Friday, November 15, 2013

The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe

"Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life... a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God. "

-Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)

It's almost Thanksgiving. That time of year where we feast! There's turkey, and sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and pie. Stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy and green beans. Festivities abound! It's also the time of year where we give thanks for all we have. A time to enjoy our friends and families on this beautiful day.

Getting the crust ready to be filled
The pie that comes to mind during this sumptuous time of year, is of course, pumpkin.
My husband and I are pumpkin pie aficionados. You see, my husbands favorite dessert of all time is pumpkin pie. He asks for it instead of cake on his birthday in March. I mean, he really likes pumpkin pie. You know me, I love all desserts. Pumpkin pie included.

If you are using my pie crust recipe you need to keep the edges inside the rim, or else they might hang over while cooking.

For years I hosted a Thanksgiving feast at my home for friends since I don't live close to family anymore. I always wanted it to be really fantastic. I wanted the food to be amazing, extraordinary. A banquet like no other. Where every luscious bite that you take is so scrumptious, so enjoyable and mouthwateringly delectable, that you'd never forget it.

This Dark Muscovado sugar really makes this recipe special. Muscovado sugar is an unrefined sugar made from the juice of sugar cane by evaporating it and draining off the molasses. It can be found at Whole Foods, or a fancy grocery store, such as Bristol Farms, or some well stocked natural foods stores. Or it's available online at Amazon. But try to find it locally, since it's quite pricey on Amazon. I paid only about 5 bucks for mine at a natural foods store. I highly recommend you use it, but if you absolutely can't find it, substitute brown sugar, plus add another tablespoon molasses.
I mean if I'm going to go to the effort, why not go all the way? Why settle for less? I feel it is also having a respect for my guests. Showing reverence by way of food. They took the time to come over and share my table during this precious time of year. Paired with the fact that most people rarely take time to cook from scratch. Takeout, restaurant food, frozen food and packaged foods is what most people eat when they sit down to dinner. On this great day I want it to be different. I want them to eat a well prepared, wholesome, homemade meal.

Those soirees, combined with our love for the pie, led me on a quest for the absolute best pumpkin pie around. After years of baking different recipes, this pie rose above all others. It's been my go to pumpkin pie recipe for a few years now.

The base of this recipe is adapted from Bobby Flay. His recipe calls for Bourbon Maple Whipped Cream and a crunchy topping. I've made it according to the recipe, and myself and our guests didn't care for the topping. We all loved the pie in a more simple form.
This recipe has molasses in it as well, which gives it a deep flavor.

This recipe is richer, and has a deeper, warm flavor, than a traditional pumpkin pie. It calls for more eggs, and heavy cream instead of the typical evaporated milk, usually called for in pumpkin pie, which makes it even more decadent. This is something I really like, since I prefer the taste of cream to canned milk. I mean if I don't like evaporated milk, why am I going to like it in pumpkin pie?

I like to strain the filling, just in case there are some bits of the muscovado sugar that didn't get dissolved.

What really makes the flavor of this pie stand out is the dark muscavado sugar. It has a  deep, rich, bold flavor that I'd never experienced before finding this recipe. It compliments the pumpkin pie wonderfully, it's just excellent. You will find a lot of tasty ways to consume the remainder of the package. In oatmeal, ice cream, brownies, or even try your hand at sticky toffee pudding. Anywhere you would use brown sugar, you can substitute dark muscovado sugar.

Brushing the crust with an egg (or an egg white, either way) gives the bottom a barrier, so it is less likely to get soggy from the filling. Also it makes the crust nice and golden brown.

The great thing about this recipe is that it takes only slightly more work than any ordinary pumpkin pie. Don't you just love a recipe that is easy but gives a big payoff? Me too.

Baking the pie on a preheated cookie sheet gives the bottom crust a head start in cooking.
During this time of Thanksgiving, I want to express a big Thank You! To you, my readers. I love hearing about how your cupcakes turned out, and how they've made you a superstar at home. Or how you've added your own signature touch to one of my recipes. Sometimes the ideas are so good, I use them myself. The feedback touches me and makes sharing recipes so much more gratifying.

I wish you and your family peace and happiness this holiday season!

Some of my Thanksgiving decorations. That's Romeo on the right, I miss him so.
 "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."
-Melody Beattie 

Our fireplace. Mickey reminds me everyday that magic is indeed everywhere.

This is my pantry door in the kitchen.

A plaque that hangs in the kitchen this time of year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

"May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!"


-Grandpa Jones

This is almost enough whipped cream for me and my piece of pumpkin pie.

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Silverplated Footed Butlers Tray, Vintage Stainless Cake Server, Vintage Old Ivory Syracuse China plates, and the Tan Cloth Damask Dinner Napkins, available at my Etsy shop, House of Lucien.

The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe

This makes one deep dish 9 or 10 inch pie


Pie crust - deep dish 9 or 10 inch - Frozen or homemade, may I recommend my Best All Butter Pie Crust recipe, it's amazing. If you use it you only need half of a recipe. Either freeze the other half, or just halve it.

3 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

3/4 cup (165 g.) Dark Muscovado Sugar, packed - see note above about this

1/4 cup (54 g.) brown sugar, packed

2 Tablespoons molasses

1 - 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree - NOT pumpkin pie filling

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. fine salt

1 cup (8 oz. or 236 ml.) heavy cream

1/2 cup (4 oz. or 118 ml.) whole milk

3 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

an egg or egg white, beaten with a splash of water (either way, it works, I just happened to have an egg white in the fridge so I used it.) - For brushing on the crust


Have your pie crust ready in a deep dish 9 or 10 inch dish, glass or Pyrex is best. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, 200 degrees Celsius, Gas Mark 6. Put a cookie sheet in the oven to preheat in the bottom third of the oven.

In a large bowl, add the eggs, egg yolks, both sugars and the molasses, whisk it together. Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt and stir it all together with a large spoon. Whisk in the heavy cream, milk, and vanilla. Strain the mixture through a strainer set over another bowl. Whisk in the melted butter.

Brush the entire crust with the beaten egg or egg white. This forms a barrier between the filling and the crust, so it's less likely to get soggy. Also brushing it on the edges of the crust makes them nice and golden brown.

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Place the pie crust on the preheated cookie sheet. Now pour the filling inside the pie crust, place back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then turn down the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, 150 degrees Celsius, Gas Mark 2 and bake another 60-70 minutes. It's done when the center is set and it's no longer jiggly in the middle.

Let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. Serve slightly warm, room temperature, or cold, topped with freshly whipped cream, if desired. Cover and refrigerate the leftovers.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Happy Baking!


Steph @ Three Loud Kids! said...

This looks so delicious! My family asked for me to make a homemade pumpkin pie this year and this makes me think that I might actually be able to make one!!

Iris said...

OK, I really like this recipe, but since we don't have anything like pumpkin puree in my country, just plain, fresh, grated pumpkin - that's the way we can buy it in the market - can I add it like that to the recipe? Or blend it in the food processor and then add it to the mix?

Also, we don't have molasses here as well. The only similar ingredients are honey and maple syrup. Can any of those two be used for this recipe?

Thanks in advance :)

The Alchemist said...

Margita - First you would cook the pumpkin, then put it in the food processor, so it turns to puree, so yes, go ahead and substitute that.

The molasses is tricky because it has a specific flavor to it. Do you have the muscovado sugar? If you do, I would say to use all of that sugar instead of that sugar plus the brown sugar called for in the recipe. That will give it a good flavor. If you don't have it and plan on using brown sugar, I would use the maple syrup, although it doesn't have as deep of a flavor.

Good luck, I hope it turns out great!

Iris said...

We do have Dark Muscovado sugar :) Thanks, I'll do that, then... Will let you know about the result ;)

Winnie said...

Beautiful and delicious looking pie, and I love your presentation!

Wanda (A Book Lover's Retreat) said...

All of the pumpkin recipes are going to my head! LOL I LOVE anything pumpkin and your pie looks scrumptious! thanks for sharing!

New follower from #FF. Following via Facebook & Pinterest. :)

Wanda @ A Book Lover's Retreat

Samantha said...

All I can find is Light Muscovado Sugar. Will that work?

The Alchemist said...

Samantha, Yes, I would use the light, it's better than not having it at all. Hope it turns out well!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe! I made it for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! Better texture and flavor than the standard pumpkin pie recipe. However, mine took much longer to bake. At the 70 min mark it was really soupy, so I turned the oven up to 350F and it took another hour for the filling to be set.

Unknown said...

This is the exact recipe I use