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Pumpkin Pie Questions

s
salmon Nov 20, 2006 03:50 PM

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 ( http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht... ).

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

  1. Candy Nov 20, 2006 04:23 PM

    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. b
      browniebaker Nov 20, 2006 04:42 PM

      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. s
        salmon Nov 20, 2006 04:47 PM

        thanks so much!

        1. c
          cuppamud Nov 20, 2006 04:54 PM

          #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. c
            coconutz Nov 20, 2006 06:01 PM

            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.

            1. b
              ben61820 Nov 20, 2006 06:51 PM

              Pumpkin Pie, Squared
              Crust:
              2 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
              1/4 cup butter, melted
              1 tbsp sugar
              Filling:
              3 large eggs, room temperaure
              1 - 15-oz. can pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
              1 cup brown sugar
              1 tsp ground cinnamon
              1/2 tsp ground allspice
              1/4 tsp ground cloves
              1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
              1/2 tsp salt
              1/2 tsp vanilla extract
              2/3 cup milk (any kind)

              Preheat oven to 350F.
              Combine all crust ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to combine. Press into the bottom of an 8-in square baking pan and bake for 12-14 minutes, until just beginning to brown at the corners.
              Set aside to cool completely.

              Turn up oven temperature to 425F.
              In a large bowl, beat eggs until slightly foamy, about 1 minute. Whisk in all the remaining ingredients, except the milk, and beat until smooth. Then whisk in the milk.
              Pour mixture into cooled pie crust and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the pie jiggles only slightly and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
              Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting and refrigerate if storing leftovers.

              Makes 9 good-sized pieces.

              NOTES 11-6-2006:
              Came out delicious. I used soy milk and all sucanat sugar. I also substituted about 1/4 of the soy milk with maple syrup. I also, due to the same thing, only put 3/4 cup sugar into the filling.
              I baked it for the full 40 minutes and it is totally and completely fine BUT I think maybe I could have baked it for only 35-ish and been fine too. Delicious. Not too sweet at all, tho.

              1. Caitlin McGrath Nov 21, 2006 02:26 AM

                I, too, like the back-of-the-can recipe very much, and I do use evaporated milk. I do prefer to make it with brown sugar, which I think complements the flavor of the pumpkin very well.

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