Thanksgiving is all about family, gathering, being thankful, and pie. Yes, pie. It is the “traditional” dessert of the season after all. And there are a few classics: pecan and pumpkin, for example. Personally, I like all kinds of pie. Even old school Mince Meat, which actually has meat and fruit in it. Apple is my least favorite kind of pie. It’s true and I’ve been told un-American… but hey, can’t make everyone happy. All that being said, to celebrate the season and my love of pie I’m gonna spend the week sharing a classic, a favorite from growing up, a modern pie, and a savory pie. So keep your forks, there’s pie!
Pumpkin to me, in my head and from my experience, is the most traditional, classic, and expected pie of the season. Pumpkin pie = Thanksgiving. So I thought I’d start classy with this Pumpkin Pie slathered in Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream. But, guess what? You gotta have a good base for great pie – so this is triple threat kinda post with three recipes. So bare with me… it’s worth every dish and minute of effort.
CLASSIC PUMPKIN PIE & VANILLA BEAN WHIPPED CREAM
crust: 1 Recipe for pie dough, or one large shell, or this foolproof crust from ATK that is sure to please.
- 1 1/4 cups (6.25 ounces) AP flour, plus extra for rollilng
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, chilled
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
- 2 Tablespoons cold water
- 2 Tablespoons vodka, room temp or chilled
- + 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tablespoon of water (for egg wash – if needed)
(makes enough for 1 9-inch single crust pie)
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons molasses
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 heaping Tablespoon AP flour
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
if you want a denser pie use whipped cream
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 vanilla bean split, cleaned
or 2-3 Tablespoons vanilla bean paste
crust: In a food processor with shred blade (or with a hand cheese grater) shred 1 stick of cold butter. Switch back to standard blade and add chopped shortening; and then all the ingredients EXCEPT liquids. Turn on the food processor for about 1/2 a minute, pulsing if you like, till the butter and shortening is incorporated and the it resembles wet sand (there should be no un-coated ingredients). Scrape down sides and pulse while adding your watered down vodka – 10 to 15 quick pulses. Empty out onto a large piece of wax paper ad press into a 4 to 6-inch disk; wrap and refrigerate until ready to roll (at least 1 hour or up to 2 days). Let set at room temperature for about 10 minutes before handling. Roll on a well floured surface.
This recipe is slightly adapted from: Cook’s Illustrated More Best Recipes
It is light, flaky, super easy to work with, and very forgiving! Plus so quick and easy since the food processor does all cutting & mixing work!!
filling: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients. For a stronger flavor make filling mix in advance and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours before baking.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll the pie dough out and place into a large 9″ pie dish (at least 1 1/2 inches deep), prick with a fork, and transfer to the cookie sheet. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell (finish pie crust, if needed and egg wash if you like… I do) and transfer to the lower part of hot oven.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling is set 2″ in from the edge. The center should still be wobbly. Remove the pie from the oven and cool on a rack; the center will finish cooking through as the pie sits.
This recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour – plus the awesome tips on how long to bake!
whipped cream: Combine ingredients in a medium to large bowl (or stand mixer) and whip on high for 3 to 5 minutes until stiff peaks form. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated.
Once my pie is completely cool I like to spread a layer over the entire top. Optional of course, but c’mon you know everybody wants so lovely cool whipped cream with their pie. Why not take the serving guess work out of the equation and provide it for them.
I love the warmth the vanilla seeds add, plus the little flecks of black make it feel rich and special.
Smooth, creamy, rich pumpkin pie. Warms my heart every time! It’s that time of year, get your pie on people!