I’ve got two pumpkin pie recipes for you. One is the way I usually make it, and it is the best pumpkin pie. The other way also turns out to be excellent, but it is designed for kids who don’t like pumpkin pie even though we think they should. I think kids are sometimes repelled by that pumpkin pie spice flavor. In fact, this kid friendly pie may be good for adults who are just plain sick and tired of everything having to taste like pumpkin pie spice this time of year and want a break, but still want their pumpkin pie.
The Best Pumpkin Pie
This makes one pie. You probably want two, so double everything.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt plus a pinch
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
PREHEAT oven to 425F. Set the rack to above the middle of the oven but not too high up.
Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.
Mix wet ingredients in a different bowl.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together.
Put a pie crust in a pie shell. Make the edges all fancy looking by using a fork. Cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil. You may remove this foil later during the baking process, or not remove it at all, depending on how the crust is cooking (the foil is to avoid the crust burning or overcooking).
Stir the ingredients up one more time and put it in the pie shell.
Place the pie in the center of the rack.
Bake for 15 minutes
CHANGE TEMPERATURE TO 350F
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes (usually about 47 minutes)
The pie is ready to remove from the oven when a stick or knife comes out of the center mostly clean.
Don’t worry if there is a little bit of pumpkin pie stuff on the knife/stick. The pie is going to keep cooking for a while.
Place pie on top of stove/oven, which should be pretty warm, and let it cool slowly (on a rack or equivalent).
Eat or refrigerate, then eat again. You might consider covering it with whipped cream.
There are two main features in this recipe. First, the spices are approximately double the usual recommended spices. Second, the usual evaporated milk is partially substituted with heavy cream. You can if fact use 100% heavy cream if you like but the 60:40 to 50:50 mix of heavy cream:evaporated milk works best.
If you live in certain regions of the world, such as Australia, you may not be able to find a can of pumpkin puree. If so, obtain a pumpkin and cook it. Get a small cooking pumpkin for this purpose. Mush up the cooked pumpkin and measure out about 15 ounces. If you can, grind the cooked material. You may mix any form of winter squash in there if you like. Some of the best pumpkin pie is only half pumpkin, the rest butternut, acorn, or the squash formerly known as “turk’s head.” (The various winter squash may have diverse local names.)
Remember the extra stir just as you are putting the ingredients in the pie shell. The dry spices tend to settle.
To help move the pie in and out of the oven in the early stages of baking, use a flat cookie sheet in the manner that a pizza paddle is used to manage a pizza. Or use your pizza paddle if you have one.
When putting the aluminum foil strips on the crust, pinch the foil right on there to get it to stay in place and have close contact to avoid hot air circulating around the crust.
Use your favorite crust. I don’t divulge my crust recipe because it tends to enrage people and I don’t need that. But it is very good and very simple.
Kid Friendly Pumpkin Pie
Follow the same procedure as above, but change the following:
1) Use one third or even one fourth of the indicated spices. Remember, the spices in the above recipe are double the usual. You want to approach half the usual.
2) Do use at least half butternut squash. Kids like that better than pumpkin.
3) Go ahead and use 100% heavy cream instead of evaporated milk. The kids are not watching their cholesterol yet.
4) (Optional) When pouring the mix in the shell, leave a little room. Then, after the pie is cooked, make some instant pudding of your kid’s preferred flavor, and pour it over the pie so there is a layer of pudding.
5) For this recipe, covering the pie with whipped cream is not optional. It is required.
6) Optional: sprinkle jimmies or similar over the whipped cream.