2007: "If I were a guy, I'd only eat pie. Oh my, oh sigh, please feed me pie." Okay, so it's awful poetry. But the pie? It's completely dreamy. The honey is wonderful as the sweetener, adding an edgy complexity to the pumpkin custard. I'll be making this pie again on Thanksgiving, it's just lovely. I made the pie twice, once with fresh pumpkin and then again with canned pumpkin. Which is better? Well, you'll have to decide because it depends.
FRESH PUMPKIN The fresh pumpkin made a pie sweetly pale in color and subtly delicate in flavor. It's the "foodie" choice for people who are curious about food and welcome adaptation – and it's my personal pick, forever and ever. Plus, I getting requests from the taste tasters, "So when are you going to make another pumpkin pie?"
CANNED PUMPKIN But pie made with canned pumpkin looks and tastes exactly like we've been trained to know as pumpkin pie. It's the "safe" choice for people who are saddled with tradition and only eat what they know.
MANY HONEY PUMPKIN PIES LATER I just love it when recipes stand up to the test of time! This is a lovely pumpkin pie, sweetened so gently with honey and I make one or two or a dozen every year. Some times i reach for a can of pumpkin, gosh it's convenient. Other times I roast a pie pumpkin or kabocha squash, this pie deserves another life with roasted pumpkin! Also, thanks to a reader for suggesting bumping up the spices, that's how I make it now and what's suggested in the revised recipe below.
"Good pie! ... Excited to find a recipe that doesn't use refined sugar." ~ Rebekah
HONEY PUMPKIN PIE
Time to table: 4 hours
1 unbaked deep-dish pie shell
2 cups fresh roasted (or otherwise cooked) pumpkin, puréed until very smooth in a food processor
~ or ~
2 cups (1 15 ounce can or 425g) pumpkin puree
4 large eggs (see TIPS)
1/2 cup (152g) honey
1/2 cup (115g) whole milk
1/2 cup (119g) heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon table salt
CRUST Heat oven to 375F/190C. Browning a pie's bottom crust is always a trick. Here are mine. I some times parbake the crust, that means to bake it for about 10 minutes before adding the filling; I line the chilled crust with foil and then add enough sugar to hold up the sides. Another trick is to put the filled pie on the bottom rack for 10 minutes, then finish baking on the middle rack. A third trick is to heat an upside-down baking sheet on the middle while heating the oven, then put the filled pie directly onto that rack to bake. I don't yet have a favorite, all seem to work.
FILLING If you've puréed the roasted pumpkin in the food processor, you can continue to use the food processor for mixing. Just throw all the remaining ingredients in and whizz a few times. Otherwise – in a large bowl, beat the eggs until just mixed with an electric mixer or a good whisk works just fine, too. Add the pumpkin and all the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
BAKE Carefully pour the mixture into the unbaked pie shell, then carefully put the pie into the hot oven; the filling is sloshy so can run up the sides which doesn't hurt much but doesn't look as pretty after baking. Bake for 45 minutes or until the center is just set. It will firm up while cooling.
TO PREP AHEAD
SEVERAL DAYS AHEAD Roast the pumpkin (here's how to roast a whole pumpkin) if you choose fresh pumpkin
DAY BEFORE or MORNING OF SERVING Mix the pastry and refrigerate the pie crust dough.
MORNING OF SERVING Mix the filling, roll the pastry and bake the pie. I especially like the custard chilled so once the pie has cooled, refrigerate it if you can. I know people make their pies the day before but I think the pastry suffers and if it's good pastry, you don't want to mar it.
LEFTOVER REPORT The custard is dreamy, even a few days later.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
For the crust, use your favorite crust recipe or try mine, which gets rave reviews from both new pastry makers and experience pie bakers, see all the tips for how to make a Flaky Tender Pie Crust. I also have great luck with a few improvements to refrigerated pie crusts.
Be sure to buy a pie pumpkin (good ones can be sugar pie pumpkins, kabocha, hubbards and one I keep hearing about but haven't found yet, a cheese pumpkin), not one for jack o'lanterns or decoration. UPDATE Now I only make pumpkin purée from a kabocha squash, here's why, Homemade Kabocha Squash "Pumpkin" Purée.
After roasting the pumpkin, drain the roasted flesh in a strainer. If it's full of water that drains out, taste it. Is it any good? If it's bland and watery, I'd use canned pumpkin instead.
If you can't find a pie pumpkin, use a roasted butternut squash.
If you go for the canned version, be sure to buy pure pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling which has already been spiced and etc.
I've given the weights for all the ingredients, even the liquid ones. This is because it's so easy to mix up the filling mixture using a kitchen scale without need for measuring cups. Just put the mixing bowl on the scale, hit the tare button to revert to zero, add the first ingredient, hit the tare button to revert to zero, and so on. Easy!
This recipe is for a deep-dish pie pan, one that holds a full six cups of filling. If yours is shallower, adjust accordingly – or better yet, put extra custard into custard cups and put into a hot water bath in the oven while the pie bakes. (My recipe for pumpkin pudding shows how to cook with a hot water bath.)
This is a great pie to carry elsewhere, to give away. One year I delivered pies on Thanksgiving and used disposable metal pans, the nine-inch ones you find in grocery stores. I made only 2/3 of the filling (including 3 eggs) and it worked perfectly. I blind baked the crust for 10 minutes before adding the filling and gave the bottom crust a little boost by baking the pie atop a hot baking sheet. It baked in less time, about 35 minutes.
How many eggs? The first time I made this pie, I had only three eggs, that worked fine. The most recent time I made the pie, I had only two eggs and while it will do in a pinch, the custard was especially soft, more pudding-like than pie consistency. How I've been short on eggs – which never happens around here – twice for this one pie is a puzzle.
Watch the timing on this pie, you don't want to underbake it. Par-baking the crust for 10 minutes helps, so does putting the pie on the oven's bottom rack closer to the heat source – this puts relatively more heat on the bottom crust, leaves the top edge with relatively less.
At our house, even the kids love pumpkin pie! Make two!
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MORE IDEAS for THANKSGIVING DESSERTS~ Sweet Potato-Chocolate Swirl Pie ~
~ No-Bake Pumpkin Cream Pie ~
~ Pumpkin Bars ~
~ My Favorite Pumpkin Recipes ~
~ more pumpkin recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Pumpkin Cheesecake ~
~ Pumpkin Pecan Pie ~
~ Apple-Butter Pumpkin Pie ~
~ Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars ~
~ more pumpkin recipes ~
~ more pie recipes ~
~ more Thanksgiving recipes ~
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