Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is a classic Thanksgiving dessert. Many this year will, and have already, turned to canned pumpkin puree for their pies, or even worse-store bought. This is such a sad sequence of events, since it can be so easily avoided. Making YOUR OWN pumpkin puree is easy, and tastes so much better than a pie made with canned pumpkin. Also, if you can't find a pumpkin to use, use butternut squash. It tastes just about the same in this application; I personally think it is also a bit easier to work with.
Go ahead and enjoy.



  • 6 ounces gingersnap cookies
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 ounce unsalted butter, melted


  • 16 ounces Pumpkin Puree, recipe follows
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk

Heat your oven to 350.
For the Crust:Combine the gingersnaps, brown sugar, and ginger in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the cookies are fine crumbs. Drizzle the butter into the crumb mixture. Pulse 8 to 10 times to combine.
Press the gingersnap mixture into the bottom, up the sides, and just over the lip of a 9-inch glass pie dish. Place on a half sheet pan and bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool crust at least 10 minutes before filling with the filling.
For the filling: Bring the pumpkin puree to a simmer over medium heat in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the half-and-half, nutmeg, and salt. Stir and return the mixture to a simmer. Remove the pumpkin mixture from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Whisk the brown sugar, eggs, and yolk until smooth in a large bowl. Add the pumpkin mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour the prepared filling into the warm pie crust and bake on the same half sheet pan until the center jiggles slightly but the sides of the filling are set, 45 to 50 minutes in an oven at 350. Cool on a cooling rack for at least 2 to 3 hours before slicing. Pie can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. Pie is best the day after it is made.
If you like whipped cream on it, just take 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream and place it in your stand mixer. Beat on high for about 3 minutes until thickened. Add in powdered sugar to sweeten (to taste), about 3/4 cup. Then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and beat until it has reached your desired consistency. Dollop on the pie and enjoy!

  • Pumpkin Puree:
  • 1 (4 to 6-pound) baking pumpkin, rinsed and dried
  • Kosher salt
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice a small piece of skin off the one side of the pumpkin so when laid on its side, the pumpkin will lay flat without rolling. Remove the stem and split the pumpkin in half from top to bottom, using a large cleaver and a mallet. Scoop out the seeds and fiber with a large metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Cut the fibers with kitchen shears if necessary. Reserve seeds for another use.
Sprinkle the flesh with kosher salt and lay the halves, flesh side down, on a parchment paper-lined half sheet pan. Roast until a paring knife can be easily inserted and removed from the pumpkin, 30 to 45 minutes. Test in several places to ensure donesness.
Remove the half sheet pan to a cooling rack and cool the pumpkin for 30 minutes-1 hour. Using a large spoon, remove the roasted flesh of the pumpkin from the skin to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the flesh is smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

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