We hope you’ve saved a place for pumpkin pie at the Christmas dinner table (and in your stomachs), because Dec. 25 is National Pumpkin Pie Day.
Yes, we know, there seems to a day for just about every food item out there — from National Eggnog Day to National Maple Syrup Day — but can you really argue against any chance to bite down on delicious pie?
As Flavor 574 columnist Marshall King writes, “there’s rarely such a thing as bad pie.” He spoke to pie blogger Emily Hilliard, who grew up in Elkhart, and she shared several of her pie-making tips — use cold, cold butter; don’t knead or overmix the crush; and, most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself.
So, if you think a pumpkin pie would really hit the spot after your Christmas dinner, yule have to try one of these two recipes.
BRANDIED PUMPKIN PIE
Recipe from The New York Times
- 1¼ cups of all-purpose flour (around 150 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon of fine sea salt
- 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 2 to 4 tablespoons of ice water, as needed
- 1¾ cups of squash or pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- ¾ cup of dark brown sugar (153 grams)
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger (4 grams)
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon (3 grams)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (3 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- A pinch of ground cloves
- Begin with making the crust by pulsing the flour and salt together in a food processor.
- Add butter and continue to pulse until the mixture begins to form chickpea-size pieces.
- Add one tablespoon of ice water in the mixture at a time and continue to pulse the mixture until the dough comes together. It should be moist but not wet.
- Gather the dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface.
- Use the heel of your hand to flatten the dough into a disk.
- Cover the dough tightly with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
- Roll out the dough to a 12-inch circle on a lightly-floured surface.
- Transfer the crust to a 9-inch pie plate, fold over any excess dough and crimp the edges.
- Prick the crust with a fork and then chill the crust for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees as the dough chills.
- Line the chilled crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake for 20 minutes, remove the foil and weights and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes until the crust is pale golden. Cool on rack until needed.
- Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, eggs, cream, dark brown sugar, brandy, ginger, cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of salt, nutmeg and cloves.
- Pour the mixture into a cooled pie shell.
- Transfer the pie to a large baking sheet.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the crust is golden and the center jiggles slightly when shaken.
- Cool completely before serving.
SPICY PUMPKIN PIE WITH PECAN-ALLSPICE CRUST
Recipe from The Splendid Table
- 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of finely chopped toasted pecans
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 1¼ teaspoons of allspice (freshly ground, if possible)
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1½ sticks (around 12 ounces) of stone-cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch chunks
- 1 large egg
- 2-3 tablespoons of ice water
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 large eggs
- A pinch of salt
- 1 pound (around 1¾ cups) of cooked pumpkin
- 3 tablespoons of melted butter
- 1 teaspoons of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of allspice
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of cloves
- ½ cup of whipped whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons of chopped pecans
- Two days before baking, make the crust by combining the flour, pecans, sugar, allspice and salt into a large mixing bowl. Blend the mixture together with a whisk.
- Add butter and blend until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
- Beat eggs and two tablespoons of water in a small bowl or cup. Add it to the flour mixture and toss lightly with a fork until it moistens, adding additional tablespoons of water as needed.
- Gather the dough into two rough balls, wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Lightly grease two 8-inch pie pans.
- Roll each of the balls into a circle on a lightly-floured surface. You’ll want the dough to be about ⅛ inch thick.
- Fit the crust into pans and trim off any excess dough except for a 1-inch rim that will hang over the edge of the pie pan.
- Fold over the pastry so it is double on the pan’s rims and, using your finger, press every ½ inch of so to create a fluted crust.
- Chill the crust for an hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line each pie shell with foil and fill with uncooked beans or rice.
- Bake the crust for about 10 minutes or until it’s golden. Remove the crust from the oven and gently lift the liners. Cool the pie shells completely.
- For the filling, whisk a little of the milk into the flour until the lumps disappear.
- Whisk the rest of the milk, sugar, eggs and salt into the mixture.
- Beat in the pumpkin, melted butter and spices until the mixture is smooth.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
- Divide the filling evenly between the cooled shells. Set on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- Reduce the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees and continue baking until a knife can pierce an inch into the crust and come out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool the pie on a rack.
- Chill for about 30 minutes before serving to bring the pie to room temperature.
- Decorate the pie with whipped cream and sprinkle with pecans.
Alternatively, if you have certain dietary restrictions, try a vegan and gluten-free pumpkin pie.