Pumpkin Pie

I’ve never been much for pie decorating, in fact most of my pies never really look that good. However I didn’t want to give up on this so I bought some of these pie crust cutters which work really well. It’s a decent variety of sizes and shapes for fall baking. Most recipes say to blind bake the pie crust for pumpkin pie, but I was hesitant. With an hour plus bake time for the filling, adding an additional 20 minutes of baking to the crust might brown it too much. Especially with the leaf pattern around the edge, the small shapes will brown quicker than you expect. I took a chance and didn’t pre bake the crust and it came out perfect. So you don’t always have to blind bake your pie crust. I had intended to put the pie designs right on top of the filling before baking, but this filling was not as firm as I expected, so there was no way they would stay on top and not sink into the filling. After the pie came out of the oven I cut the dough pieces and created the design I wanted, then baked that separately, and placed them on the pie. It seems there are no hard and fast rules for pie baking since so much depends on the type of crust and the type of filling. I’m looking forward to bringing more pie baking adventures here soon!

Pumpkin Pie

  • 2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (from about 1 1/2 15 oz. cans)
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 2 pie crusts, recipe below

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven. Place a cookie sheet on the rack. Preheat to 375°F.

Remove both disks of dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes (mine took 20 minutes before it was workable). Roll one out into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Brush off the excess flour. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish and fit the dough into the dish. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold under the excess dough and, using your thumb create a flat surface around the edge. Roll out the second disk about 1/8” thick. Using an elm leaf cutter, cut about 21 leaves for the edge of the pie. With a pastry brush and water, wet the edge of your pie dough and place the leaves around the edge with slight overlap. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. Cut out various styles and designs with the remaining dough, lay out on parchment lined sheet pan and refrigerate for later use.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs and whisk until combined. Add the cream, milk, vanilla and bourbon and whisk until smooth. Pour the filling into the chilled piecrust. Brush the edge of the piecrust with an egg wash (1 egg whisked with a splash of water).

Place the pie dish on baking sheet. Bake until the filling is set, about 1 hour and 15 minutes, covering the edges of the crust with foil if they get too brown. Transfer the pie dish to a wire rack to cool. While the pie is cooling remove the pie dough cut outs from the fridge, brush with the remaining egg wash and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. The smaller cut outs will brown much quicker so remove those first if necessary. Then place the cut outs in desired design on cooled pie.

Pie crust

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

To make the dough in a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt until combined, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 5-10 pulses. Remove from processor and place dough in large bowl, add 6 tablespoons of the ice water, combine with wood spoon. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide in half and shape each into a disk. Wrap separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma