Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Favorite Pumpkin Pie Recipe

 My messy workspace when I'm baking

As you can see, I'm not a neat and tidy baker. I do what I have to do, and my cookbook and floor suffer temporarily for it. But the finished product comes out okay, and that's what's important.

Pumpkin pies can be nasty. Have you ever been to a potluck dinner where the pumpkin pie is watery, or you can see lines of separation in the filling? That is not a good sign. A good pumpkin pie has a dense, uniform filling and a flaky, tender crust. IMHO of course. But to ensure that you get a good pumpkin pie, you might just have to make it yourself. :-)

Three things I've found helpful for making pie crusts:
1. A marble rolling pin
2. A rolling pin stocking, so that, when floured, your crust is less likely to stick to the countertop
3. A pastry blender, that little tool that looks like several U-shaped wires held together with a handle.

 'My daughter has baked five pies today,'
Actually, it was only three, but I'm always reminded of the story of Rumplestiltskin when I've baked more than one pie!

My Very Favorite Pumpkin Pie Recipe: 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Crust for 9" pie:

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. shortening AND 1/4 c. soft REAL butter
Appx. 6 T. cold water

Filling for 9" pie:
2 eggs, beaten with a wire whisk
1 can pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk (do NOT use cream or condensed milk or other milk)
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. cloves

First, the crust:
Put the flour, salt, and shortening/butter in a bowl. Use a pastry blender to combine them all until the mixture is very fine, which is KEY. Sprinkle the cold water throughout the mixture, using a fork to fluff the mixture and get the water spread throughout. Form this mixture into a ball.

Dust the countertop area with flour and roll out your crust. A thin crust is nice, so try not to get it thicker than 1/8 inch. Using a metal spatula, loosen the crust from the counter and fold it in half before lifting it to your 9" glass pie plate.

Pour pumpkin mixture into the unbaked crust. It's easier if you set the pie plate on the oven rack and then pour the mixture into it. That helps avoid slopping the mixture over the crust.

Caveat:  After reading Judy S.'s comment below, I decided I'd better modify the above. What's works best for me is to fill the pie crust nearly full, move it to the oven rack, THEN finish filling it. DON'T try to do this with the rack pulled out, for it will no doubt result in the disaster that she (and I) have experienced when you try to push the rack back to position.

Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 350 and bake for nearly an hour. A knife inserted into the pumpkin at this point should come out clean, which indicates that it's done.

If you're worried about the crust getting too dark, you can cover the outer crust with strips of aluminum foil, but I'm warning you, it's not easy to get them to stay on.

When the pie is done, move it from the oven to a rack. Let it cool, and if you're not going to use the pie in the next couple hours, be sure to refrigerate it. Do not cover with plastic, for it will cause the pumpkin to sweat. Cover it with a paper towel instead.

Pie Crust Strips

This is what I do with any leftover unbaked crust. Form all those scraps into a ball, roll it out, and cut it into strips. Then sprinkle them with a bit of sugar and cinnamon. When the pies are done, bake the strips for 10+ minutes. It always seems to vary, so just keep an eye on them.

If you're worried about the filling spilling over in the oven, you can use a 10" pie plate for this same recipe.

This is a great addition to your Thanksgiving dinner! :-) And you probably won't have as big a mess to clean up as I did.


...and more!

Check out all my soaps at



Allison @ Alli 'n Son said...

I love making cinnamon pie crust strips. The crust is my favorite part of a pie. Yours sound great!

Angela said...

So...this is what you'll be making here in two weeks, right? :D

Tammy said...

Okay, I am hungry now! They look so yummy!
You make soaps?! Must check that out. My hubby wants me to try that, but I just don't have a desire to go down that lane yet:)

Marti said...

Your pumpkin pies look great! Mine were awful, so I have resorted to using my mother-in-laws recipe called Pumpkin Peace Pipe Pie. It's made with ice cream. I'll take some pic when I make it next week.

Ruth Kelly said...

I've never seen a stocking over a rolling pin before. Very interesting. Your pies sound wonderful - I on the other hand am not a pie maker. My grandmother made wonderful pies - pumpkin pie with real whip cream, berry pie and mincemeat pie as well as suet pudding for Thanksgiving. It makes my mouth water thinking about her cooking.

Denise said...

Yummy in our tummys.

Rachel said...

My sister LOVES pumpkin pie. She loves anything pumpkin flavored actually!! I should give her this recipe.

Glad that I was missed. I'm doing a little better. I will have to see a chiropractor though. :( Wrecks are no fun!!

Have a great day!!


Bethany Nash said...

Another option for keeping the crust from getting too dark: http://www.amazon.com/Andersons-Baking-10-inch-Silicone-Shield/dp/B001IZ7RDY/ref=pd_sim_sbs_k_2

Yenta Mary said...

Judy, those are SO gorgeous!!! I can practically smell and taste them. And I certainly WISH I could smell and - especially - taste them!

Candace said...

What a beautiful pie, Judy! I love the idea of making the pie crust strips. They all look delicious!

Judy S. said...

Your comment to set the pie plate on the oven rack and then pour the mixture into it reminded me of my first pumpkin pie when I did just that. The filling went into the crust, up over the sides, and down into the bottom of the oven in the blink of an eye. It was pretty messy and well before self-cleaning ovens, but I think of that whenever I see pumpkin pie. LOL

Tiffanee said...

This is so perfect! Pumpkin is hubby's fave and I have never made one. I am so using your recipe for Thanksgiving!! Thanks!!

Unknown said...

I did not find my love for pumpkin pie until well into my 20's... now, as long as there is a little whipped cream to be had.. I'm all over pumpkin pie! Yours look wonderful.... dare I say perfect?? :)
My mom used to take the left over pie crust parts and do the same thing as you, except she would roll it up and make them into pie cinnamon roll type things.. they were so good!!!

Cranberry Morning said...

Please note the 'caveat' above. Judy S.'s comment reminded me that I'd better add that. Thanks Judy!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

I love pumpkin pie but I REALLY love those strips!!! Genius!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

Empty Nester said...

O.M.Gee-osh! Look at your pie crusts!!! I am so jealous! I just don't have the patience I guess. And those strips! I'm hungry now.

Unknown said...

Looks amazing! I love pumpkin pie :)

About the videos.
Here is the thing. In France i had 9 years of English at school. So I was prepared even though i could not speak because you have to practice.
what i would say is to buy the basics to learn the language. Some DVD have the French option already. Also there is some French movies out there to rent. Although i warn you. Most of them are super sexual.
I heard that Rosetta stone is pretty good??

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the recipe! I've never made a pumpkin pie before but my oldest really wants to try one this year. I'll have to give it a try.

A-Tisket A-Tasket

Unknown said...

I LOVE pumpkin pie!!! And I couldn't agree more about a pastry blender. They are so nice... and to think when I bought mine it was just something that "I guess I'll give a try"

Life Happens said...

I have never made pie crust from scratch before (I know, I'm lame). I love a good pumpkin pie. Yous looks delish!

Unknown said...

I love pumpkin pie! The strips look awesome!! Thanks for linking up to 2 Maids a Baking!!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Judy, those are some pretty pies! I so agree with you, pumpkin pie can be just awful. I never order it out. When I'm making it for just my husband and me, I use only 1/4 cup of sugar! We love it that way, but I don't try it out on guests!

Marilyn said...

I love pumpkin..This is such a wonderful recipe..I will be trying it soon.Yummy..I'm officially following ya via making the world cuter..Would love for you to stop in and visit me sometime via http://theartsygirlconnection.blogspot.com/2011/11/thankful-for-food.html#comments (I have a thanksgiving food linky that I will be delighted to have you share your awesome recipe to..).TY. Wishing u a great start to your week :))

Mindie Hilton said...

Looks good. I love pumpkim pie. Your crust looks great. I would love for you to share at Bacon Time. I have a weekly linky fri-mon. This week however it will be early, and start on Wed since I have a huge 66 give away bash for Breaking Dawn on Thursday starting. Hope to see you there.

Nikki Monet said...

I looooove pumpkin pie :) This looks scrumptious! New follower here. Would love it you would stop by and share this at my linky party :) http://everything-underthemoon.blogspot.com/2011/11/bedazzle-me-monday-8.html

Also, PRETTY PLEASE check out Random Acts of Kindness Week going on right now!! Would love to see you be a part of it! http://everything-underthemoon.blogspot.com/2011/11/kindness-and-thanksgiving.html

Judi @ Frugal Frolic said...

Visiting from What's Cooking Wednesday -- your pies look divine. What's a little mess when you're making great pies, eh?

I always make rolled "tarts" with my left over pie crust. Roll out the dough, spread with jam or butter and cinnamon sugar, then roll. Pinch the ends with a fork and bake. The kids are always asking if there are leftovers :)


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