaporated milk and the result was a very rich pumpkin pie filling (as you might expect). While it didn't detract from the taste, it certainly didn't add anything to it either. I agree with Candy to go with half & half.

          With regards to spices, I always add a bit more nutmeg than what the recipe calls for because I love the fragrance of nutmeg. If you can, try to get whole nutmeg (you'll need a grater or microplane). I find that the flavor is rounder, deeper than the already-ground nutmeg. The mix of spices in the Libby's recipe is a tried & true winner; you can't go wrong with it.

          Does Martha's pate brisee recipe require you to pre-bake the crust? There might be "shrinkage" of the pastry, so be prepared for that.

          Good luck and have fun!

          1. I prefer the taste of heavy cream in a pumpkin pie. I like the back o' can one just fine, but I am looking forward to making a really great pie with cream flavor that really carries and a far superior texture from this recipe, via Dorrie Greenspans new book Baking from My House to Yours. I made this a few days ago. It seems to produce quite a bit of liquid and makes a high pie, so I baked it in a straight sided springform pan. Your crust sounds really nice, but you may have extra filling in a regular pie pan.

            I don't like overspiced pies because I like the taste of pumpkin to come through, but I agree that using freshly grated nutmeg makes a big difference.