Pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving classic and I think I never tried it, let alone baked it before I met Ryan. My pie knowledge was limited to apple pie and pecan pie, but pumpkin was a complete novelty to me. I had no idea what it tasted like! So it comes to no surprise that I turned to the internet to find a recipe that sounded nice and was not too complicated to make. I remember looking for a few weeks comparing recipes, reading reviews, and trying to work out what recipe to pick for my first Thanksgiving dinner. I finally settled on a recipe by celebrity chef Alton Brown, for the simple reason that it did not require making a traditional pie crust!
The first time I made the recipe, I followed it to a T. I made the pumpkin puree from scratch, managed to find half and half (an almost impossible task on this side of the Atlantic) and hoped it tasted nice, and it did! I was so pleased with myself that decided to print the recipe and keep it for ever.
I am still using the same print out however it is now covered with food stains and my notes on the various adjustments I have made throughout the years. In particular:
- I often replace the freshly made pumpkin puree with unsweetened canned one when short in time
- I now use a single cream and milk mixture instead of half-and-half (sorry American friends, but I could not face the quest again!)
- I reduced the amount of sugar and added cinnamon in the pumpkin mixture
- I make it dairy free using only vegetable butter, milk and cream.
This pie is extremely easy and quick to make and it is very filling, hence why it is small in size.
The recipe makes 8 servings of pumpkin pie and it takes 20/25 minutes to prep plus the baking time.
For the crust
- 170g gingersnap cookies
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 28g unsalted butter (I use vegetable butter)
For the filling
- 450g pumpkin pure – canned or from a roasted pumpkin (see notes)
- 1/2 cup single vegetable /soy cream +1/2 cup almond/soy/oat milk ( to replace 1 cup half and half)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
1. To make the crust melt the butter and set aside.
Mix the gingersnap in a food processor until they turn into fine crumbs. Add the sugar, ginger and melted butter to the crumble mix and pulse to combine.
Pour the mixture into a 20cm (8inch) pie dish and press down the base and up the sides with your fingers.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160C Fan for 10 minutes until nice golden brown. When ready let it cool for 10 minutes before filling it with the pumpkin mixture
2. For the filling, pour the pumpkin puree in a small pot and bring to simmer. Stir for a couple of minutes until any excess water start evaporating and the puree thickens slightly.
Stir in the cream and milk mixture, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt and let it simmer for a minute or two. Take it off the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, egg yolk and sugar until all the sugar is dissolved. Fold in the pumpkin puree and mix until fully combined.
3. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust using a measuring cup or jar and bake on a baking sheet for about 40 minutes at 160C Fan.
The pie is ready when the sides are set and the middle is still slightly wobbly.
4. Let the pie cool for a couple of hours before serving it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
The pie can be stored in the fridge for two days. It actually tastes best the day after it is baked, so I would recommend making it ahead and store it covered in the fridge.
This is a very gingery pie, if you want to soften the ginger flavour then you can decrease the amount of ground ginger in the pie crust or omit it all together.
If you want to make the pumpkin puree, then wash and cut a pumpkin in half, remove all the seeds. Place it face up on a baking sheet and bake it until the flesh is tender at 180C Fan, this will take approximately 40 minutes. Let it cool, separate the flesh from the skin using a fork and blitz it in a food processor until nice and smooth. You can store the pure in a sealed container in the fridge for few days or in the freezer for up to two months. Drain any excess water before using it once out of the fridge or freezer.
Finally, you will have quite a bit of pumpkin filling left over, you can store it in a sealed container in a fridge up to 5 days. You can drizzle it on your yogurt or porridge (oatmeal) for breakfast, use it to make cookies, pumpkin and chocolate marble cake or pancakes.
Happy baking and let me know if you have any comments or questions!
If you want to make this recipe and share it on your social media please tag me using @prepandproperrecipes and the tag #prepandproperrecipes