Maida Heatter’s Pumpkin Pie

READY IN: 1hr 35mins




  • Position oven rack 1/3 up from the bottom of the oven; preheat to 450°. Have the crust in the freezer for at least 20-30 minutes before baking (or longer).
  • Add cream to a small saucepan, uncovered, over medium heat; let stand until a slightly wrinkled skin forms on top or tiny bubbles appear around the edges.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs lightly just to mix; beat in the vanilla, sugar, and salt.
  • Through a fine strainer, add the spices; then add the pumpkin and mix well.
  • Gradually stir in the hot cream.
  • Do not remove the pie crust from the freezer until you are ready to bake it.
  • Pour the pumpkin mixture into the frozen crust.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 450°, then decrease oven temperature to 350° and bake 30-40 minutes longer until a small sharp knife gently inserted into the middle of the pie comes out clean (every time you test the pie with a knife it will leave a scar that will increase in size as the pie cools; do not cut more than necessary).
  • Place the baked pie on a rack; serve while still barely warm or at room temperature.
  • In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip together the cream, sugar, and vanilla.
  • If the pie is still slightly warm when you serve it, it is best to serve the whipped cream separately (the heat of the pie would melt the cream).
  • Whip the cream until it is no too stiff, it should barely hold a shape and should be more like a thick sauce.
  • But if the pie has cooled to room temperature, the cream can be whipped until it holds a definite shape and can be spread over the top of the pie.
  • Either way, the cream can be whipped a few hours ahead, refrigerated, and then whisked a bit with a small wire whisk just before serving.