I am here to release my secrets on MY PUMPKIN PIE!!
*cue dramatic music*
I know. Big deal.
Except not really. Let me explain.
SECRET #1: There are canned sweet potatoes in my pie. The kind you find floating in a gross, cloying syrup. I swear, it seems odd, but it’s an amazing idea. And no, it does not make your pumpkin pie taste like sweet potato pie or candied yams. The ratio of yam/potato to pumpkin is such that it just makes the pumpkin taste more pumpkiny. I swear.
SECRET #2: Freshly grated ginger. None of this silly dried stuff. “Fresh?? TWO teaspoons? But won’t that be too strong and make the whole pie taste like ginger?”
Shh… no no… it’s okay. It’s super delicious okay.
SECRET #3: Strain your filling through a sieve. It will take forever and your forearms will hurt as you stir over and over again with a rubber spatula to forcibly push everything through, but OH MY, we’re talking silkiest pumpkin pie filling ever here.
Then there’s SECRET #4 – the most important secret of them all.
My real secret is America’s Test Kitchen.
Yup, I admit it, totally willingly, that all these fabulous secrets are ones I learned though rigorous, repeated flavour testing by the lovely folks at America’s Test Kitchen.
And man, is it ever delicious.
I am happy to make this recipe my go to pumpkin pie recipe, even if I didn’t make it myself! The only adjustment I made was using my favourite crust recipe with it (which I didn’t come up with either).
What can I say, I’m no kitchen genius, just a genius recipe collector. :)
Crust recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Pie and Pastry Bible
Pumpkin Pie Filling recipe from America’s Test Kitchen
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1 1/3 cups + 4 teaspoons pastry flour or 1 1/3 cups (dip and sweep method) bleached all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (for savory recipes, use 1 1/2 times the salt)
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 3-ounce package cream cheese, cold
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ice water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup drained candied yams from 15-ounce can (These were sold as “canned sweet potatoes in light syrup” in my supermarket.)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- Crust: Cut the butter into small (about 3/4-inch) cubes. Wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it until frozen solid, at least 30 minutes. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a resealable gallon-size freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- Place the flour mixture in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine. Set the bag aside.
- Cut the cream cheese into 3 or 4 pieces and add it to the flour. Process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the frozen butter cubes and pulse until none of the butter is larger than the size of a pea. (Toss with a fork to see it better.) Remove the cover and add the water and vinegar. Pulse until most of the butter is reduced to the size of small peas. The mixture will be in particles and will not hold together. Spoon it into the plastic bag.
- Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it, from the outside of the bag with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.
- Wrap the dough with the plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight.
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
- Trim overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Using thumb and forefinger, flute edge of dough. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.
- Remove pie pan from refrigerator, line crust with foil, and fill with pie weights or pennies. Bake on rimmed baking sheet 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, rotate plate, and bake 5 to 10 additional minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp. Remove pie plate and baking sheet from oven.
- Filling: While pie shell is baking, whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks, and vanilla together in medium bowl. Combine pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in large heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to sputtering simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing yams against sides of pot, until thick and shiny, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and whisk in cream mixture until fully incorporated. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl, using back of ladle or spatula to press solids through strainer. Rewhisk mixture and transfer to still warm prebaked pie shell. (Both filling and crust being warm ensures even baking!) Return pie plate with baking sheet to oven and bake pie for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue baking until edges of pie are set (instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 175 degrees), 20 to 35 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature, 2 to 3 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.