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Sugar & Spice Pumpkin Pie with Brandied Ginger Cream

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Serves eight to ten.

It’s worth freshly grinding the spices for this rich and silky pie; they add a depth and vibrancy you just don’t get with the pre-ground variety.

For the crust
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 5 oz. (10 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the filling
  • 15-oz. can pure pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs. brandy
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground cinnamon stick (or 1-1/2 tsp. pre-ground cinnamon)
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch freshly ground cloves (or 1/8 tsp. pre-ground cloves)
For the cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. brandy
Make the crust

In a small bowl, stir the salt into 1/3 cup very cold water until dissolved. Put the flour in a food processor and scatter the butter on top. Pulse until the mixture forms large crumbs and some of the butter is in pieces the size of peas, about 8 pulses. Add the salt water and pulse until the dough begins to come together in large clumps, about 7 pulses.you'll still see some butter pieces. Shape the dough into a 1-inch-thick disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a circle 16 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a 9-inch ceramic, metal, or glass pie plate, easing the dough into the bottom and sides and then gently pressing into place. For a traditional crimped edge, trim the overhanging dough to 1/2 inch from the edge of the plate. Fold the overhang under and crimp decoratively. To make the fancier edge decoration pictured below, check out our simple technique. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight, or freeze for up to 2 weeks.

Blind-bake the crust

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line the chilled pie shell with parchment and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until the sides have just set and look dry, 16 to 20 minutes (lift the parchment to check). Remove the weights and parchment and bake until the edges are light golden and the bottom is pale and completely dry, about 5 minutes. If the dough starts to bubble while baking, gently push the bubbles down with the back of a spoon. Let the crust cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

Make the filling and bake the pie

Heat the oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin, eggs, egg yolk, cream, and brandy. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, pepper, and cloves. Whisk the sugar mixture into the pumpkin mixture.

Pour the filling into the cooled piecrust. Bake until the pie is set around the outside but still slightly wet and jiggly in the center, about 1 hour. The filling will continue to set as it cools. Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days before serving.

Make the cream just before serving

Whip the cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until it forms very soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, ginger, and brandy and continue whipping until it forms medium-firm peaks, about 30 seconds longer. Dollop in the center of the pie, leaving a band of filling visible around the edge of the pie, or dollop on individual servings.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make and freeze the crust up to 2 weeks ahead. The pie may be filled and baked up to 2 days ahead.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 420; Fat (g): fat g 29; Fat Calories (kcal): 260; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 18; Protein (g): protein g 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 37; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 260; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 155; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

was initally hesitant about grinding my own spices, as that meant having to purchase a mortar & pestle. But was extremely satisfying, the flavour of the freshly ground spices made a hugh difference in taste. Family loved it and the brandies ginger cream was to die for!

Very beautiful, very good... I have to admit that I have never been a pumpkin pie lover, so I may not be the best judge, but everyone else seemed to think it was delicious.

Perhaps something went wrong here, but my husband and I were not too impressed with this one. I actually went back and took a second look at the reciepe because I thought I left something out, unfortunately that was not the case as I followed it exact. Other than the spices it was sort of bland and not nearly enough sugar to even make it sort of sweet. We are not real sweet tooths either and I even used fresh spices! Tasted like spiced squash pie? The whip cream was way over powered by the ginger...White sugar and less ginger next time? The crust came out excellent, very nice and flaky

Hands down the best pumpkin pie recipe I have made. I have yet to grind the spices, but even using spices just from a jar, the brandy,ginger and pepper make this a wonderful pie filling. The whip cream with the brandy and ginger make this combination complete. Rave reviews from the family!

This was the most pumpkin-y fresh tasting pie. I only used fresh grated nutmeg but next TG I will go all out with fresh spice.

Best pumpkin pie I've ever made. Grinding the spices fresh made all the difference. I had to use fresh pumpkin (Muscat) as we can't get it in the can here. First time Austrian pumpkin pie eaters LOVED it!

This is a very good quality 'traditional' pumpkin pie. Very happy with it.

Love, love, love this pie! Sometimes the traditional pie is to sweet and has little depth to its flavors, but this pie tops them all. Pepper and brandy take it to the next level. I've made it several times and will continue to use this recipe to make my future pies.

This is an excellent rendition of pumpkin pie with minimal fuss. The challenge for me has been the pie crust. The technique shown on the Fine Cooking video is excellent but there are a few subtle tricks I learned along the way. When fluting, be sure to press not just sideways but down to make the dough adhere to the top of the pie pan and be sure that the pie weights nearly fill the pan; otherwise, I found that the butter-rich dough literally melts down the sides. For those of us who are experienced cooks but not bakers, I hope this little tip helps.

This pie got rave reviews when brought to a party recently. I didn't have brandy and so ommitted it, and I used bottled spices, but it still tasted great. I loved the texture of this pie which was lighter and creamier than the usual pumpkin pie. This is now going to be my annual Thanksgiving pie recipe!

I thought this was the best pumpkin pie I have ever had. It is aggressively spicy, which my wife thought was okay, and my kids would not touch. So I give it 5 stars for a gourmand, 3 stars for most people, and 1 star for kids. For the FC audience, I would assume most are gourmands. We all agreed the crust was awesome. I used rice in parchment paper for the blind baking, but found a great tip online: use a second pie plate that fits perfectly inside the first instead of pie weights. I ground all the spices fresh as recommended. I may try skipping the pepper, and just grinding fresh nutmeg next time to see if I can get more balance.

I left out the brandy in the pie and whipping cream and used a different pie crust, but the pumpkin pie filling was one of the best I have had. My family raved about it.

Made two off the bat. Subtle flavors in a creamy texture. Brandy does enhance the spices, and I was pleasantly surprised how it improved this traditional common place pie. I would add only 1 Tbs of brown sugar to the whipped cream, and sprinkle cinnamon over it and the pie before serving.

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