From the recipe archive, first posted 2006. Enjoy! ~Elise
My friend Suzanne performed an experiment with her family and me. She baked two pumpkin pies, one using the purée and recipe from a can, the other using purée she made from a ripe sugar pumpkin. Each of us received two slices, one from each pie, without knowing which was which. The winner? The adults clearly preferred the pie made from scratch – it had a richer flavor (possibly due in part to added spices). One child preferred the pie made from the canned purée, the other two had no preference. Needless to say, everyone finished both of their slices, and the whipped cream too!
- 2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar pumpkin* or from canned pumpkin purée
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
- 1 good crust (see pâte brisée recipe)
* To make pumpkin purée from a sugar pumpkin: start with a small-medium sugar pumpkin, cut out the stem and scrape out the insides, discard (save the seeds, of course). Cut the pumpkin in half and lay cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet lined with silpat or aluminum foil. Bake at 350°F until fork tender, about an hour to an hour and a half. Remove from oven, let cool, scoop out the pulp. (Alternatively you can cut the pumpkin into sections and steam in a saucepan with a couple inches of water at the bottom, until soft.) If you want the pulp to be extra smooth, put it through a food mill or chinois.
1 Preheat oven to 425°F.
2 Mix sugars, salt, and spices, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Stir in cream. Whisk all together until well incorporated.
3 Pour into pie shell and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
4 Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Note that the pumpkin pie will come out of the oven all puffed up (from the leavening of the eggs), and will deflate as it cools.
Serve with whipped cream.