Normally, I hate pumpkin pie. For most of my life I could not understand why people loved this “weird” baking concoction. Then one day a neighbour came by, she had grown a pumpkin in her backyard and gave it to me. Wow! OK, Halloween was too far off to use it as a jack-o-lantern and I had never baked a pumpkin pie before and Thanksgiving was around the corner…So, I taught myself how to make a homemade pumpkin pie from scratch. Whose recipe did I turn to? Anna Olson, the baking Goddess of course!
As I took a bite from this pumpkin pie, my internal oven light turned on. Heavenly, spicy, complex yet light and mousse-y pie filling cradled in a sturdy yet flaky pie crust…this is what everyone is talking about! Click here for the recipe.
Anna suggests doing the old freeze the butter and shortening then grate them into the flour trick. I grated the butter but cut in the shortening and used a pastry cutter to get the little pieces covered with flour.
This is how I know I have added enough ice water. When I stir with a spoon I get these larger clumps and there is no longer any loose dry flour on the bottom. I bring it to a ball quickly in my hands and then cover with plastic wrap and flatten into a round disk, chilling it in the fridge for at least an hour.
On a floured cutting board I roll out the dough, turning as I go and flouring the pin and board if it starts to stick. I use a pair of kitchen scissors to cleanly cut all the way around the pie plate.
To bring the filling together I use my mixer, you could just as easily do this by hand or by hand mixer if you prefer. This time I used canned pumpkin for the filling and it turned out great. Make sure not to use pumpkin pie filling, just canned pumpkin. You want to add lots of spices into the pie filling from your own pantry! Cinnamon, molasses, nutmeg, cloves…it tastes like gingerbread, just hold the ginger. Because I love depth of flavour, I did add 3 tbsp of brandy at the very end after all the whipping cream and eggs go in.
Before putting the filling in I fluted the edges as much as possible, you can not over-flute. The filling and pastry swell in the oven, leaving you with a pretty edge. Then add the filling and bake, I had to bake it in the oven for quite a while, at least 35 minutes. You want the middle to still be a little giggly but the edges need to be firm. I always worry it is not cooked inside so I prefer to take the risk of over-baking.
I used the little leftover scraps to make details after the pie had cooled and chilled overnight. I baked them at 325F for 10 minutes but they still seemed kind of raw so I just kept baking until the bottoms browned a bit.
This is a make-ahead dessert but the payoff is huge! The pie souffles a little and there just seems to be more than enough pie for everyone. I strongly recommend making this pie a day ahead since you absolutely need to let it chill and set. My favourite part of this recipe other than the tasty results is that you do not need to blind bake the crust, this saves time in a big way. Far from the dry, pasty and weird cardboard box pumpkin pies you get at the grocery store, this pumpkin pie was moist and all-natural!
I love this recipe so much I seriously wonder if I will every try making another version of pumpkin pie? So full of flavour and depth yet light and airy, this pumpkin pie takes the cake!