For me, no Thanksgiving feast is complete without a big ol' slice of pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream. No matter where I spend Thanksgiving, I always make this pie. (Even when I’ve spent Thanksgiving in Scotland where no one understands the holiday and my awesome in-laws humor me by hosting a Thanksgiving dinner on the following Saturday. I still make this pie with my can of pumpkin that I’ve carried thousands of miles just for this treat.)
This particular recipe is the one I’ve tweaked and finessed for what seems like my entire life. It has a nice balance of spices which I add individually rather than using “pumpkin pie spice” mix. That way, I can amp up the ginger and forgo the cloves (I'm not a fan.) I also always make it with canned pumpkin because I find that it's less watery and more consistent in texture than using a fresh pumpkin (see Note below if you want to make your own puree). Just don’t grab the can that is labeled “pumpkin pie filling” as that is pre-spiced.
I always make homemade pie dough—for this and any pie I’m going to take the time and effort to bake—and I urge you to do the same. It’s not as hard as you think, and you can make it up to 3 months in advance and freeze it (just thaw it out overnight and then roll it out.) It makes a world of difference in your finished pie.
NOTE: If you do want to use fresh pumpkin puree, just find a small Sugar Pie pumpkin, cut it into wedges, scoop out the seeds, and roast it on a baking sheet at 375F until it is very tender. Scoop out the soft pumpkin flesh, puree it in a food processor and measure out just less than 2 cups puree.
Don’t forget the whipped cream!
Recipe: Classic Spiced Maple Pumpkin Pie
Makes 8 servings