Pumpkin Pie

This pie recipe is easy to make and is as good a pumpkin pie as I have ever had. I would have said the absolute best except my grandmother made a pumpkin pie once when I was in third grade that was incredible. Since it is just wrong to say you make a better pie than your grandmother, I’m going to leave it as being just as good.

Try Smitty’s Pumpkin Empanadas
Try Priya Hutner’s Quinoa Stuffed Pumpkin

The first thing you want to do is get a pumpkin. Let’s face it, the one you carved and had a candle in for weeks isn’t going to cut it. In picking out a pumpkin, you want to look for one that is on the smaller side. The large pumpkins used for contests, carvings and decorations are bland and you would be better off using a butternut squash.

It’s true, if you are in a pinch, you can substitute butternut squash for the pumpkin. The pumpkin I used was a green one that looked like a cross between a pumpkin and an acorn squash, but the smaller orange ones also are great.

Choose a pumpkin that is about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. These are the ones that are the sweetest and have the most flavor. As for the rest of the ingredients, the only one that I think makes a difference is the nutmeg. Freshly grated nutmeg has about 1 billion tons more flavor than the ground nutmeg in the plastic container. Forgive the exaggeration, but using freshly grated nutmeg really does make a difference

Use a basic pie crust recipe and remember, the more you work pie dough the tougher it gets. Use a couple knives or hand pastry blender, which is just a handle with a bunch of cutting blades — or just use a fork. Also, be sure to add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time because you want just enough to hold the dough together. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least a half hour before you roll it out.

So, if you’re looking for that great traditional holiday dessert to finish off your Thanksgiving or winter holiday dinner, get yourself a sweet pumpkin and give this recipe a try. Happy Thanksgiving.

PUMPKIN PIE

Pie crust

31/3 C all-purpose flour
3 sticks cold butter
1 ½ t salt
¾ C ice water
9-inch pie pan

Cut the butter into small pieces and using a fork or pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour and salt. Use a chilled bowl because the dough will come out better if everything is cold. Work the butter into the flour mixture until it appears course and crumbly.

Sprinkle the water over the dough 1 tablespoon at a time until you can form the dough into a ball. Be gentle and try to work the dough as little as possible.

When it can form a ball, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll the ball out on a cold surface dusted with flour to about 1/8-inch thick and line a 9-inch pie pan with it.

 Pumpkin Filling

11/3 C smooth pumpkin
11/3 C sweet condensed milk
1 egg
1¼ t cinnamon
½ t nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
½ t ginger
¼ t clove
1 C hot water

Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy center. Place the cut halves on a foil-lined sheet pan, cut side down. Cover with foil and bake until tender at 350 degrees F. This will probably take about 1.5 hours.

Let it cool, scoop out the meat and use a potato masher or food processor to blend it smooth. Strain out any excess liquid

. Beat together all the ingredients just until smooth and pour into the pie pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 55 to 65 minutes. The center will still move slightly. Cool thoroughly before cutting.