With pre-made pie shells and canned pumpkin puree so readily available it can be very tempting to take the easy route. However, we think everybody should make this seasonal favorite from scratch at least once! It’s a bit of work, but we guarantee you’ll taste the delicious difference!
What I need for two 9-inch shallow pies
2 hours to prepare, 1 hour to cook
For the Pastry:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsalted butter, chilled
- 4 tablespoons shortening, chilled
- 5 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling:
- 2 eggs
- 2 ½ cups cooked pumpkin, pureed and strained
- 1 can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon each ground cloves, ginger and nutmeg
How Best to Proceed
Cut, gut and roast pumpkin in the oven for an hour. Once you put your pumpkin in the oven, make the pastry and put in the fridge to chill. Prep your cooked pumpkin and make the filling. Roll out pastry and place in pie pans. Fill pies and bake!
Tackle Your Pumpkin
Use a small pumpkin or smaller pumpkin varieties like Sugar Pie, Baby Bear or Cheese Pumpkin. I look for one around the size of a basketball. First cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, scoop out all the seeds and stringy fibers and then place cut-side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350F for approximately 45 minutes to 1 ¼ hours depending on the size of your pumpkin. It’s done if it is easily pierced with a knife. When you pull if out of the oven, it will be too hot to work with yet, so let it cool while you make your pastry.
Easy Dough from Scratch
Place the flour in a bowl with the sugar and salt. Cut the butter and shortening into pieces and cut into the flour until crumbly. A pastry cutter is very useful here! Otherwise use a strong fork and expect a good arm work out. Mix in vanilla. Add just enough water to form a ball. It should not be sticky. If it is, add more flour. Knead quickly into a smooth ball. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a lid (our pumpkin lids work very well!) and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
An Important Tip About Dough: It’s important to keep your dough cold, even while you’re working with it. Do not let it sit out or handle excessively as it will allow it to soften. For one, it’s easier to work with when stiff. More importantly, the small bits of butter in the dough melt when it cooks in the oven and form small pockets of air – this is what makes it flakey!
Prep the Pumpkin
Once the pumpkin has cooled a little, scoop out the pulp and use a food processor or blender to puree it until smooth. It’s important that you extract all the liquid – no one wants a soggy pie! Strain the pumpkin through a cheesecloth lined strainer.
Make Your Filling
In a large bowl, beat eggs; blend in pumpkin, condensed milk, sugar, cinnamon, salt, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Put aside until your piecrusts are ready.
Roll Your Dough
After the dough has chilled sufficiently, place on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 13-inch circle. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll. Always roll from the center of the pastry outwards. Gently transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and tuck the overhanging pastry under itself. Use a fork to make a decorative border. Alternatively, you can trim the pastry to the edge of the pie pan. With the remaining pastry make decorative cut-outs (leaves, pumpkins, etc.) and with a little water, attach them around the lip of the pie pan.
Last Step: Pour filling into pie shell
Bake in oven at 425°F for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 375°F and bake for about 35 minutes longer or until crust has browned and the filling is starting to crack on the top. If you’re unsure, insert a knife into the center. If it comes out fairly clean, it’s done. Let pies cool on rack.
Ready to serve!
Serve at room temperature with whipped cream. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, covered with our MAPLE LEAF™ Dome Lid!