Happy (almost) Thanksgiving everyone! My boyfriend and I will be celebrating 2 thanksgivings this year; one with our parents on Thursday and one with my Memere, parents, aunt and cousin on Friday. I was put in charge of pumpkin pies (my favorite Thanksgiving dessert of ALL TIME) so I decided to go for a semi-homemade recipe with a decorative twist. The filling of this pie is homemade, but all pie crust used was store-bought. I made pie crust once about 2 1/2 years ago when I had just started dating my boyfriend and was desperately trying to impress his parents with a completely from scratch strawberry-rhubarb pie complete with a woven pie crust design on the top. Never again. They love me and are stuck with me now so frozen grocery store pie crust it is!!!! Here is what you will need (below is what is needed for one pie, but I made 2 so I doubled the ingredients):
- Frozen 9 inch deep dish pie crust
- Refrigerated pie crust that can be unrolled
- 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin or pumpkin puree
- 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
- 3/4 cup of white sugar, plus a few pinches
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, plus one pinch (this contains cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- Red, yellow and green food coloring (I used gel food coloring)
- Cool whip or whipped cream for serving
This is a fairly basic pumpkin filling recipe so nothing too crazy here. Some recipes also ask for sweetened condensed milk and then omit the extra sugar so if you would prefer that go ahead and google a recipe using those ingredients! I came to my recipe by combining and altering a few different pumpkin pie recipes I found on allrecipes.com.
Before you start mixing your ingredients together, take your pie crusts out of the freezer so that they have a few minutes to thaw. Any basic store-brand pie crust will do. I used Hannaford brand because I have about 3 Hannafords within 25 minutes of me and its my preferred store.
Go ahead and mix all of your ingredients together in a large bowl, except for the pinches of sugar and pumpkin pie spice. I used a stand mixer simply because I was mixing the ingredients for 2 pies together and didn't think I had a bowl that would fit everything. I didn't beat together my eggs before adding them to the rest of the mixture because the mixer is strong enough to do that easily, but if you are just using a bowl and a whisk I would recommend beating them up a bit first so you don't have big chunks of yolk floating around your pie filling. Also one my pies were already cooked I realized that I forgot to add the pinch of salt to my recipe SOOO hopefully that isn't extremely crucial. We shall see!
Although I was making 2 pies, I did cook them separately as it usually doesn't work great to cook multiple things in the oven at the same time. It usually ends up taking much longer and the cooking is sometimes uneven because the two things could potentially be blocking the heat from reaching each other. Put the pie (frozen pie crusts should already come in a metal pie plate so you shouldn't need a pie plate) on a cookie sheet for some stability and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees (Fahrenheit). After that, turn the heat down to 325 (also Fahrenheit) and leave the pie in the oven for an additional 40-ish minutes. When you get to about 35 at 325 minutes start checking the pie to see how it looks. If a toothpick near the center of the pie comes out clean you are good to go. Here is what a fully cooked pie looks like:
Right when the pie comes out of the oven, sprinkle on a tiny bit of sugar and pumpkin pie spice as well just to give the top of the pie a little extra something. As my pies were cooling I moved on to the fun part: the decoration. I learned on the Food Network (which is basically the only channel I watch other than HGTV) that if you mix some food coloring into an egg wash you can stain pie crust or dough a certain color. I though I would give it a try on some store-bought roll-out dough. I wanted to cut out some leaves and dye them red and green to lay on the top of the pie. I didn't have a leaf cookie cutter so I just used a Christmas tree cookie cutter and free-handed some leaves as well which I think turned out pretty well! I then made a few different egg washes and, using gel food coloring, dyed them red-orange and green. An egg wash is simply a beaten egg, a few drops of water and, in this case, a few drops of food coloring as well. I brushed the egg wash over the leaves with a paint brush that is only used for food. I then sprinkled some sugar on the pieces as well and put them in a 350 degree (still Fahrenheit) oven for about 10 minutes.
After the pies and crust leaves had cooled a little, I arranged some leaves on each pie and then sprinkled some colored sugar on the pies as well because I tend to overdo things. Here they are!
I like how the leaves look a little better on the left pie, but am really proud with how they both came out! Hopefully when we taste them the lack of salt won't be an issue ;) I will be serving them with cool whip and whipped cream tomorrow and Friday. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and, if you don't celebrate, have a great weekend and make pumpkin pie anyway!
I am a 26-year-old crafter and baker from New Hampshire!