Step 9: Cook and Cool the Pumpkin Pie
Cook's Illustrated says to cook the pie until the center is 175°F. When mine reached this temperature, a tooth pick still didn't come out of the pie cleanly, but I went with it anyway and took it out of the oven. The pie cooled for about 2 hours. The center was just barely cooked, and cutting a clean slice was a challenge. Next time, I'll probably cook the pie until a tooth pick comes out clean -- maybe 5-10 minutes additional time at 300°F after the center reaches 175°F.
Thanksgiving 2009 Update:
Since last year, I started using a Thermapen Instant Read Thermometer instead of the dial thermometer shown in the images. So this Thanksgiving, when the pies reached a center temperature of 175°F, I took them out, despite my note above. Once cooled, they were perfectly cooked. I suspect the dial thermometer wasn't properly calibrated, and I had slightly undercooked the pie.