November 9, 2019 at 2:51 pm #19136BakerAuntParticipant
My Mom’s and My Pumpkin Pie (from Marliss Desens)
This recipe makes filling for a deep 9-inch Emile Henry ceramic pie plate
My mother made pumpkin pie every Thanksgiving when I was growing up. She used the available jack-o-lantern pumpkins (even one that had been carved for Halloween!), and the watery homemade puree filling took forever to set. I recall her repeatedly sticking knives in the center to see if the filling was done, and when it was, it left a crack. We loved them anyway, despite her move to prepared pie crust mix. I took over the pie baking when I went to college. The recipe probably came from a can of evaporated milk, a can of pumpkin, a bottle of Karo dark corn syrup, or maybe a combination of the three. I’ve adapted it over the years, most notably by deleting the water, and adjusting the filling to fit an Emile Henry pie plate. I have retained my mother’s spice combination but grate my own nutmeg. I use either a sugar (pie) pumpkin or a “peanut” pumpkin for the puree. Pre-cooking the filling is a technique I adopted from a Cooks’ Illustrated recipe. To reduce saturated fat, I now use a partially blind-baked oil pie crust, but I’ve not tried to reduce the saturated fat in the filling, since Cooks’ Illustrated states that fat is key for a custard pie to set. I don’t consider the eggs problematic, but there is 2 Tbs. butter, and full-fat evaporated milk. It’s a holiday indulgence.
9-inch partially blind-baked pie crust
2 ½ cups pumpkin puree (625g or 1 lb., 6 oz.)
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. light brown sugar, packed
1 Tbs. melted, unsalted butter
1 ½ Tbs. Karo dark corn syrup
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
Slightly heaping ½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. (9 oz.) full-fat evaporated milk
Prepare Whole Wheat Pastry Flour Oil Pie Crust or crust of your choice. Shortly before blind-baking it, prepare the filling.
Reserve the eggs. In 3-quart heavy saucepan, combine all the other ingredients. While the pie shell is partially blind-baking, heat pumpkin mixture over medium-low heat, stirring as needed, until mixture thickens and is bubbly. Remove from heat.
After pie shell comes out, proceed. Put about ½ cup of filling in a small bowl and whisk in one egg. Add this mixture to the rest of the pumpkin mixture and whisk to combine. Whisk in, separately, the other two eggs.
Pour filling into hot crust. If you have leftover filling (hey, it happens), grease a small dish and bake it as custard, adding it after you turn down the heat and removing it when set. I place the pie dish on a round pan with a hole in the center—looks like a doughnut pizza pan—so that any run over is caught, and the center of the pie can cook evenly.
Bake pie at 425F for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 350F. Turn the pie around so that crust will bake evenly. Bake 10-15 minutes longer, but start checking after 8 minutes, and at one-minute intervals, as the pie can set up quickly. Check doneness by jiggling the pie slightly; it should shimmy and shake a bit in the center. Remove from oven. I place it on a flat surface and allow it to cool. The pie filling will finish setting as it cools. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. The pie is best made at least a day in advance.December 26, 2020 at 7:34 am #28004BakerAuntParticipant
Note: I’ve adjusted the recipe by reducing the butter from 2 Tbs. to 1 Tbs. and reducing the salt from 1 tsp. to 3/4 tsp. The pie is just as delicious.
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