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REAL pumpkin pie for your holiday celebrations

November 1st, 2012 No Comments

By now you probably know I don’t like to eat or use canned/processed foods (and that my food photography sucks).  This has always been what’s held me back from making pumpkin pie.  That, and Aunt Judy makes her “famous” one at Thanksgiving.  But I never asked for her recipe because she uses canned pumpkin puree.

This year, with a request to make the classic, I decided to do it right, from real pumpkin to pie, from flour to crust, from cream to whipped creme.

Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar-Walnut Topping

Bon Appetit November 2009 via Epicurious

Servings:  I made one small pie and 4 ramekins.  It’s supposed to be one deep dish pie, but I like to spread the sweets amongst friends :)


Walnut Topping

  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar (many reviewers said to use 1/2 cup, I used 3/4 cup to make up for lack of sweetness in fresh pumpkin)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin OR fresh roasted pumpkin (you need about 4 small ones)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (I used 1/2 creme, 1/2 2% milk)
Martha Stewart’s Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour (I use stone ground wheat) spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons ice water
My Whipped Creme
  • heavy whipping creme
  • agave syrup
  • vanilla


For crust
In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt.  Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles course meal.  Add water and pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed.  If needed you can add up to 2 more tablespoons of water, but no more than that.  On a work surface, knead dough and until it comes together.  Flatten dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least one hour.  (MR NOTE: I divide dough into two discs and leave one in the freezer to use at a later date.  OR I freeze one and then just use the rest to press directly into the pie pan, without freezing.)
Position oven rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F.  To prebake the crust, place it on a piece of wax/parchment paper and expand it with your knuckles.  Martha then suggests to lift the paper to wrap the dough around a rolling pin to flatten.  I take pieces and press it into the pan with my fingers.  Mostly because I don’t have a rolling pin.  It actually works and creates a crumbly crust.

Line pan with crust and then line with  nonstick foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is set, about 20 minutes. Gently remove foil and beans.  Cool crust completely on a rack. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling

Preheat oven to 450.

Cut open four small pumpkins, remove seeds, roast cut side down at 450 until the flesh is soft.  About an hour and a half.  Let pumpkin cool and then scoop out flesh from skin.  Put into a food processor, turn on high, and then add water or milk slowly.  I added a teaspoon of butter as well.

Whisk brown sugar, eggs, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in medium bowl. Add pumpkin and cream and whisk until well blended and smooth.

Pour filling into crust. Bake pie until filling is firm, covering crust with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle topping evenly over top of pie. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F; continue to bake pie until filling is set and slightly puffed in center, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Tent with foil and chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

For walnut topping

Combine all ingredients. Using on/ off turns, blend to fine crumbs.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

For whipped creme:

Put beaters and glass or metal bowl in freezer for 20 minutes.
Pour at least 1 cup heavy whipping creme into the chilled bowl.  Beat electric mixer on high until creme starts to stiffen.  Add about a teaspoon of agave and blend.  Add about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and blend.  Taste and add agave or vanilla if needed.  Blend until creme peaks but is not stiff.  DO NOT OVER-BEAT.
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