Greetings! Is anyone still in a food coma from Thanksgiving weekend? Are you sick of seeing pie yet? I hope not, because I’m super excited to talk about pumpkin pie today. (If you are sick of pie, then try to remember this post for next year.)
I originally shared this pumpkin pie recipe with you back in 2013 (almost on the exact same day of that year). I’ve been making this pie every Thanksgiving (sometimes more than once a season) ever since my mother in law gave me the recipe. Needless to say, I could probably make it with my eyes closed. I have never changed the recipe. Never. It’s got the perfect combination of warm spices, which I think is the key to the ideal pumpkin pie and the perfect homemade flaky pie crust.
My husband likes to tell a story about this pie. Growing up he never understood why anyone could dislike pumpkin pie. He only had this pie as a point of reference and it is the best there is. After so many years of eating this pie in the autumn he ended up with a high quality pie from an orchard. As he dove into a slice his face fell. “Okay, now I get it.” Even the best pumpkin pies available in stores, bakeries, orchards, and even mass produced frozen incarnations just couldn’t compare. At first he thought it was just a nostalgia thing, but after trying other offerings, he has decided that it just simply is the best and that it makes sense why people that have never had this pie could think pumpkin pie sucks.
However, I do have one gripe. The top of the custard always cracks. Cracks can form on the top of a pumpkin pie if you’ve overcooked it, but I know that’s not the case with mine because it doesn’t have a rubbery texture. So what the heck? The pie was always delicious so I’d all but given up on trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. I usually cover the cracks with pie crust shapes or whipped cream or both. There is no shame in that, especially if it means adding more delicious pie crust to each bite. And there is certainly nothing wrong with serving a pie au naturel with its cracks on top because it still tastes out of this world delicious. My dad always says that “the stomach knows no looks.” But as a food blogger and a perfectionist those imperfect cracks have always bothered me.
This year I did something a little different with the pumpkin pie. The normal method is to pull it out of the oven directly to the counter to cool. This time, after it was done baking, I turned the oven off, opened the oven door a little and left the pie in the oven to cool for an hour or so. Look at this beauty! There are no cracks! I’m showing you the entire pie for the record.
When I say “cracks,” I’m talking about those craters that magically form as it cools, even though the top of the custard looked smooth when you took it out of the oven. I’m not talking about the hair line ones because those are natural for all custards. This year I’m only adding whipped cream on top because it’s a tasty addition and I’m not trying to hide the imperfections.
I think leaving the pumpkin pie to cool in the oven is the secret to getting a crack free top. That, or I just got lucky. I guess I’ll find out next year. What do you think? Do you have any tips for making pumpkin pie?
Pumpkin Pie Recipe
(10 inch pie, about 8 servings)
- 1 layer of pie crust (homemade or store-bought), uncooked
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
- Mix in the eggs, pumpkin puree, and evaporated milk.
- Line a 10 inch round baking pan with one uncooked pie crust.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the crust.
- Cover the outer edge of the pie crust with a pie crust protector or tin foil.
- Place the pie on a baking sheet on the lower shelf of the preheated oven and bake it for 10 minutes.
- Lower the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F and bake it for an additional 50 minutes or until a butter knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. The center of the filling should jiggle a tad when you shake it gently and the color of the filling looks dark and has slightly puffed up. Rotate the pie half way during the baking process and remove the crust protector.
- Turn off the oven, open the door slightly, leave the pie in the oven to cool for an hour or so. (Please note! If your oven is in reach of kids then either skip this step or take extra caution.)
- Let the pie cool for at least 1 hour before serving.
Source: My mother-in-law’s mom