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Prep time does not include time to cook the pumpkins. That step can be done right before making the pie, or any time up to 6 months in advance, if the puree is frozen. This is a combination and modification of recipes from my step-mother and 'Healthy Meals in Minutes'. The recipe calls for fresh-cooked (or frozen) pumpkin puree, which really is best, but you can substitute canned pumpkin if you are pressed for time. I like the squashed-looking 'Cinderella' pumpkins best for cooking with - the kind used for carving really aren't very good to cook with, unfortunately. I bake one or two every Fall and freeze the puree to use in recipes for the rest of the year. I find pumpkin pies made with fresh, rather than canned, pumpkin have a more delicate flavor and smoother texture. Try it! I have used the same amount of all kinds of milk - 1%, 2% whole, whipping cream, evaporated, sweetened condensed - and have also substituted up to 1/2 the amount of pumpkin puree with squash or sweet potato puree and can't tell the difference in the final product.
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 cup chilled butter
- 1⁄4 cup shortening
- 1 large pumpkin (or 2 small pumpkins)
- 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree (or thawed frozen)
- 2⁄3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1⁄4 cups low-fat milk
- 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1. Pumpkin puree: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the whole pumpkin, if it will fit, or 1/2 pumpkin with seeds scooped out cut side down, in the oven and bake until a sharp knife easily pierces through to the seed cavity, about 1 1/2 hours.
- 2. When cool enough to handle, peel away the skin with a knife. If not already done, cut pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Puree in a food processor or mash by hand with a potato masher. (I freeze any leftovers in 2 1/4 cup portions in quart zip-lock bags. Most recipes using pumpkin puree use 2 cups and somehow there is always a little less after it is frozen.).
- 3. Crust: Mix flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry blender until well blended and the texture of course meal. Add just enough very cold water for the dough to hold together, about 1/3 cup, and mix with a fork, just until combined. Do not over mix or use too much water or the crust will be tough.
- 4. Roll dough into a circle 1 - 2 inches larger than your pie plate. Transfer dough to pie plate and prick the bottom of the crust several times with a fork. Line the crust with a sheet of aluminum foil folded and crimped so it covers the bottom and sides of the crust up to about 1/2 inch from the top of the pie plate. Roll or crimp the edges of the dough. The finished edges should be held up by the aluminum foil.
- 5. Place ceramic pie weights or dried beans on top of the aluminum foil to keep the crust flat while baking. Bake at 350 degrees on the center oven rack for 15 - 20 minutes. The crust should stay up on its own when the aluminum foil and weights are removed, but shouldn't be browned. Set aside to cool.
- 6. Filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, brown and granulated sugars, and all-purpose flour. Add spices; stir to blend. Whisk in milk, egg whites, egg, and vanilla. Pour the pumpkin mixture into prepared crust.
- 7. Bake until filling is set but still slightly loose in the center, about 40 - 45 minutes. If the crust is getting done before the filling, cover crust with a pie shield or aluminum foil. Place pie on wire rack and cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until serving.
Made this over the weekend with a sugar pumpkin (I think that is what it was called) and it was a huge hit in my workplace. I was told it had the perfect balance of pumpkin flavor and spices. Perfect creaminess - I used whole milk instead of lowfat. I may try heavy cream next time, just to see the difference. I am also going to try with a "milk pumpkin". Will post another review when I make those adjustments.