Pumpkin Pie

This week, families around the nation are cooking, cleaning, and trying to put their best foot forward for loved ones and guests. In recent days, several people have asked for my guidance about making pumpkin pie from scratch.  I get really excited when people outside of professional kitchens make the time and effort to create things in the traditional fashion.  So, in honor of those hard-working home cooks, here’s my recipe for a pie you can be proud of.  Taking the time to prepare your own doughs and fillings is the ultimate way to show your guests that you not only value them but the generations of cooks who prepared these traditions before you.  Happy Thanksgiving!
Simple Pie Dough
Servings: 8
Author: Joe the Baker
  • 12 ounces all purpose flour
  • 2 ounces sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces shortening
  • 7 ounces water
  1. Combine all dry ingredients together and mix until completely incorporated.
  2. Cut the shortening into 3/8" cubes and toss in the flour to coat.
  3. Add 3 oz. of water and work until a smooth dough is formed.
  4. If the dough won't hydrate after two minutes of kneading, add the remainder.
  5. Be very cautious about overworking the dough as it will become tough and difficult to handle. The best indicator is a smooth, slightly greasy dough that barely springs back when indented with a finger.
  6. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill at least 20 minutes.
  7. Shape as needed.
  8. Line the inside of the raw dough shell with parchment paper and fill with with dried beans and/or rice to keep the dough from shrinking when baked. Remove these weights after the sides have baked solid so that the bottom can bake completely as well.
  9. Bake at 375F until golden brown and delicious, typically 20 minutes. Allow empty shell to cool completely before using further.
Roasted Pumpkin Puree
Servings: 8
Author: Joe the Baker
  • 1 or 2 sweet baby fairy tale, or pie pumpkins (butternut squash can also be used)
  • Clarified butter or oil
  1. Cut the pumpkin in half right through the stem and straight down. Open the halves then scoop out the flesh. Reserve these for other uses or discard.
  2. Brush the exposed flesh with the butter.
  3. Line a baking sheet with paper bags then place the pumpkin halves, skin up, and poke holes into the skin.
  4. Bake at 350F until completely soft, typically 45 min.
  5. Allow to cool for a few moments, then using a spoon, scoop the flesh away from the skin and blend until smooth.
  6. Strain into new container and reserve.
Recipe Notes

Note: This puree won't be the same bright orange hue you see using canned pumpkin; it is more yellow in color.

Pumpkin Pie
Servings: 8
Author: Joe the Baker
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 ounce half and half
  • 4 ounces sugar
  • 2 ounces brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon ground
  • 1 teaspoon ginger ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper ground
  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. If possible, allow to sit overnight.
  3. Bake in a pre-baked tart shell at 325F until completely set; typically 30 to 45 min.
  4. Allow to cool completely before serving. Do not chill too early or the pie will crack.
Whipped Pie Topping
Servings: 8
Author: Joe the Baker
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup natural yogurt
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine everything together and whip until stiff peaks.
  2. Reserve cold and use as needed.

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