The Best Pumpkin Pie

Published November 1, 1993.

Why this recipe works:

For a pumpkin pie recipe that produced a pie with a crisp crust and a soft, custard-type filling, we began baking our crusts almost completely before filling them; that way we knew they would start out crisp. Next, we made sure that both shell and filling for our pumpkin pie recipe were hot… read more

For a pumpkin pie recipe that produced a pie with a crisp crust and a soft, custard-type filling, we began baking our crusts almost completely before filling them; that way we knew they would start out crisp. Next, we made sure that both shell and filling for our pumpkin pie recipe were hot when we assembled the pie, so the custard could begin to firm up almost immediately rather than soaking into the pastry. Finally, we baked the pie quickly, in the bottom of the oven, exposing the bottom of the crust to the most intense heat. We avoided curdling by taking the pie out of the oven immediately once the center thickened to the point where it no longer sloshed but instead wiggled like gelatin when the pan was gently shaken.

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Serves 8

If you do not have a food processor, the pumpkin may be put through a food mill or forced through a fine sieve with the back of a wooden spoon. Alternatively, you can cook the pumpkin, sugar, and spices together before pureeing, then whir the mixture in a blender, adding enough of the cream called for in the recipe to permit the pumpkin to flow easily over the blades. In either case, heat the pumpkin with the (remaining) cream and milk, as indicated, then slowly whisk the mixture into the beaten eggs. The pie may be served slightly warm, chilled, or at room temperature.

Ingredients

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