When I started this blog, I had a hard time making certain things to post on the blog. Why? Because I am a rabid traditionalist and it tends to make me a bit rigid in my thinking at times. As much as I go against the seasonal cooking idea in some things I make (Pumpkin Cranberry Bread in June, Chili or beef stew in the middle of Summer, grilling out when my back porch is covered in snow and I can’t feel my toes) there are other things that I make ONLY on the holidays. My world famous sausage stuffing is only for Thanksgiving. Honest… world famous…. it’s been eaten and enjoyed by major celebrities, heads of state of at least 32 countries, 4 popes and Queen Elizabeth. We just call her Liz here cause we’re BFF’S like that. My Pecan Pie? Only Christmas and Thanksgiving. My Turtle Cookies? Christmas. The pumpkin pie I have been making since my oldest son, now 27, was about 4? Only at Thanksgiving and since the older kids have grown and moved out, sometimes at Christmas if they didn’t make it home for Thanksgiving.
But the other day I realized something. By doing that, I was going against the whole reason I started this blog. For years, I heard what a good cook I was, how I needed to write a cookbook of country/homey classics, etc etc etc. So I started blogging. And when I started, one of the things I wanted to do was share our families favorite dishes. But by being so darn rigid, I wasn’t able to do so. Because if I only make this pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, how can I share it with YOU in time for you to make it for YOUR Thanksgiving? I couldn’t share it after the fact because then it was too late. So I just didn’t share at all. That stops now. This year my family and I will enjoy our holiday favorites a time or two before the holidays so that I can share them with you.
On that note, this is truly the best pumpkin pie ever. I got the original recipe from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book (best baking book ever… you have got to hunt it down on Amazon) and over time, have adapted to more to our tastes; i.e., a bit more spice, using cream and so on. But basically, it’s the same recipe from the book. This crust is wonderful. It’s not like cornbread so don’t worry about that. It just has a bit more texture and a touch of crunch from the cornmeal and the rustic flavor of it goes so well with a pie like pumpkin. But feel free to sub your favorite pie crust recipe or even a store bought one. Since this pie uses dark brown sugar and extra spices, it IS darker when cooked than the typical color. So don’t think you overcooked it when it comes out a dark orangeish brown instead of the “normal” light orange color. It’s still fine. 🙂
Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie With A Cornmeal Crust
- Crust- (Can sub your favorite crust)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (NOT cornmeal mix)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup solid shortening, chilled
- 3 to 6 tablespoons water (I usually make this in late Autumn and use about 3 tablespoons, but it being Summer, I used closer to the 6 this time)
- Pumpkin Filling-
- 2 cups pumpkin puree (NOT pre-made pie filling)
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk (adds extra richness but is optional)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg (do freshly grated if you can. It’s so much better.)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (be careful with the cloves and don’t go overboard- they can be very strong and bitter if you use too much)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender,Â cut the cold shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs. Add the water, about 2 tablespoons at a time. Mix thoroughly. When enough water has been added, you should have a cohesive mixture that you can form into a ball, which, when pressed, doesn’t crumble at all. it will however, be a soft dough.
- On a lightly floured board or counter, roll the dough out to be 2 inches wider than the pie pan you are using is when inverted. This dough tears easily but it also patches easily. the easiest way to get it into the pan is the old method of easing it off of the counter with a spatula, then wrapping it around the rolling pin and laying it in the pie pan.
- After laying the dough in the pan, gently press it into the sides of the pan. Don’t stretch or pull at the dough because that can cause it to shrink up as it bakes. Crimp your top edges and prick the crust all over with a fork.
- Bake at 425 for 10 minutes or until it is just beginning to brown. Set aside.
- For the filling-
- In a large bowl, beat the pumpkin puree, eggs and the egg yolk.
- Add the cream and sugar, then beat in the spices and vanilla. Taste a bit on your finger to make sure it has enough spice for you. If not, add a bit more.
- Beat until the mixture is smooth with no pumpkin or sugar lumps.
- Pour into the prepared pie crust.
- Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 300. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the filling is almost set. A sharp knife inserted off center should come out almost clean, with just a few moist crumbs on it and the center of the pie should still be slightly jiggly. It will set up as it cools.
- Chill to finish setting. It can then be served either at room temp or chilled. Serve with whipped cream, creme fraiche or ice cream. Enjoy! We’ve always loved this pie. I hope you do too. 🙂
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