Fresh Sugar Pumpkin Pie
I have been known to go a little pie crazy over the years. There have been more than a few “Pie Parties” where guests bring nothing but pie, I used to teach a “How to be a Pie Ninja” class to help people overcome their pie making fears, and our Thanksgiving table has been known to have more than a dozen pies, (sometimes more than one per person). So yes, I’m more than a little pie crazy.
One of my favorite things about having pie in the house, is eating it for breakfast. If I’m gonna start the day with pie, it can’t be too sweet. On the top of my list for morning pie is pumpkin, and this one, made with a fresh roasted sugar pumpkin, and not too much sugar, is perfect. Roasting the pumpkin certainly takes a little more effort than opening a can, but it’s not hard, and it’s fun and delicious. You can certainly substitute canned pumpkin if needed, or even better, replace the pumpkin with baked sweet potato or hubbard sqaush, and get three pies out of one recipe. You know that’s what I will be doing this year, (with some help from my sister). After all, we have a dozen pies to bake to line the center of our family table, and I want lots of this one left over for breakfast.
Fresh Sugar Pumpkin Pie
One 9-inch pie
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I sometimes add 1 Tablespoon wheat germ for nuttiness)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup ice water
1/4 teaspoon vinegar (white or cider)
1 small sugar pumpkin (about 7 inches in diameter) equaling: 2 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup heavy cream, milk or non-dairy milk
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice or clove
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Make the pie dough: Cut butter into 1-inch pieces and place in the freezer for 15 minutes. measure and sift all of the dry ingredients. In a mixer, food processor or using two forks, cut the butter into the dough until it is the size of larger peas. Some larger sized piece of butter are good, just pinch them flat. Add the ice water and vinegar and mix dough till combined, dough should be tacky. If dough is too dry, add spoonful more water. It is better for the dough to be a little too wet, than too dry. gently form the dough into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for one hour or longer until well chilled.
Preheat the oven to 375°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to an 11-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie dish and trim the overhang to 3/4 inch; fold the overhang under itself and crimp decoratively. Prick the bottom of the pie shell all over and refrigerate until firm.
Line the shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edge. Remove the foil and the weights and bake for about 12 minutes longer, or until the pie shell is golden brown and cooked on the bottom. Cover the rim of the pie shell with foil when it starts to brown. Leave the oven on.
Make pie filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Rub with a few drops of oil and place cut side down on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment. Pour 1/2 cup of water on the pan to help it steam a bit while it roasts. Bake for 45 minutes or longer until the flesh is very tender. Mash with a fork, a ricer until smooth. If you want a very smooth filling you can prepare the rest of this recipe in a blender or food processor, for a more textured filling mix by hand. Scoop 2 cups of the pumpkin flesh into a bowl and let cool, reserve the rest for another purpose (like soup). Whisk in the cream, brown sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg and scrape into the prepared pie shell.
Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 375°. Turn the oven down to 350° and continue to bake for about 40 minutes longer, or until the filling is set. If the crust edge starts to brown too much, cover with the edge with foil. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with yogurt or whipped cream.
Note: If you like sweet potato pie, you can use this same recipe and substitute, 3 pounds of baked, mashed sweet potatoes for the pumpkin. You can also use roasted hubbard squash or other winter squash.
To make ahead
The unbaked pie shell can be frozen for up to 1 week. The pumpkin can be baked and refrigerated for three days.