Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends, show your thankfulness for your blessings, and gorge on foods you only see once a year. This year, my new husband and I decided to have our first Thanksgiving together at our home, alone, watching Star Wars.
Since it was the two of us, I only wanted to make one dessert. But which one? I have hundreds of recipes and a dozen favorites. I decided to go traditional: pumpkin pie. That didn't make the choice any easier. How do you go about picking a good recipe off paper, without having tried it before?
When I browse my cook books or favorite websites (cooks, food network, all recipes, to name a few), some things I look for are pictures, ingredients in my pantry, number of steps, and reviews. Sometimes I like to spend hours prepping a special dish, using scientific techniques and gourmet ingredients. However, since I was making an entire Thanksgiving dinner by myself (except for my human food chopper, Adam), my goals were for it to be simple and quick.
I got this recipe from here. It was easy, quick, and delicious! None of the spices overwhelmed it, so if you love your pie to have a zing to it, add more cloves or nutmeg.
- 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 unbaked pastry shell (9-inch) Marie Callender in the freezer section or homemade, recipe below
- whipped cream or whipped topping, for garnish
Turn oven on to 400°. Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices, and flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add eggs; mix well. Add evaporated milk, water, and vanilla; mix well. Pour into pie crust. Cover with a crust shield. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350° and bake 30 min, then remove crust shield. Bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until center is set and crust is golden.
1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbl sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
6 tbl cold butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3-4 tbl ice water
In a food processor, mix flour, salt and sugar until combined. Add shortening and pulse until it looks like sand. Add butter, and pulse until the size of small peas. Put mixture into a medium bowl, sprinkle 3 tbl of water and mix with a spatula (your warm hands will melt the fats). If too crumbly, add remaining water. Once well mixed, fold it about four times until it is a solid ball. Short cut: Put dough into the pie plate, press down, cover with plastic wrap, and roll it out using a mini roller or anything small and round. Press up the sides until it is all even. Remove plastic wrap. Cut off the rough edges with a butter knife then flute with your fingers. Use your thumb and forefinger of one hand and your forefinger on your other to press the flutes in around the edge.
This is important when baking something for longer than 30 min. Tear off enough aluminum foil to cover the pie and quarter fold. Cut a half moon shape out of the center, unfold, and you have a crust shield! You may have to do this a few times to get the hang of it.