Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week!?!? Me neither!! In the midst of prepping food for our Turkey Day meal, I’m prepping for another Thanksgiving surrounded by our favorite Soldiers. I know that one of the desserts that has to make an appearance on my table is this Perfectly Easy Pumpkin Pie. Now, when I name something “Perfectly Easy,” I don’t do so lightly. Just wait ’til you see how fast this comes together- you’re going to fall in love. After you taste it, you’ll become so obsessed it’ll have to take out a restraining order on you. I mean it.
Surprising, Yet Perfectly Easy
A one-pound disc of homemade Mealy Pie Dough or Flaky Pie Dough, or even store-bought dough if you’re pressed for time, will be the base for this custard pie. Pureed pumpkin, roasted at home or canned, along with brown sugar, spices, eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, and two surprise ingredients are all you need to complete this perfectly tasty dessert. Oh! And freshly whipped cream, of course!
Rollin’, Rollin’, Flutin’…
After pre-heating your oven to four hundred twenty-five degrees, grab a rolling pin and roll out your disc of dough to about fourteen inches in diameter.
Transfer your circle of dough to a nine inch pie plate, and firmly press it into the plate. Fold under any excess dough to create a nice, ample crust. Flute the edges of the dough using your fingers. Grip the dough between your thumb and the side of your finger (between the first and second knuckles). Twist the dough a quarter of a turn counter-clockwise to create the fluted edge. You could also use the tines of a fork, dipped in flour, to press the crust.
Once you’ve fluted the dough’s edge, put the pie plate into the freezer to allow it chill and become firm. Meanwhile, combine one egg yolk and one tablespoon of cold water together in a small mixing bowl. Whisk the two together until foamy and set this aside. This is the egg wash we will use later.
A Perfectly New Twist on Pumpkin Pie Filling
I have to confess that I have never been able to stomach pumpkin pie. Something about it sets my gag reflex to working overtime.
When I started experimenting with creating the perfect pumpkin tart, I decided to alter the custard to make it a pie filling. That’s where the unique ingredients in this pie came from. Toss a very ripe, peeled banana into your mixing bowl– surprise ingredient number one. Take a look at the image to see the “ripe” I’m talking about. Ripe as in, “I need to make banana bread.” As in, “You better throw that out!” That’s the “ripe” you need for this filling. The banana cuts through the normally cloying taste of the pumpkin custard and smooths it out.
Use an electric hand mixer to combine the banana with the light brown sugar (and simultaneously mash the banana). Blend on medium speed until the sugar has dissolved and the banana is broken down to small pieces.
Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, and the final surprise element: orange zest. I don’t know why more people don’t add orange zest to their pumpkin pie! The flavors play off of each other so well, and the zest gives the pie a brightness that just works. Everyone will rave about how amazing your pie is, but no one will be able to replicate it. Go YOU! Blend on low speed until everything is incorporated and smooth.
Add the spices: ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and kosher salt, to the mixture as well.
Instead of using evaporated milk, I’m using half-and-half. The reason is two-fold- one: because half-and-half gives the pie a richer, smoother taste; and two: because I’m grown. Okay, the last one isn’t that valid a reason, but it’s true. I am grown.
Finally, add the pure vanilla extract to the mixture and blend everything together (again on low speed) until the pie filling is smooth.
Prep, Pour, and Bake
Take your pie crust out of the freezer and, using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash onto the rim of the pie crust. This egg wash not only makes the baked pie crust glossy, it helps it to brown beautifully.
Pour your pumpkin pie filling into your pie dough shell, then bake for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes, reduce the oven’s temperature to three hundred fifty degrees and continue baking for thirty to thirty-five minutes. Remove the pie when the very center of the pie is barely jiggling. If you overcook the pie, the filling will develop a large gash in the center. While this won’t won’t affect the taste, it won’t look as pretty either.
Once the pie has been removed from the oven, allow it to cool; then refrigerate it until ready to serve.
Decor? Don’t Mind if I Do!
I love being extra for the holidays. My hubby says I overdo it and no one cares whether or not there are leaves on the pie. I told him no one cares whether or not he has an opinion, yet he still voices it like we do. If you like decor, do you! If you want to add more decoration to the pie, roll out an additional piece of pie dough and cut it into shapes using a cookie cutter. Brush the dough with more of the egg wash. Bake these on a parchment-lined sheet pan in a three hundred fifty degree oven for fifteen minutes, or until browned. After you’ve removed your pie from the oven, carefully place the baked dough decorations onto the surface of the pie in a decorative pattern.
Whipped Cream- A MUST!
If you’re one of those people who eats pumpkin pie with their whipped cream- this whipped cream is for you. Make it an hour, or so, before you’re ready to serve your pie.
I take two stainless steel bowls, one small enough to fit into the other. The bottom one is filled with two cups of ice and some cold water. The ice bath underneath the top mixing bowl helps the cream to stay cold, which allows it to achieve maximum volume. Light and airy, baby. Light and airy. Into the top (smaller) one I pour two cups of heavy whipping cream.
I use my hand mixer to beat the cream just until the beaters begin to leave ribbons in the surface. Then, I slowly add a quarter cup of vanilla-sugar. This is just granulated sugar that I’ve blended with vanilla bean paste. You can certainly use plain granulated sugar if you don’t have vanilla-sugar. Once the sugar has been added, I increase the mixer’s speed and whip until the cream is thick enough to hold a peak when the beaters are lifted from it.
Slice, Top, and Enjoy!
Keep your pie refrigerated until you’re ready to serve. Pumpkin pie is a custard which means that it has potentially hazardous ingredients (eggs and cream) that could cause a foodborne illness if kept at room temperature for too long. Those pies you buy pre-made at the store aren’t refrigerated because they’re chock-full of preservatives and additives. Your pie is pure- virginal almost- let’s keep it that way with proper storage.
Make sure you cut your pie with a very sharp knife. Cleaning off the blade between cuts also helps your slices look nice and sharp.
Top with your preferred amount of whipped cream. No judgment here!
Serve while cold! Food poisoning sucks.
This pie will keep, under refrigeration, for three days. I doubt it will last that long, though.
Hey! Did you know this recipe is easily altered to make sweet potato pie? Yep! Just substitute mashed sweet potato for the pumpkin.
Pin this recipe for your holiday baking and share with your friends and family!
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Perfectly Easy Pumpkin Pieat Sense & Edibility
- 1 pound prepared pie dough
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon cold water
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 1 very ripe banana, peeled
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup vanilla-sugar (or granulated sugar)
- Pre-heat an oven to 425°F.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the pie dough into a circle that's approx. 14" in diameter.
- Transfer the dough to a 9" pie plate. Fold under excess dough to create crust. Flute the edges of the dough using your fingers or the floured tines of a fork.
- Place the pie plate into the freezer to allow it to firm up.
- Whisk together the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of cold water in a small mixing bowl until foamy, then set aside for later.
Prepare the Pie Filling
- In a large mixing bowl, blend together the ripe banana and the light brown sugar with an electric hand mixer on medium speed. Blend until the sugar has dissolved and the banana is broken down to small pieces- about 3 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, and the orange zest. Blend, once again, on low speed until everything is incorporated and smooth.
- Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, kosher salt, half-and-half, and the vanilla extract to the mixture and blend (again on low speed) until the pie filling is smooth.
- Remove the pie crust from the freezer and use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash onto the rim of the pie crust.
- Pour your pumpkin pie filling into your pie dough shell and carefully place the plate into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F.
- After 15 minutes, reduce the oven's temperature to 350°F and continue baking for 30-35 minutes, or until the very center of the pie is barely jiggling. If you overcook the pie, the filling will develop a large gash in the center.
- Once the pie has been removed from the oven, allow it to cool; then refrigerate it until ready to serve.
Whip the Cream
- Add ice water to the larger of two stainless steel bowls. Into the smaller bowl, add the heavy cream.
- Begin whipping the cream with a hand mixer on medium speed, just until the beaters begin to leave ribbons in the surface of the cream.
- Slowly add the vanilla-sugar/sugar. Once the sugar has been added, increase the mixer's speed and whip until the cream is thick enough to hold a peak when the beaters are lifted from it.
- Keep your pie refrigerated until you're ready to serve. Top with your preferred amount of whipped cream.
- To add more decoration to the pie, roll out an additional piece of pie dough and cut it into shapes using a cookie cutter. Brush the dough with more of the egg wash. Bake these on a parchment-lined sheet pan in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes, or until browned. After you've removed your pie from the oven, carefully place the baked dough decorations onto the surface of the pie in a decorative pattern.
- Because pumpkin pie is a custard which has potentially hazardous ingredients (eggs and cream), it can cause a foodborne illness if it's kept at room temperature for too long. Keep the pie refrigerated until you are ready to serve.
- Pumpkin pie will keep, under refrigeration, for 3 days.
- This recipe is easily altered to make sweet potato pie by substituting mashed sweet potato for the pumpkin.
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This is our second year with your pumpkin recipe, still as good as I remembered and still the only pumpkin recipe I love! This year my 9yo and 15yo made the pumpkin pie….you said it’s “easy” and they made it through your instructions without a problems Brava!
I’m so proud of them, Jennifer. Thank you for sharing!
I will preface this by saying, I don’t actually like pumpkin pie or honestly, pumpkin anything. I make one, obligatory pie each year because my family feels it is necessary, but I’d be happy to skip it. I decided to try yours this year on a whim. (Super last minute decision to shift from the back of can recipe, haha mostly since I had brown bananas and left over citrus from your dry brine.). Anyway, I was suuuuuuper skeptical and my child helped bake who was also fussing a bit about the “weird” secret ingredients. I made her swear not to tell anyone else until after they tried it. I was shocked…you are 100% correct that the bananas are exactly right! Cuts the pumpkin, improved the texture and preserves the sweetness…but you’d never notice it is there. The citrus and spices really are magic – instead of regular boring pumpkin, it becomes a season aromatic party. It reminds me of nostalgic spiced holiday drinks and decorations made of oranges and cloves. I really enjoyed it and while I still don’t like
Pumpkin pie ala the can recipe, I will absolutely make this one again! It is in a league of its own and is a pumpkin pie worth talking about.
Isn’t it amazing how a few small tweaks can make all of the difference in the world!? I’m so glad to know you enjoyed it, secret ingredients and all.