Pumpkin Pie is as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey. Have you noticed that? But, it shouldn’t just be a Thanksgiving pie. It’s so easy to prepare, it should grace our tables more frequently. Let’s all work on that, okay? The Goddess is heretical, but you already knew that. She must now confess, that she uses canned pumpkin for her pumpkin pies. Oh, get over it! Move on…She loves the convenience and the consistent flavor. And the liquid content of canned pumpkin is always consistent, as well. She uses “solid-pack” not the cans that say “pumpkin pie filling”. She hasn’t gone that far off the deep end. By all means, if you prefer to roast or steam fresh pumpkin, then do so. You’ll need about 2 cups, maybe a bit less.
Now the other little heretical bit of information is that if you wish, you can use the recipe on the back of the pumpkin can still make a great pie. Horrors! Breathe deeply, you’ll be fine. That’s where she started and then she slowly changed the recipe to suit her tastes. She adds a bit more spice, bourbon, molasses and vanilla extract.
I must mention nutmeg. It takes no time at all to grate nutmeg and there is no comparison between fresh and pre-ground nutmeg, so purchase the whole nutmeats. You can purchase both the grater and the whole nutmeg from The Spice Mill. I use a microplane, but I also have a handy, dandy little contraption that looks like a pepper mill, but is designed for nutmeg only. Any of these options will give you great grated nutmeg! The other bonus is that the whole nutmeats will keep for 2-4 years, if properly store.
Mix sugar, spices and salt in small bowl; set aside. Beat eggs in bowl large enough to hold the entire amount of filling; I use large glass measuring cup. I got interrupted here, and took the picture before I added the third egg. It happens. Stir in the bourbon, molasses, vanilla, pumpkin and sugar/spice mixture. Gradually whisk in the evaporated milk. The filling will be reasonably thick. Carefully pour the filling into pie shell; the pie will be really full. You want a nice high edge on the crust, at least 3/4-inch above the rim of the pie plate, to prevent spills. For that same reason, you might want to put the pie plate on a foil-lined sheet pan first, then fill it and place it in the oven. This will catch any boil-over spills and just makes it easier to transfer from place to place.
Bake as directed until done. When done, the very center should still jiggle every so slightly and the pie will be “puffed” around the edge. Cool on wire rack for at least 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Now, The Goddess has to fess up. What you’re looking at here are too separate sets of photos—one for an actual pumpkin pie without the chile powder and molasses, like in the opening photos. This is because The Goddess didn’t take photos of making the filling. Seriously forgetful, she is! The assembling of the filling, is the second set of photos. You’ll note that the filling is darker, because it was made with the chile powder and molasses and that’s the recipe given here. You may recall that The Goddess has mentioned she’s not a huge fan of pie pastry and that’s particularly true with pumpkin pie. But, she loves the filling. So every now and again, when she gets a hankering, she pulls out her trusty soufflé dish and bakes a crustless pumkin pie! It works great and it’s a perfect solution for gluten-free guests at your holiday table. But, whichever you choose, serve it with whipped cream. Definitely some whipped cream!
Spicy Pumpkin Pie
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground Vietnamese cinnamon
- 1/2-1 teaspoon pure ground guajillo powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/3-1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
- 1 tablespoons molasses (optional)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 drops Angostura bitters (optional)
- 1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack 100% pure pumpkin (or about 1 3/4 cup)
- 1 1/4 cups regular, full-fat evaporated milk (no non-fat, please)
- 1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell made with Perfect Pie Pastry (with about a 5 1/2-cup volume)
- Whipped cream or ice cream
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
Mix sugar, cinnamon, spices and salt in small bowl; set aside. Beat eggs in bowl large enough to hold the entire amount of filling. Stir in the bourbon, molasses, vanilla, pumpkin and sugar/spice mixture. Gradually whisk in the evaporated milk. Carefully pour the filling into pie shell. Place in the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. The very center should still jiggle every so slightly. Cool on wire rack for at least 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream or ice cream, before serving.
NOTE: The filling will “puff” up a bit. It is imperative that you have a high edge of pastry, at least 3/4-inch above the rim of the pie plate. It’s a good idea to bake pies on foil-lined sheet pans…just in case. Pumpkin pie can be made one day ahead of serving, cooled completely, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated.
Spicy Pumpkin Pie Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2017. All rights reserved.
It’s very important that you have a really high edge on the crust and don’t over-fill the crust.
The Goddess likes her pumpkin pie cold, but that’s up to you. But can we please agree that pumpkin pie absolutely needs whipped cream or ice cream? Thank you! By the way, you may flavor the whipped cream with bourbon or serve the pie with good vanilla ice cream. However, Salted Caramel Ice Cream is really quite divine with pumpkin pie! Just throw’n it out there!
An optional pie flavor, provided by a good friend, is to put a layer of mincemeat in the bottom of the pie pastry. She uses about an 3/4-inch thick layer of mincemeat, then carefully pours enough pumpkin filling over it to have a full pie. This method will give you 2 such pies. Her family adores this, as they had difficulty deciding which type of pie to have, mincemeat or pumpkin. This solves that dilemma. Isn’t she clever?
Here are the two favorite pies of The Goddess’s entourage; apple pie and pumpkin pies do seem to be universal favorites at this time of year…what are your favorite pies?
TIP: To whip cream ahead of time, add 2 tablespoons powdered sugar or 2 teaspoons of dry powdered milk per cup of heavy cream. Whip to a slightly firm peak stage. You may now refrigerate the whipped cream for several hours without it losing volume. Another option is to sprinkle 4 teaspoons of instant vanilla pudding on the cream, after you’ve reached the soft peak stage, then continue to beat until firm. However, the final whipped cream will have a yellowish tint to it and be slightly sweet.