I’m normally not a huge pumpkin pie fan. I would rather make sweet potato, which I do enjoy. The biggest reason is so many pumpkin pies just really aren’t all that good. They lack in flavor and end sitting like a heavy brick in my tummy after eating them. Or as hubby puts its, they require whip cream to make them edible.
I love a good challenge so this year I decided to see if I could make a pumpkin pie that would make us happy. Not to mention, the overabundance of pie pumpkins still sitting on the table from the farmer’s market. I find there’s nothing like the flavor of freshly roasted pumpkin versus canned pumpkin so I’m hoping it will make a huge difference in the quality and taste of my pie.
I see plenty of posts complaining of how hard it is to create pumpkin purée but it’s really easy. There’s no need to peel it or cut in into chunks before roasting in. Preheat the oven to 350° F, cut the pumpkin into quarters, remove the seeds and guts (save them for veggie stock or make roasted pumpkin seeds) and pop on a baking sheet for about an hour or flesh is tender. Using a big spoon, easily scoop out the cooked pumpkin flesh and blend until smooth. You have beautiful fresh pumpkin purée. So EASY!
Next, I focused on the crust. The perfect pie has the perfect crust. Instead of making a traditional crust, I decided to pair the pumpkin filling with a cinnamon and ginger graham cracker crust. Yummy!
Hubby had opened a can of condensed milk the other day, then changed his mind on using it and popped it into the fridge. I don’t use condensed milk very often and figured my pumpkin filling might be a great place to use it. After all the filling generally has evaporated milk and lots of sugar, so why not?! Lots of cinnamon, ginger, black pepper and cardamom rounded out the filling. Yes, that was black pepper in a sweet pumpkin pie! Don’t cringe, it was awesome and you’ll love it, I promise.
Final conclusion on the pie is that we LOVED it. We finally have a pumpkin pie that we enjoyed and didn’t feel the need to cover in whipped cream just to eat it. Hubby actually had a second piece right behind the first. The pie was spicy, full of flavor, had a great texture and paired perfectly with the graham cracker crust. Another keeper!
Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
Graham Cracker Crust
3.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup almond milk
Combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour in the melted butter and almond milk, mixing well.
Dump the crumb mix into a pie plate and press firmly until you form a thick, even layer around the sides and bottom.
2 1/2 cups fresh roasted pumpkin purée
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin purée, milk and 2 egg yolks. Add the spices and mix well.
Using a stand or hand mixer, whip the 2 egg whites into soft peaks. Gently fold into the pumpkin mix.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell.
Bake for 55 minutes to an hour or until pie filling is set.
Watch the edges of the crust to make sure they do not burn. If they are getting too brown, cover with a piece of foil.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Best if served at room temperature.
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