As much as I love experimenting with alternative pumpkin desserts like pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin pie dip, sometimes nothing is better than the beloved standby, classic pumpkin pie. This year I tried out an old-fashioned style recipe.
The delicious crust is ultraflaky and butter-rich, and the filling is well spiced. The resulting pie is silky with a rich pumpkin flavor that's not too sweet. Topped with a generous dollop of barely sweetened whipped cream, it's near unbeatable.
The pie crust can be blind-baked and frozen ahead of time.
1 disc pie dough
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup whole milk
2 cups canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
Unsweetened or lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Roll out the pie dough, fit it into a 9-inch pie plate, and crimp its edges, if desired. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, and then freeze for 20 minutes to overnight.
Place the frozen, crimped pie shell on a baking sheet. Line the inside of the shell with parchment paper. Fill with pie weights or uncooked beans until the weights are even with the top edge of the crimp. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through. The outer edge of the crimp should be dry and golden brown.
Remove the shell from the oven, and carefully remove the parchment paper full of pie weights. If the paper sticks to the pie, then bake it for 3 more minutes, and try again. Once the parchment paper is removed, prick the bottom of the shell all over with a fork. Bake for 3 more minutes, until the interior of the shell is dry and a light golden brown.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the pie shell on a baking sheet.
Combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl, and mix with a whisk to break up the brown sugar and combine the ingredients.
Place the eggs into a large bowl and break up the yolks with a whisk. Add the cream and milk, and whisk just to combine. Add the pumpkin and vanilla, and whisk until the batter is smooth. Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing well after each one.
Pour the batter into the pie shell. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, until the filling is slightly puffed at the edge and the center is set. The center of the pie should be shiny but dry to the touch.
Remove from the oven, and cover with a large mixing bowl. There should be at least 2 to 3 inches of space between the pie and the top of the inverted bowl. Prop one side of the bowl up with a knife or spoon to let the steam escape. This allows the pie to cool slowly and prevents cracks from forming on top of the pie. Cool to room temperature, and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, up to overnight, before slicing. Serve with a generous dollop of whipped cream.