Many people follow the pumpkin can pie recipe year after year, it's fine, it passes, it's tried and true, but dessert is the last thing we eat on Thanksgiving (well, before digging into the leftovers!) and I want it to be remembered. This delicious pie is worth making many times a year, in fact, my dad requests it for Father's Day.
Sometimes the canned recipe can be a bit fibrous and dense, America's Test Kitchen developed an incredible recipe by par-cooking the pumpkin, pureeing the filling for a silky smooth custard pie, and lastly, adding warm filling to a par-baked crust so the custard cooks fast and keeps the pie dough crisp. I'm very proud of my homemade dough, and for the time it takes to make it, I don't want to serve it soggy.
I'm always skeptical when I see the word "best," but year after year I get requests for this pie as soon as there is a chill in the air, I hope you can find a place for The BEST pumpkin pie on your holiday table.
Recipe from America's Test Kitchen
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
1 pie dough for 9-inch pie, fit into pan, edges trimmed, rolled, and fluted, refrigerated and/or frozen at least 20 minutes
you can find the recipe I use here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Pumpkin-Pie-20/
For the filling:
2 cups plain pumpkin puree (16 ounces), canned or fresh
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup milk
4 large eggs
(I find Penzey's Spices makes a wonderful Pumpkin Pie spice mix, I replace the ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves with 2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice.)
Step 2: Prepare Dough
Remove chilled pie dough from refrigerator/freezer, using table fork, prick bottom and sides — including where they meet — at 1/2-inch intervals. Chill shell for at least 30 minutes (preferably an hour or more), to allow dough to relax.
Flatten a 12-inch square of aluminum foil inside shell, pressing it flush against corners, sides, and over rim. Prick foil bottom in about a dozen places with a fork. (I use 2 sheets of nonstick foil--nonstick side down--perpendicular to each other to make sure the whole shell is covered. and I fill the shell with beans.)
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 400 degrees. (Start preparing filling when you put shell into oven.) Bake 15 minutes, pressing down on foil with mitt-protected hands to flatten any puffs. Remove foil and bake shell for 8 to 10 minutes longer, or until interior just begins to color. (I find my homemade dough takes longer to parbake, about 25 minutes, check at 15 minutes and if the crust doesn't look dry, continue baking, checking every 5 minutes until crust looks dry and is just starting to brown, remove foil and continue for 8-10 minutes.)
Step 3: Prepare Filling
Process pumpkin, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a food processor fitted with steel blade for 1 minute.
Transfer pumpkin mixture to a 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan (no need to clean food processor bowl); bring it to a sputtering simmer over medium-high heat. Cook pumpkin, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes.
As soon as pie shell comes out of oven, whisk heavy cream and milk into pumpkin and bring to a bare simmer.
Process eggs in food processor until whites and yolks are mixed, about 5 seconds. With motor running, slowly pour about half of hot pumpkin mixture through feed tube. Stop machine and scrape in remaining pumpkin. Process 30 seconds longer.
Step 4: Bake, Cool, and Enjoy
Immediately pour warm filling into hot pie shell (for easier pouring, I transfer the filling to a 4-cup measuring cup). (Pour/ladle any excess filling into pie after it has baked for 5 minutes or so — by this time filling will have settled.) Bake until filling is puffed, dry-looking, and lightly cracked around edges, and center wiggles like gelatin when pie is gently shaken, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour.
If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate, bring to room temperature before serving. Top with whipped cream, if desired.