Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pumpkin Pie

I saw an episode of Good Eats awhile ago and on it the host Alton Brown was making a pumpkin pie from scratch. Im talking roasting a pumpkin in the oven to make the puree from scratch and it actually looked really easy.

I am hosting my first Thanksgiving this year and I am SO excited! Not only have I been asking to host it for like 4 years now and my in-laws are finally giving in and relinquishing the rights to Turkey Day BUT its the first Thanksgiving I can actually DO everything and BREATH while doing it so I want everything to be PERFECT!

So since I have never made this pie before I wanted to make a practice pie to see what everyone thinks so I didn't have a Thanksgiving Day disaster on my hands with a crappy pumpkin pie!

Its not like the traditional pumpkin pie everyone is used to because its made with REAL pumpkin and out of the people who tried it, it was 50/50 on whether or not they like it. My father-in-law LOVED it especially the ginger snap crust. My husband liked it but said there was something "off" about it. That seemed to be the consensus of the people who didn't care for it. So my suggestion would be that if you think you want to try this pie for the big day make it ahead of time to see if you really like it or not.

Here is the recipe!

Pumpkin Pie



  • 6 ounces gingersnap cookies
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 ounce unsalted butter, melted


  • 16 ounces Pumpkin Puree, recipe follows
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust: Combine the gingersnaps, brown sugar, and ginger in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the cookies are fine crumbs. Drizzle the butter into the crumb mixture. Pulse 8 to 10 times to combine.

Press the gingersnap mixture into the bottom, up the sides, and just over the lip of a 9-inch glass pie dish. Place on a half sheet pan and bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool crust at least 10 minutes before filling.

For the filling: Bring the pumpkin puree to a simmer over medium heat in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the half-and-half, nutmeg, and salt. Stir and return the mixture to a simmer. Remove the pumpkin mixture from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.

Whisk the brown sugar, eggs, and yolk until smooth in a large bowl. Add the pumpkin mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour the prepared filling into the warm pie crust and bake on the same half sheet pan until the center jiggles slightly but the sides of the filling are set, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack for at least 2 to 3 hours before slicing. Pie can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. Pie is best the day after it is made.

Pumpkin Puree:

  • 1 (4 to 6-pound) baking pumpkin, rinsed and dried
  • Kosher salt

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice a small piece of skin off the one side of the pumpkin so when laid on its side, the pumpkin will lay flat without rolling. Remove the stem and split the pumpkin in half from top to bottom, using a large cleaver and a mallet. Scoop out the seeds and fiber with a large metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Cut the fibers with kitchen shears if necessary. Reserve seeds for another use.

Sprinkle the flesh with kosher salt and lay the halves, flesh side down, on a parchment paper-lined half sheet pan. Roast until a paring knife can be easily inserted and removed from the pumpkin, 30 to 45 minutes. Test in several places to ensure doneness.

Remove the half sheet pan to a cooling rack and cool the pumpkin for 1 hour. Using a large spoon, remove the roasted flesh of the pumpkin from the skin to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the flesh is smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

**To make the whip cream on top I just used 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tbs. confectioners sugar. But you can use good old fashion cool whip if you prefer! :)