The Great Pumpkin Pie

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I have completed the research and testing! This recipe from the Sally’s Baking Addiction blog is my favorite.  It’s rich and flavorful with a luxurious silky texture and is definitely a crowd pleaser. A few tips when making this one: 

• Choose your favorite pie crust. I’m partial to Melissa Clark’s All-Butter Pie Crust from the New York Times. Chilled dough is easier to work with – so be sure to follow the chilling instructions.
• This pie filling tastes amazing if you use a mix of dark and brown sugars.
• Don’t omit the pepper.  It might be the best kept secret.
• Be sure to blind bake your crust.
• Leaf pie crust cutters are available at Sur La Table or Amazon.
• Keep an eye on it in the oven. The pie will be finished when set around the edges with a slightly wiggly center.

The recipe is below and also can be found at https://sallysbakingaddiction.com

The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe

yield: 8-10 SERVINGS; 1 CUP SUGARED CRANBERRIES

prep time: 45 MINUTES

cook time: 55 MINUTES

total time: OVERNIGHT (14 HOURS – INCLUDES TIME FOR PIE DOUGH AND CRANBERRIES)

The pie crust leaves are purely for decor, you can leave those off of the pie and only make 1 pie crust. You can also leave off the sugared cranberries.

Ingredients:

 

SUGARED CRANBERRIES

  • 1 cup (120g) fresh cranberries1

  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar

  • 1 cup (240ml) water

 

PUMPKIN PIE

  • Homemade pie crust (full recipe makes 2 crusts: 1 for bottom, 1 for leaf decor)

  • one 15oz can (about 2 cups; 450g) pumpkin puree2

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1 Tablespoon (8g) cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger3

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg3

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves3

  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk (I use 1% – any is fine)

  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk

 

Directions:

  1. For the cranberries: Place cranberries in a large bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of sugar and the water to a boil and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour sugar syrup over the cranberries and stir. Let the cranberries sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight (ideal). You’ll notice the sugar syrup is quite thick after this amount of time. Drain the cranberries from the syrup and pour 1 cup of sugar on top. Toss the cranberries, coating them all the way around. Pour the sugared cranberries on a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and let them dry for at least 2 hours.

  2. Make the pie crust through step 5 according to my directions, tips, and pictures. Or use store-bought.

  3. For the pumpkin pie filling: Whisk the pumpkin, 3 eggs, and brown sugar together until combined. Add the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, cream, and milk. Vigorously whisk until everything is combined. Filling will be a little thick.

  4. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

  5. Roll out the chilled pie crust: Remove 1 disc of pie dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. Make sure to turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. With a small and sharp knife, trim the extra overhang of crust and discard. Crimp the edges with your fingers, if desired. Brush edges lightly with egg wash mixture. Using pie weights, pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes.

  6. Pour pumpkin pie filling into the warm pre-baked crust. Only fill the crust about 3/4 of the way up. (Use extra to make mini pies with leftover pie dough scraps if you’d like.) Bake the pie until the center is almost set, about 55-60 minutes give or take. A small part of the center will be wobbly – that’s ok. After 25 minutes of baking, be sure to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or use a pie crust shield to prevent the edges from getting too brown. Check for doneness at minute 50, and then 55, and then 60, etc.

  7. Once done, transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool completely for at least 3 hours. Decorate with sugared cranberries and pie crust leaves (see note). You’ll definitely have leftover cranberries – they’re tasty for snacking. Serve pie with whipped cream if desired. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

Make ahead tip: Pumpkin pie freezes well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. Pie crust dough freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. If decorating your pie with sugared cranberries, start them the night before. You’ll also begin the pie crust the night before as well (the dough needs at least 2 hours to chill; overnight is best). The filling can be made the night before as well. In fact, I prefer it that way. It gives the spices, pumpkin, and brown sugar flavors a chance to infuse and blend. It’s awesome. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

 

Recipe Notes:

  1. Fresh cranberries, not frozen. The sugar syrup doesn’t coat evenly on the frozen berries, leaving you with rather ugly and some very plain shriveled cranberries!

  2. Canned pumpkin is best in this pumpkin pie recipe. If using fresh pumpkin puree, lightly blot it before adding to remove some moisture. The bake time may be longer.

  3. About 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice can be used instead of these spices.

 

For the pie crust leaves: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the balls of chilled dough (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Roll out into any shape you really want (doesn’t matter) and 1/8 inch thickness. Using leaf cookie cutters, cut into shapes. Brush each lightly with the beaten egg + milk mixture. Cut leaf veins into leaves using a sharp knife, if desired. Place onto a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside to cool before decorating pie.