The Best Pumpkin Pie Ever!
THE BEST PUMPKIN PIE EVER!
This recipe is a culmination of two perfect parts. The crust and the filling.
The pie dough recipe is from chef Amy Theilen. The instructions are mine. The pumpkin filling recipe is all my mom’s.
Amy Theilen’s Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (I use un-iodized table salt.)
9 oz cold unsalted butter, cubed (2 sticks plus 2 Tablespoons) DO NOT USE MARGERINE
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
5 Tablespoons ice water (I put several ice cubes in a cup and cover them with water.)
1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.
2. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until butter chunks are about the size of peas and begin to climb up in the pastry cutter.
Most recipes just tell you to cut in the butter until it is the size of small peas. That’s rather ambiguous to me. I’ve had better results using this method.
Test by grasping a small handful of the mixture. Squeeze it in your hand. If it holds it’s shape and you can see your finger marks in it, it’s ready to add the water. If it doesn’t, like the photo below, keep cutting.
When the flour mixture starts to collect in and stack up in the pastry cutter, do the squeeze test it again.
See how it holds it’s shape and you can see my finger marks in it? That’s what you want to see before adding any water.
3. Pour the apple cider vinegar into a small cup. Add 5 Tablespoons of ice water. Drizzle this mixture over the flour mixture. Stir with a fork to incorporate. Use your hand to finish combining thoroughly.
Press the mixture into a clump in the bowl. If it barely holds together when you pick it up, it’s perfect.
If it easily falls apart when you try to pick it up, you can add more ice water. ADD ONLY 1 TEASPOON AT A TIME. Adding too much water will result in a dense crust.
4. Separate the dough in half. Don’t worry if the dough seems a bit dry. Place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Press into a disc and wrap tightly. Place in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes or up to two days.
See the little light spots in the dough? That’s the little pea-sized bits of butter. That’s what you want to see. Butter contains water and when that water turns to steam inside the dough, it makes the crust flakey. Flakey is good!
5. Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes before rolling it out.
Mom’s Pie Filling
3 large or jumbo eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
dash of salt (I use un-iodized table salt)
2 cups cooked pumpkin (Or a 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree.)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground Cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground Ginger
1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) butter, melted (DO NOT USE MARGERINE)
1 Tablespoon pure Vanilla extract
1/2 cup evaporated milk (Or Half-and-Half or heavy cream.)
1. In a large bowl, use a whisk to beat the eggs. Add the sugar and beat well.
2. Add the pumpkin and mix well.
3. Into a small bowl, stir together the flour and spices.
Sift this mixture into the pumpkin mixture a little at a time, whisking after each addition to avoid lumps.
4. Add the vanilla and the melted butter and mix well.
5. Add the milk or cream. Mix well.
6. Roll the pie dough out to a circle that will cover a 9″ deep-dish pie plate. Place the dough in the pie plate and trim the edges.
See how e edges of my rolled crust are jagged and split? That’s actually a good sign. It means that my dough is not too wet and will be nice and flakey.
I can patch the splits by dabbing a bit of water at the edges and overlapping them. Or patch large areas by dabbing a bit of water around the edges and placing a flattened piece of dough over the gap. Press lightly around the edges of the patch.
7. Trim the edges to about 1″ wide around the rim. Fold under the cut edge and crimp between your fingers.
8. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the unbaked pie shell.
9. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F for an additional 40 – 50 until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
10. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.