Thanksgiving Basics: Pumpkin Pie (Plus a Variation)

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This week I'm going to be posting a basic Thanksgiving recipe every day. Nothing too crazy, just slight updates on that recipe of Grandma's you KNOW you put somewhere. Let's start with the most sacred of the sacred Thanksgiving foods: Pumpkin Pie. This recipe will yield two pumpkin pies because we all know one isn't enough.

Ingredients:

  • Basic 3-2-1 Pie Dough like this one  Doubled
  • 15 oz Pumpkin Puree (Honest talk: From the can is fine, just make sure it's plain pumpkin)
  • 1 cup Half and Half
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon Ginger (powdered or fresh grated)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg (ground or grated)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt

Optional variation for Chocolate Pumpkin Pie:

  • 8 oz 72% Chocolate
  • 2 oz (1/2 stick) Butter

Let's Get Started

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. 
  2. Roll out your pie dough and shape into two pie pans. If you have room, put them in the freezer while you mix the filling. If you don't, the refrigerator is fine.
  3. For regular pumpkin pie, put all the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk well. Voila! Now you have pumpkin pie filling! Really, it's that easy. (For the chocolate variation, melt chocolate and butter together over a double boiler. Combine all the ingredients and whisk together. Now you have chocolate pumpkin pie filling!)
  4. Take your pie shells from wherever they're being chilled and divide the filling between them. Put them in your preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or just until set.
  5. Let cool at room temperature. Pumpkin pies can be made one day in advance. I keep mine out at room temperature because I don't want to risk ruining the crust with the humidity of the refrigerator.

Protip: Making a whole grip of pies for Thanksgiving? Make one large batch of pie dough. Portion out into discs for individual pies and plastic wrap really well. If you're making it over three days in advance, throw it into the freezer and move it into the fridge 24 hours before you plan on using it. If you're making the dough three days in advance or less, just store it well wrapped in the fridge.

Mini Chocolate Variation