My husband adores pumpkin pie, so it had to be one of the first things I learned to make, and I now make it every Thanksgiving . Originally I made a traditional evaporated milk-pumpkin pie , but it wasn’t as firm as my husband would have liked, so I began working with condensed milk. The texture was great, but the pie was bland and dull. It took some tweaking but I finally had the perfect pie - firm-textured with great spice and flavor complexity.
MUST BE MADE 1 OR 2 DAYS IN ADVANCE
Sweeter Pastry Crust
1-1/2 cups(195 grams) all-purpose flour, fluffed, scooped and leveled into measuring cups
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 large egg yolk
1 – 3 teaspoons water
2 large eggs – beaten
1 15-ounce can (2 cups) pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon molasses
1 teaspoon flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
Old Fashioned Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. with a rack in the middle of the oven. Grease and flour a 9-inch glass pie plate.
Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor bowl. Pulse-process until the ingredients are well mixed.
Add the cold butter. Pulse-process about 7 times, until the butter is cut into lentil-sized pieces. Add the egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water. Process for 10 seconds. If the dough is not yet clumping, add another teaspoon of water. Process 10 seconds more. If necessary, add the remaining water, and process again. The dough should just be starting to come together. Dump the dough out onto a board, and press clumps of it down into the board with the heel of your hand, repeating until all of the dough has been worked. Scrape it up with a bench scraper or knife, and press into a flattened disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 15 minutes.
Roll the dough into a 12-inch round, about 1/16-inch thick. For more details on the easiest way to roll dough see my post on pie crust rolling, part 2 . Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour and then fold the dough in half and transfer it to the pie plate.
The dough is very forgiving, so if it cracks, it can be fixed by simply pinching it back together. Cut the dough so that it extends 1/2 inch beyond the pie plate rim.
Roll the dough up so that it sits on the pie rim.
Crimp as desired. For other edges see my post on pie crust shaping.
Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and press it into the crust, sprayed side touching the dough, and fill the foil with dried beans or pie weights.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights. Return the shell to the oven and bake for 5 minutes more, or until the dough just loses its raw appearance. Set it aside to cool.
For the Filling and Baking:
Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
Place the eggs in a mixer bowl. Whisk lightly. Using a wooden spoon, stir in all of the filling ingredients. Stir just enough to blend everything together (do not beat).
Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie shell. Shield the edges of the pie crust with an aluminum shield .
Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. Bake for 15 minutes. If the top is browning too much, cover it with foil. Continue to bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until the pie is set and a skewer inserted into the center will come out clean. Cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the whipped cream, place all ingredients in a small mixer bowl and beat on high speed until the cream stands in stiff peaks.
Moisture will accumulate on the top of this pie as it chills. Make sure to mop up this moisture, with a paper towel, before garnishing and serving. The pie is best if made at least 1 and preferably 2 days in advance. It will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.