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Recipe

Classic Pumpkin Pie

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8 to 10

This pie has it all—a flaky, buttery crust and a creamy, spiced pumpkin filling. You can make the crust and even bake the pie before the big day, so there’s absolutely no excuse for buying a pie for Thanksgiving.

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 5-5/8 oz. (1-1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for rolling
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt

For the filling

  • 1 15-oz. can pure pumpkin purée (1-3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • Pinch table salt
  • 1-1/3 cups half-and-half
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 260
      Fat Calories (kcal): 130
      Fat (g): 14
      Saturated Fat (g): 9
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4
      Cholesterol (mg): 75
      Sodium (mg): 170
      Carbohydrates (g): 30
      Fiber (g): 2
      Protein (g): 5

Preparation

For the dough

  • Cut the butter into 6 pieces and put in the freezer. Measure out 3 Tbs. cold water.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or two butter knives, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the pieces are just larger than peas. (You can also do this in a food processor using short pulses. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl before proceeding.)
  • Drizzle the cold water over the mixture and, using the fingertips of one hand, pinch and squeeze the mixture while tossing with a silicone spatula in the other hand until it begins to form shaggy clumps.
  • Scrape the dough onto a clean work surface. Using the heel of your hand, gently smear the dough away from you in sections. Using a bench scraper, gather and fold the crumbs on top of each other and turn the pile 180°. Repeat the smearing action, gathering and turning the dough several times until the crumbs just hold together. Shape the dough into a 5-inch disk, smoothing the edges. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

Roll the dough

  • Let the dough sit at room temperature until it’s pliable enough to roll, 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Put a large piece of parchment paper on a work surface, lightly flour it, and put the dough in the center. Lightly flour the dough and cover with another piece of parchment. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough from the center to the edges into a 13-1/2-inch circle that’s about 1/8 inch thick. After every few passes, rotate the parchment a quarter turn, and lift the dough and stretch out the parchment underneath; it tends to bunch a little. Reflour the parchment lightly only as needed; excess flour can make the crust tough.
  • Peel away the top piece of parchment. Gently roll the dough around the rolling pin, position the pin over a 9-inch glass pie plate, and unroll, easing the dough into the plate. Gently press the dough into the sides and bottom of the plate without stretching it, allowing the excess dough to hang over the edges. Trim the excess dough to a 3/4-inch overhang. Roll the overhang under itself to shape a high edge crust that rests on the rim of the pie plate. Crimp the dough into a fluted edge. Cover and refrigerate the crust while the oven heats.

Blind-bake the crust

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Line the crust with foil or parchment, and then fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and pie weights. Bake until the crust is pale golden and looks dry, 5 to 8 minutes more. Let cool on a rack while you make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Make the filling

  • Whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk in the half-and-half and vanilla. Add the eggs and whisk until just blended. Pour the filling into the baked crust (it’s OK if the crust is still warm).
  • Bake until the center of the filling jiggles like jello when the plate is nudged, 48 to 50 minutes. A few small cracks might appear close to the crust—that’s fine. Cool the pie on a rack until room temperature, about 3 hours. Cover loosely and refrigerate until ready to serve. The pie is best when served within 2 days of baking, and can be warmed slightly in a 300°F oven, if desired. Serve with whipped cream.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. If you freeze it, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.

The pie crust can be rolled, shaped and crimped, then frozen (wrapped in plastic) for up to 1 month. Blind-bake the crust directly from the freezer.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • whoadammitranch | 11/27/2014

    The best pumpkin pie! The crust is flaky and flavorful, the filling not too cloyingly sweet. I live at 5,000 feet and had to add 4minutes to the pie cooking time. I will never use another pumpkin pie recipe. Thanks, Abby!

  • User avater
    TheMomChef | 10/18/2014

    Replacing the usual evaporated milk with half-and-half was what my mom always did so I was immediately a fan. I liked the 'smearing' method of making my crust as well. The dough was easy to work with and came out beautifully flaky. The filling was perfectly spiced, creamy and absolutely delicious. You can read my full review at Taking On Magazines: http://www.takingonmagazines.com/classic-pumpkin-pie/

  • User avater
    Pielove | 09/16/2014

    This is a superb pie. The crust technique (fraisage) sounds a bit naughty, but yields a tender, flaky crust, as it's made with minimal water and not overworked. The filling is barely sweet, so it will make a great breakfast pie too. The subtle spicing, with just a hint of nutmeg/cinnamon/ginger-- and no cloves!-- does not overwhelm the taste of the pumpkin and cream (well, half-and-half). Also, the use of half-and-half makes for a light filling with a creamy texture.

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