Thanksgiving Day is rapidly approaching and we’re starting to prepare for our annual feast! One of our Thanksgiving dinner must-haves is pumpkin pie, perhaps one of the most simple and most loved desserts around.
If you’ve never made homemade pumpkin pie, we’re here to help. With amazing bakeries in abundance it’s easy to count on them to help fill the dessert table, but we miss out on the satisfaction that comes with doing the work ourselves. Many novice bakers are intimidated by the thought of taking on a task such as homemade pie crust. But, you can trust us when we tell you that it’s much easier than it sounds.
One of the most simple desserts one can make is pumpkin pie. Pre-made crust is readily available at the local supermarket and works great in a pinch, but it just isn’t quite the same as making your own. In the video below, Martha Stewart teaches beloved Golden Girls actress Betty White how to make homemade pie crust for pumpkin pie.
As Martha mentions in the clip, the trick to a flaky crust is keeping the ingredients cold. In the Country Rebel kitchen, we go so far as to freeze our flour before cutting in the chilled butter. While Martha Stewart depends on a food processor to make her crust, we prefer to do it by hand using a pastry blender or our hands…no fancy equipment required. It’s also important to remember not to overwork your dough. You should be able to see chunks of butter throughout your dough, a sure sign that buttery, flaky goodness is in the works.
Pumpkin pie filling is nothing more than a simple custard and requires only one step to make….whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. That’s it. No chopping, grating, dicing, whipping, etc. Just add the filling ingredients to a large bowl and mix it up.
The trickiest part of making a homemade pumpkin pie is getting your filled crust to the oven without spilling it. There are two options to reduce the risk of making a mess on your kitchen floor or oven. Place the crust-lined pie plate on a baking sheet and fill with pumpkin pie filling. Move the filled crust to the oven using the baking sheet, or place the baking sheet and crust in the oven first and then pour in the filling.
Since it’s Thanksgiving and we’re indulging anyway, we serve our pumpkin pie piled high with sweetened whipped cream. Sometimes we feel a little frisky and ramp up our pie with a splash of Fireball Whisky. (Find the recipe for Fireball Pumpkin Pie here.)
Check out Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Pie recipe below and give it a try!
For pie crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 to 4 Tablespoons ice water
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
1 1/2 cups solid-pack canned pumpkin
3 large eggs
3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
Whipped cream, for serving
For pie crust:
Stir together flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water 1 Tablespoon at a time just until dough starts to come together.
Reserve 1/4 of the dough for making leaf decorations. Turn out the remaining dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out into a 14-inch round. Fit round into a 10-inch pie plate and crimp or trim the edges. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
Roll out reserved dough to 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet, and freeze until firm. Using a leaf-shape cookie cutter or a paring knife, cut leaves from dough. Freeze until cold, about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk 1 egg and heavy cream in a small bowl to make egg wash. Brush edges of pie shells with a wet pastry brush and arrange the leaves around edges. Brush leaves with egg wash. Line pie crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dry pinto beans. Freeze until cold, about 10 minutes.
Bake pie shell in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove weights and parchment and bake 5 minutes more. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
For pie filling:
In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, eggs, and evaporated milk until combined.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place prepared pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet and gently pour in the filling. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until all but centers are set. Let pies cool completely on a wire rack before serving.