As much as I love pumpkiny foods, I’ve never really been a big fan of pumpkin pie. I guess it’s the texture (so mushy). But it such a classic Thanksgiving dessert that I figured I should make one. I was also inspired when I found this recipe when flipping through Joanne Chang’s new cookbook at the bookstore. I’m a big fan of Joanne Chang from her bakery, Flour Bakery and apparently this pie has gotten all kinds of accolades, so I figured, hey, why not? I went home and quickly found the recipe on the Food Network website.
The funny thing is that when I got in the car the day before Thanksgiving, there was a woman explaining a pumpkin pie recipe on the radio and I kept thinking, wow, that sounds exactly like the pie I made the night before. And indeed it was because it was Joanne Chang on the radio! It’s a little embarrassing how much I enjoyed listening to her on the radio. I’m so clueless when it comes to pop culture, so food people end up being my celebrities.
The secret to Joanne’s pumpkin pie is that the pumpkin is cooked down to bring out the flavor more. The sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream certainly don’t hurt. Personally, I preferred the apple pie, but that’s because I will always, always pick apple pie before pumpkin pie. But I can’t deny that it was a good pie. Joseph loved it and preferred it to the apple pie. To each their own (and more apple pie for me)!
Adapted from Joanne Chang
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
7 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
6 1/2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch ground clove
1 egg yolk
Prepare the crust of your choice, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it for several hours. Once you’ve rolled out your pie dough to an 11 or 12 inch diameter, place in a deep dish pie plate and crimp the edges. Poke the bottom all over with a fork. Freeze crust for 15 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep frozen.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line the pie shell with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the shell until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and beans.
Meanwhile, make the Filling:
Lower the oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium saucepan, mix together the pumpkin and the brown sugar. Cook the mixture on medium heat, stirring frequently (you don’t want it to burn in there!), until reduced and thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream, milks, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, salt, eggs, and yolk. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake until set, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool and serve with whipped cream or ginger or vanilla ice cream.