If there's one dish that's as non-negotiable at Thanksgiving as the turkey - it's the pumpkin pie.
No matter how healthy; how non-traditional; how trendy or even how store-bought you take your holiday - pie is usually involved.
And you know what? Contrary to many non-baker's beliefs, pie is actually one of the fastest and easiest desserts to make! The crust is simply flour, butter and salt, with very little handling.
So, today I'm sharing a few easy, go-to pie crusts that work perfectly for 9-inch pumpkin pie.
And that filling? We are making it totally from scratch - by roasting a small sugar pumpkin...
It's funny, we all roast winter squashes like there's no tomorrow, but when the thought of roasting a pumpkin comes to mind - people run. When really, it is exactly the same as roasting any other winter squash! And it makes the pumpkin pie feel sooooo much more special and truly homemade. (And don't worry, a can of pure pumpkin purée works just as well, if that's how you roll.)
Plus, when it's used in this healthier version of pumpkin pie, you can enjoy guilt-free!
You can also roast the pumpkin in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you make the pie.
My favorite crust is the graham cracker crust, as shown here in the pictures. But choose from any of the three crusts below - they will each work beautifully in the 9-inch pumpkin pie recipe!
And my mom's simple butter crust may be used for any fruit pie, so keep this crust recipe on hand!
Homemade Pumpkin Pie
(makes one, 9-inch pie)
- 1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin from a 2 lb sugar pumpkin (or 1 can pure pumpkin puree)
- 1/2 cup 2% milk (you may swap the milk for canned coconut milk)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Roast the pumpkin: Slice the top and bottom off a 2 lb sugar pumpkin. Then, cut in half. Scoop out the seeds (but don't throw them away - roast them!).
- Lightly coat the inside of the pumpkin halves with oil and place face down on the baking sheet. Roast for about 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees. The skin should be shriveled slightly and the inside flesh should be soft. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then scoop out the cooked pumpkin and place in a bowl. Discard the skin. Store roasted pumpkin in refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a large food processor, place 1 1/2 cups of the cooled pumpkin and process until it's a puree. Add the remaining ingredients and process until combined and smooth.
- Pour in a 9-inch pie crust (choose from recipes below).
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, or until the center is completely set and does not look wet. Take out and let cool completely before storing in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy. The pie will keep for about 3 days, loosely covered.
FOR THE CRUST:
Graham Cracker Crust
- 12 whole graham crackers
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- In a food processor, process the graham crackers until fine crumbs. Add the cinnamon and process. Then add the melted butter, sugar and salt and process until finely ground together.
- Press the crust into a 9-inch pie pan that has been sprayed with a nonstick spray. Make sure to press it up on the sides.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 7-8 minutes. Take out and let slightly cool.
- Pour in the pumpkin pie filling (recipe above) and bake for 35 minutes.
My Go-To Butter Pie Crust
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
- 3-4 tablespoons cold water
- Measure the flour and salt into a bowl, cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or a fork until crumbly. You can also do this in the food processor and process until crumbly. It should resemble small peas. Sprinkle in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until all of the flour is moistened and the dough almost cleans the side of the bowl. More water can be added as needed, but do not make it too moist.
- Gather the dough into a ball and shape into a flattened round. You may refrigerate the dough for 30-60 minutes to firm it back up.
- When ready to roll, lightly flour a flat surface and with a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about two inches larger than the inverted pie plate. To transfer to pie pan, roll the dough lightly up with the rolling pin and then invert it into the pie shell. Press a fork into the edges to create an instant design, or crimp the edges with your fingers. Then, prick the bottom of the pie with a fork and bake at 375 for about 7-8 minutes. Take out and cool slightly.
- Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the semi-baked pie crust and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the middle is completely set and does not look wet.
Grain-Free Pecan Crust
- 1 1/4 cup pecans, slightly toasted
- 2/3 cup shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Toast the pecans on a skillet on the stove over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes - until fragrant. Set aside to cool. Add the coconut to the skillet and toast for a few minutes until toasted, not burned.
- In a food processor, add the pecans and coconut with the sugar, cinnamon and salt and process until it is a crumbly mixture and sticks together slightly.
- Press into the 9-inch pie pan and freeze until solid.
- Once solid, take out of freezer and pour in the pumpkin pie filling, above. Bake at 375 for about 35 minutes, or until center is set.
Pie steps may seem overwhelming until you read them over and realize how simple it really is.
And if you go the extra step this Thanksgiving and make something from scratch; you will create new memories or it will remind you of old ones. And remember, food is about so much more than just eating, especially when you gather around the table with the ones you love.