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Easy Pumpkin Pie, Please?

DaisyM Nov 5, 2008 12:04 PM

My husband has to work on Thanksgiving and I'd really like to suprise him with a homemade pumpkin pie when he finally gets home. I'm not a big fan of pumpkin pie and would appreciate a really good (and easy recipe). I'm going to be honest...I'll be buying the pie crust because I really fear screwing it up.

So, if you would please share your favorite, no fail recipe I'd really appreciate it. Thank you.

  1. t
    TerriL Nov 7, 2008 05:31 PM

    Hi Daisy,

    I recently posted a terrific pumpkin pie recipe. Like you, I'm not a fan, but this recipe made me rethink that. It might be because it calls for coconut milk instead of evaporated milk. Due to popular demand, I made it 4 times in the past 10 days (2x with fresh pumpkin and 2x with canned). I also lightly pre-bake the pie crust to keep it from getting soggy.

    Here's the recipe:

    1 fresh sugar pie pumpkin, steamed or roasted, pureed and drained to yield ~ 2 cups pumpkin OR 1 can pumpkin puree

    2 eggs

    1.5 cups coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen organic)

    1/4 cup granulated sugar

    1/4 packed brown sugar

    1 t vanilla

    1/2 heaping t cinnamon

    1/2 t fresh nutmeg

    1/2 t salt

    1/4 t allspice

    14 t cardamom

    1 t cornstarch

    Mix the pumpkin and the eggs, then add the other ingredients and mix well. Pour filling into pie crust and bake for 15 minutes at 425F, then ~ 50 minutes more at 350F, until the insides are no longer super-shaky. Cool for a couple hours before eating.

    A link to my original post:

    1 Reply
    1. re: TerriL
      DaisyM Nov 8, 2008 05:00 AM

      These recipes sound so good. I will try another and report back. I recently picked up Vietnamese Cassisa Cinnamon from Penseys for the first time. I wonder if this had anything to do with "the best pumpkin pie" verdict. That cinnamon is so much better then what I've gotten in grocery stores.

    2. k
      Kelli2006 Nov 7, 2008 05:12 PM

      This pie doesn't require a pastry crust and is typically made with a purchased graham crust.

      walnut pumpkin pie
      1 Prue-made graham pie crust.
      1 15oz canned pumpkin (unseasoned)
      1 14 oz. can sweetened and condensed milk
      1 large egg
      1 1/4 cinnamon
      1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger, nutmeg, and salt
      1/4 cup packed brown sugar
      2 tablespoons flour
      2 tablespoons butter
      3/4 cup chopped walnuts

      preheat oven to 425°

      In a mixing bowl combine pumpkin, sweetened and condensed milk, egg, 3/4 tsp of the cinnamon, and all of the ginger nutmeg and salt. Mix well and pour into the pie crust. bake for 15 minutes.

      reduce oven temp to 325°

      In a small bowl combine sugar, flour, remaining cinnamon,cut in butter until crumbly. Add walnuts and mix. Sprinkle this mixture over the pie and bake for an additional 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the pie comes out clean. Cool for 3-4 hours or overnite before serving with whipped cream.

      Refrigerate the leftovers.

      1. roxlet Nov 6, 2008 07:17 AM

        I always follow the recipe on the Libby's pumpkin can. It is simple and classic, and everyone is really disappointed when I make anything else. Thanksgiving means pies, and I also always do the Joy of Cooking pecan pie, and an apple pie. If there is a crowd, I will make a 4th, and this is where I experiment!

        5 Replies
        1. re: roxlet
          DaisyM Nov 7, 2008 01:04 PM

          Pie is still in the oven and was already told that I'm the "best wife in the world". Hey, that's pretty great and he hasn't even tasted it. I used the Libby's recipe, but will "test" another one of your suggestions before Thanksgiving. Thank you for the recipes AND encouragement!

          1. re: DaisyM
            DaisyM Nov 7, 2008 03:53 PM

            The verdict: "The best pumpkin pie I've ever had". Thanks everyone!

            1. re: DaisyM
              Nyleve Nov 7, 2008 05:17 PM

              Good going! Congratulations on this momentous occasion.

              1. re: DaisyM
                roxlet Nov 8, 2008 03:43 AM

                Glad it worked, DaisyM. Sometimes the old standards are truly the best and everything else is tantamount to gilding the lily!

                1. re: DaisyM
                  janniecooks Nov 8, 2008 04:50 AM

                  So glad you succeeded; sometimes it's just not worth messing with tradition!

            2. Antilope Nov 5, 2008 10:28 PM

              We make this recipe every Thanksgiving:

              No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

              1 Reply
              1. re: Antilope
                DaisyM Nov 6, 2008 05:31 AM

                I'm just not a fan of pumpkin pie....but my husband LOVES it and I'd like to make one for him....especially since he has to work on Thanksgiving. So, I'm going to try one of your recipes and make it Saturday for our first date anniversary since he has to work Saturday, too. He's a great husband and a great physician....just wish I got to see him more!

              2. rworange Nov 5, 2008 08:59 PM

                What is it you don't like about pumpkin pie? I'm just wondering if there is something that can be done to make you happy with the pie as well.

                Usually at Thanksgiving dinner I have a few people who are not Americans. Over the years the one thing that has been consistant is non-American's hate pumpkin pie. I haven't tried this one yet, since I usually buy a pumpkin pie for me and another dessert for thos who might not be thrilled with pumpkin pie. However, this Wolfgang Puck recipe looks interesting. Puck says " I'll be the first to admit that I didn't like it when I first came to the United States. It struck me as too sweet, and the smooth, spiced filling seemed slightly monotonous".

                I think that is it for my non American guests too. Pumpkin pie is too bland. Anyway, here's the Puck recipe

                And even Puck gives permission to use a frozen pie crust. You might ask on your local board where to buy the best prepared pie crust in your area. Often bakeries will sell pie crust and they are better than some of the stuff with the chemical list of ingrediants in the supermarket. There are also some good brands in supermarkets as well. I just asked this question on the SF board and I'd link to it but most of iit is very local about bakeries and restaurants selling the crust

                2 Replies
                1. re: rworange
                  janetofreno Nov 5, 2008 09:34 PM

                  Once many, many years ago my father invited some of his foreign students to our house for Thanksgiving dinner. I think they were from England, but I'm not positive. Anyway, they enjoyed the meal, but refused to eat the pumpkin pie. To them, pie could only be made from "fruit", and pumpkin was not a proper fruit....(The irony being of course that I think pumpkin IS a fruit, at least botanically....is it not?)

                  It does appear to be a uniquely American dish. I solve the pumpkin vs. apple argument that comes up every Thanksgiving by making both. There are staunch supporters of both in our family. BTW, I'm one of those who prefers pumpkin pie the next day, especially for breakfast.....

                  1. re: rworange
                    Nyleve Nov 6, 2008 06:19 AM

                    For me, it's not the blandness but the cloves and molasses. Too - I don't know - just too. But I admit I hate cloves, period. They belong nowhere except, possibly, stuck into an orange and hung in a closet. And even there...

                  2. b
                    btnfood Nov 5, 2008 07:22 PM

                    Don't overlook the Muirhead pumkin pecan butter sold at Williams-Sonoma. It is a little pricey, but all you do is add a few beaten eggs and heavy cream or evaporated milk, and the result is outstanding. I think it's one of the best pumpkin pies I've ever tasted.

                    When I first tasted this at a W/S demo, they used a Keebler prebaked shortbread pie shell, which tasted great. (If you decide to use this type of pie shell, it is pretty shallow, so you will only need 2/3 of the filling recipe).

                    1. geminigirl Nov 5, 2008 03:41 PM

                      here is an option, i think I made it once before as an experiment, but I am not a pumpkin pie person, so I'm not a good judge...but it is easy and that's what you asked for:)


                      1. greygarious Nov 5, 2008 03:41 PM

                        If you aren't making homemade crust, don't waste your time - just buy one at a good bakery.

                        Traditional homemade crust is not all that hard and for pumpkin pie, easier than trying to nicely crimp edges for a double-crust pie. You can patch tears. If you don't have a food processor, freeze the butter and/or stick Crisco and grate on large holes of a box grater. You won't have to work much to incorparate the butter that way.

                        Alternatively, here is a technique for no-roll, No Fear Pie Crust, for one 9" crust:
                        1-1/4 c AP flour
                        2 tbsp sugar
                        1/4 tsp salt
                        8 tbsp pats of cool unsalted butter (1 stick)
                        2 oz. cream cheese, cool, cubed
                        Mix dry ingredients. Lightly coat pyrex pan with baking spray. With elecrtic mixer, beat butter and cream cheese well, for 2 min. Add flour, beat on med-low 20 seconds. Scrape. Beat on med-high 30 seconds, scrape again. You want large, well-blended clumps. Reserve 3 tbsp dough. Turn the rest onto a floured surface in a ball, flatten to 6" diamester. Put it into the pan, and with the floured heed of your palm, press dough evenly into the pan and up the sides, holding it up to the light to make sure it is of even thickness. Place the remaining dough on the flour, and with your palms roll and stretch it into a 12" long rope. Cut it in thirds crosswise, and coll each into a thinner, 8" long rope. Press these into the dough around the edge of the pan and flute with fingertips or a fork. Prick the bottom and sides, refrigerate 1 hour before filling and baking.

                        1. d
                          DaisyM Nov 5, 2008 01:20 PM

                          I can do this! Just a stupid question....is pumpkin pie best served the day after it is made or the same day?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: DaisyM
                            Nyleve Nov 5, 2008 03:21 PM

                            I like to serve pumpkin pie the same day. Let it cool, though, before serving. I bake the pies in the morning, before putting the turkey in the oven. There's nothing wrong with a pumpkin pie the next day, of course, but fresh it's fantastic. But whatever you do, serve it with home-made whipped cream - not spray can stuff.

                            1. re: DaisyM
                              Morganna Nov 6, 2008 06:59 AM

                              This is purely a personal taste thing. I prefer my pumpkin pie the day after and thoroughly chilled. I make my pies the night before thanksgiving for this reason. But everyone's different and there's no "rule" about. :)

                              1. re: DaisyM
                                another_adam Nov 7, 2008 01:39 PM

                                We *definitely* enjoy pumpkin pie better when it's had a chance to sit and "find itself"-- the flavor of the spices comes through much better (just like quickbreads, etc.) I'm also a fan of the Libby pumpkin pie recipe, but our recent go-to recipe is the "Spiced Pumpkin Pie" recipe on epicurious.com-- rich and nicely spiced.


                              2. j
                                janniecooks Nov 5, 2008 01:16 PM

                                nothing wrong with frozen pie crust! just follow the recipe on the back of the can of pumpkin puree - my mom always bought Libby's brand, I think, and always used that recipe. Simple and good and traditional. The recipe nyleve posted seems familiar, like the one on the can.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: janniecooks
                                  jenhen2 Nov 5, 2008 03:39 PM

                                  I agree. We always had this pie in my house and everyone loves it!

                                2. n
                                  Nyleve Nov 5, 2008 12:43 PM

                                  Here is my favourite, easiest recipe for pumpkin pie. I'll be honest, I don't like most pumpkin pies because I don't like heavy spicing or molasses. This one is very lightly spiced and made with honey which gives it a really luscious flavour. Not too eggy, either. You throw the whole business into the blender and then pour into the unbaked prepared shell. I use home-made pumpkin puree, but canned is fine. Oh and if you possibly can find a larger deep dish or 10-inch shell, it'll work best. There may be a bit too much filling for a regular 9-inch shell.

                                  2 eggs
                                  1-3/4 cups pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
                                  3/4 cup honey
                                  1 tsp. cinnamon
                                  1/2 tsp. ginger
                                  1/2 tsp. nutmeg
                                  1 cup canned evaporated milk
                                  1/2 cup regular milk
                                  1 unbaked 9 or 10-inch (23 or 25 cm) pastry shell

                                  Preheat the oven to 425o F

                                  Place all the ingredients into the container of a blender and blend until smooth. (If you are using a 9-inch/23 cm pie shell, you may have a bit more filling than you need - use the extra to fill a few tart shells or bake in a custard cup as a bonus dessert.)

                                  Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425o F then lower the heat to 350o F and continue baking for another 45 minutes, or until a knife slipped into the center of the pie comes out clean.

                                  Cool to room temperature before serving with plenty of whipped cream.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Nyleve
                                    todao Nov 5, 2008 03:15 PM

                                    How about really surprising him with a home made crust?
                                    Here's a "no miss" pie crust recipe that my wife uses (don't tell her I disclosed it or I'm in BIG trouble)

                                    3 cups AP flour
                                    1 tsp salt
                                    1 ¼ cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
                                    1 egg, well beaten
                                    5 Tbsp water
                                    1 Tbsp Vinegar

                                    Place flour in large bowl (dip/level/pour - but don’t pack it down in the measuring cup; just dip and level off with the back of a knife)
                                    Add salt, whisk briefly
                                    Add shortening and, using a pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the flour until the mix resembles pea sized (or a bit smaller) pieces.
                                    In a small bowl, combine the salt, water and vinegar.
                                    Add to the flour mixture and combine, using your hands, to form a soft dough.
                                    Try not to handle the dough too much. Just enough to bring everything together.
                                    Form the dough into a ball, cut the ball into fourths, wrap each piece in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour.
                                    Remove from fridge, roll out one of the balls of dough on a lightly floured board and transfer to pie baking dish.
                                    Flute the edges, pour in your prepared pumpkin custard and bake according to recipe instructions.

                                    Makes 2 double crust pies

                                    For baked shells, bake at 475 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes (remember to weight the bottom

                                    Depending on whose oven I'm using, I sometimes put a strip of aluminum foil over the outer edge of the crust while baking a pumpkin pie and leave it there for 3/4 of the cooking time before removing it to brown. Some ovens are inaccurate and I don't want to over-brown the crust.

                                    You CAN do this ....

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