If you’re looking for a classic, creamy, fruity, and crumbly dessert for Thanksgiving, you need a pumpkin pie recipe. For many families in America, there is nothing more iconic and traditional at Thanksgiving than a pumpkin pie. This pie recipe combines all the sweet and spicy fall flavors: pumpkin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Warming your heart and stomach all at once!
Can Pumpkin Pie Be Healthy?
Pumpkin is impressively high in vitamin A and also contains other micronutrients and fiber. One slice of pumpkin pie (⅛ pie) only contains about 260 calories and 10 grams of fat, which makes it one of the healthiest pies at Thanksgiving.
How healthful pumpkin pie is depends on the amount of sugar and butter you use. Many recipes call for concentrated milk, cream cheese or canned pumpkin to enhance the richness of the pie, but they often contain a high amount of sugar. To lower calories and fat, and create a healthier version, I suggest using homemade pumpkin puree and maple syrup instead. The result should be a fabulous pie with crunchy-edges and creamy-filling.
Common Pumpkin Pie Mistakes to Avoid
A perfect pumpkin pie must have a creamy filling over a flaky crust and be sweet, but not too sweet. It may sound simple, but there are potential pitfalls. Luckily, there are also ways to overcome or avoid them altogether!
Soggy pie crust: the issue often comes from adding too much water. Also if it’s under-baked, allowing the liquid content of the filling to add to the soggy issue. To prevent this, add a teaspoon of ice water at a time. And don’t forget to let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This step helps to make the dough firm. Another tip is to bake your pie on the lower third rack of the oven, which allows the bottom crust to become crisp before absorbing water from the filling.
Pie filling sinking or crack: this usually happens either when the pie is over-baked or has been cooled too quickly. So how do you know when your pie is fully baked? Gently push a toothpick (or knife) into the center of the pie; it should come out clean. Your pie should also be allowed to cool down in the oven gradually. Once it’s thoroughly cooled, you will see that the edge is set and the filling looks firm.
Should Pumpkin Pie Be Served Warm or Cold?
Some insist on their pie being served cold while others believe warm pie is the best way to go. Actually, you can eat pumpkin pie either warm or cold, and it is tasty both ways.
If you would like warm pumpkin pie, you can serve it shortly after baking. However, for the best set texture, it helps to refrigerate it for at least 6 hours and then rewarm at 300°F for 15 minutes (this is also a good option if you would like to make your pie in advance.
If pumpkin pie is served cold or at room temperature, it has a firmer texture and cooler filling. But do not worry, the filling still has the creamy and smooth texture you expect.
The bottom line is, how you serve pumpkin pie depends on the weather (and what you fancy). If it is a cold winter night, a warm pumpkin pie with a cup of hot chocolate is a lovely idea. However, what is better than a cool slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream on a scorching summer day.
Pumpkin Pie Recipe
For the pie crust
- 1 ½ cup flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter cold, diced
- 4-5 tbsp ice water
For the pumpkin pie filling
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- In a bowl, whisk flour, sugar, salt, and butter. Then add ice water, one tablespoon at a time and gently mix them until well combined. Make sure that the dough doesn’t become too sticky.
- Shape the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Keep it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit for 5 minutes. Roll the dough out in a circle large enough to cover your air plate. If necessary, add a little flour underneath the dough to prevent it from sticking. Roll it in the pie dish and gently press the dough down, so it lines the bottom and sides of the pie dish.
- Put the pie crust into the refrigerator again. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Prepare pie filling
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolks, and syrup. Whisk them until everything is well combined. Then add heavy cream, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. Vigorously whisk until all the ingredients blend.
- Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the pie crust.
- Bake the pie at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool completely.
- Optional: serve with heavy cream, whipped aquafaba, or ice cream.
- One important thing when making the pie crust is to make sure that your butter and water are cold. Using cold butter minimizes its absorption into flour, which helps develop the structure and gluten formation. Ice water helps to prevent the butter from melting. That’s why you should take butter straight from the refrigerator and add it to the flour mixture. The result should be a beautiful crust with flaky layers and a better butter flavor.
- Pumpkin pie contains eggs and heavy cream, which are high in protein and moisture content. This is a perfect place for harmful bacteria to grow rapidly, even at room temperature. To protect your pie from becoming unsafe to eat, store it in the refrigerator after cooling at room temperature.
- Pumpkin pie can be frozen and safely stored up to a month.