Saturday, October 22, 2016

Standard Pumpkin Pie

As I've mentioned a time or two, I was a super picky eater as a child (wow I've got a lot of sympathy for my mom now that I'm a parent, too!). I liked things as plain and traditional as possible. And for the comfort foods of my childhood I'm still that way. Don't gussy up my French toast with Grand Marnier or (shudder) caramelized bananas. Stay far away from my Family Stuffing with your chestnuts and oysters or even fancy mushrooms. And don't bother making a pie with fresh ginger and lots of nutmeg or lovingly home-roasted squash or pumpkin. Well, you can make it and I'd eat it. But when it comes time for me to make pumpkin pie, I'm perfectly content using the same recipe I grew up with and pumpkin in a tin. At some point,  I'll probably ditch the evaporated milk in favor of cream, mainly because it's often the only thing preventing me from being able to make pumpkin pie on the spur of the moment, but for now, if it's Libby's Libby's Libby's on the (recipe) label label label, I will like it like it like it on my table table table.

Oh, I will say that I am not completely unwilling to change traditions or add new ones--my husband introduced me to his family's tradition of always having pumpkin pie for breakfast on the day after Thanksgiving, with a separate pie always made for that purpose. I think this is THE BEST IDEA EVER and adopted it immediately.

One single pie-crust of your choice (some day I'll perfect the whole wheat version of the Never Fail Pie Crust I grew up with)

2 eggs
1 15 or 16 oz can of puréed pumpkin or squash, or the equivalent that you've roasted yourself
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 12 fl oz can of evaporated milk (absolutely not condensed milk)


  1. Prepare your pie crust and put in a deep dish pie pan--I use a Pyrex one and set it on a baking sheet just to make it easier to get into the oven without spilling. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. I do not use convection for this pie because that makes the top a bit leathery
  3. Mix all the pie filling ingredients in a large bowl. Because I started making this pie as an 8 or 9 year old, I tend to be a bit ritualistic about adding one ingredient at a time and mixing it in well--ah memories!
  4. If using, make sure pie pan is on the baking tray, then pour pie filling into prepared (but still uncooked) crust 
  5. Place in the oven and bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees F and back for an additional 40-50 minutes or until the filling is set and a knife is mostly clean. I also use one of those silicone pie shields to protect the crust edges from getting too brown 
  6. Remove from ovens and let cool completely. I personally feel that pumpkin pie is much better cold, so I usually make a day ahead and keep it in the fridge. Serve with lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream