Pumpkin Pie

The Pumpkin Pie Recipe One of the things Michele’s Pies is best known for is our Pumpkin Pie. The secret to our success is simple: Use fresh pumpkins, never canned. I recommend using the sugar pumpkin variety for this recipe because not only do these pumpkins have the most flavor, but their dark orange flesh will make your pie a beautiful, deep, rich orange color.

level: challenging   Makes one 9-inch pie, 6 to 8 slices

1 recipe Traditional Pastry Piecrust dough for a 9-inch single-crust pie
¼ cup heavy cream (to glaze the crimped pie edges)

2 cups fresh processed pumpkin (a 5-pound sugar pumpkin yields about 2 cups; see Note at end of recipe)
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

To prepare the pie shell, on a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll out half a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it forms a 10-inch circle. Wrap the remaining half of the dough tightly in plastic wrap and reserve it in the refrigerator for future use for up to 5 days.

Fold the circle in half, place it in a 9-inch pie plate so that the edges of the circle drop over the rim, and unfold the dough to completely cover the pie plate.

Using your thumb and index finger, crimp the edges of the pie shell. Brush the edges of the pie shell with heavy cream to create a perfect, golden brown finish. Set the pie shell to the side while you make the filling.

To prepare the filling, in a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, condensed milk, eggs, cinnamon, and salt. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl several times to fully incorporate all ingredients. Pour the pumpkin filling into the pie shell, distributing it evenly.

To bake, place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F and continue baking for approximately 35 minutes, or until the pie is firm in the middle.

Transfer the pie plate to a wire cooling rack and allow the pie to cool and set for 1½ hours before serving. Pumpkin Pie is best served cold or at room temperature. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Note: Alternatively, use a 15-ounce can of pumpkin filling, but I strongly encourage you to try the fresh pumpkin variety.

Notes and Tips:
Processing pumpkins does take some extra effort, but it’s worth it when you see everyone’s faces light up as they taste their first bites of this special pie after Thanksgiving dinner. To be honest, when I first opened up the shop, I had to convince my own staff to take the additional step of pumpkin processing in the midst of the Thanksgiving rush.

After hearing a few of them make the argument for using a premade canned pumpkin filling, I decided to prove my point. I sat the entire staff down for a blind taste test, during which I served them pumpkin pies made from a variety of canned pumpkin fillings and a pie made from my own freshly processed pumpkins.

Unanimously, they chose the freshly processed pumpkin pie as the best of the bunch. Since then, I’ve never heard a single complaint about the extra effort. (For processing instructions).

Pumpkin Pie
Holiday Recipes
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