Nothing is more evocative of fall and the holidays than pumpkin pie. It's the first dish most kids associate with Thanksgiving, and quite probably the only time they'll voluntarily eat squash of any kind. Silky, warm and filling, it's a comfort food worthy of it's place on the top of everyone's lists.
Pumpkin Pie is a custard pie - meaning that a liquid filling is poured into a partially baked pie shell and baked until the filling has set. The richness comes from the eggs and half and half. Evaporated milk can be substituted for some of the half and half if you wish, as can cream if you want it more rich. The 'set' of the custard during baking is due to the eggs.
You can certainly use a prepackaged pie crust, although the link in the recipe explains how to make one from scratch, and it only takes a moment. You can use a graham cracker crust as well - the flavor with the pumpkin is wonderful. Whatever you'd like - this is a pretty forgiving pie. Just try not to over bake it - you want to pull it when the very center is still just a little wobbly. The pie will finish baking with carryover cooking once you pull it from the oven.
- 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 cups pureed pumpkin - canned is fine if you don't have fresh
- 1 small banana, roasted
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 whole egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- pastry for a nine inch pie
- fresh whipped cream
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Fit the pie dough into the nine inch pie pan, crimping the edges. Press the dough gently into the bottom of the pan and along the sides. Place in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour.
- Trip a piece of aluminum foil to fit the pie crust - making sure it's filled competely. Fill the shell with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for ten minutes with the foil and beans, then remove the foil and beans and bake for another ten minutes. You just want the pie dough to have begun to set and color, but not be cooked through. You can roast the banana while the pie crust bakes - it just needs 30 minutes in a 350F oven with the skin left on.
- Meanwhile, place cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer. Beat it until soft and beginning to turn fluffy. Add pumpkin and banana and mix well. Add the sugar and salt, and beat well. Add the eggs, half and half and butter, mixing just until combined. Add cinnamon and allspice, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well incorporated.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust, and place it back in the oven. The pie will take approximately 50-60 minutes for the center to become set. The pie can be served either at room temperature or well chilled. Be generous with the whipped cream though!
- The Thrillbilly Gourmet
Combining classic technique with everyday food for spectacular results!
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