The holidays are a special time for family and friends to gather to enjoy time sharing cherished memories and created new ones. It’s also a time for the older generation of bakers to engage with the next generation of young bakers and pass along favorite family recipes and traditions. In our family, we start the day before the big feast filling the house with the delicious scents of the holidays as we bake and decorate sweet treats for the family. A must-have at all holiday celebrations is my Fresh Pumpkin Pie. This spicy pumpkin pie with its flaky golden crust is one of my most requested holiday recipes, and the little ones delight in being able to help when we prepare the pumpkins for roasting. From my family to yours, enjoy!
Laurie’s Fresh Pumpkin Pie
Pastry for Pie Crust
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening or lard
- 6–8 tbsp (approx. ½ cup) ice-cold water
Prep—Easy Prep Blender Method:
Place flour, salt, and sugar in your blender and pulse to combine. Cut butter and very cold vegetable shortening into cubes. Place the butter into the blender and pulse 8 to 10 times or until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Turn the machine on low and feed the ice water down the feed hole in the top of the blender, then cover until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a ball. Do not overmix or handle the dough. Place the ball in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 mins.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- Small pie pumpkin, roasted and mashed into approx. 2 cups, cooked pumpkin or substitute one 15 oz can of pure pumpkin puree
- 1 can (12 fluid ounces) evaporated milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp salt
Roast Pumpkin Prep:
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Cut pie pumpkin in half and remove seeds. Place cut side down on a jelly roll pan or half-sheet cake pan. Pour in ½ cup water. Place in the oven to roast for 25 to 30 minutes. The pumpkin will be soft to the touch when done. Allow to cool and scrape out the flesh from the shell and mash. This should yield approximately 2 cups of mashed pumpkin.
Pumpkin Pie Prep:
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
On a lightly floured work surface, place your chilled dough and divide it in half. Roll one of the dough halves out into a circle about 1/8-inch thickness. Place 8 or 9 in pie pan upside down on dough circle, and with a sharp knife, cut dough 1½ inches larger than the pie pan. Remove pie pan from dough circle and gently fold the circle in half, then in half again. Gently lift the folded dough and transfer it onto the pie pan and unfold easing dough so it touches all areas on bottom and sides of the pie pan. Roll out the other half of the dough, and using small pumpkin, leaves, and other shaped mini cookie cutters, cut out decorations to decorate the pie edge with. Set aside and prepare the pie filling.
In a large bowl, combine the mashed pumpkin with evaporated milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt until well combined. Pour into the prepared pie crust and decorate the edge with the cutouts, brushing a little water onto the back of them before placing them onto the edge. Take a long strip of aluminum foil and fold it in half lengthwise twice to create a baking shield. Place it around the decorative edge to protect it from becoming too brown or burnt while the filling bakes.
Bake for 30 minutes and remove aluminum foil shield from the pie, return to the oven, and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Lightly cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for an additional 2 hours or overnight. Our family likes pumpkin pies best if you bake them a day ahead. Serve with whipped cream.
Laurie’s Top Tip: Don’t throw out your leftover rolled-out pastry dough scraps. Place them onto a baking sheet topped with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and cinnamon and bake for 12 to 15 mins in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) until they are golden brown. Remove to a serving dish for the little ones to enjoy a quick treat!