Meta Given's Pumpkin Pie

By • November 21, 2011 • 99 Comments

1,442 Save


Author Notes: Caramelizing the pumpkin puree means that this is a pie with guts, one that won't just sit there phoning in the pumpkin flavor, burying it under lots of spice. But its genius is much more than that. You don't have to blind bake the crust. You use real milk and cream instead of evaporated milk, with predictably better results. And because you blast it at 400 degrees the whole time, it bakes in 25 minutes -- less than half the time of your average back-of-the-can recipe. From Meta Given's Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking, an underrated gem of a cookbook.Genius Recipes

Serves 6

  • 1 3/4 cup canned or fresh cooked pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Unbaked, unpricked, chilled 9-inch pie shell (we like lapadia's simple Himalayan Blackberry Pie crust, also on FOOD52)
  1. Turn pumpkin into saucepan and stir over direct heat for 10 minutes until somewhat dry and slightly caramelized, stirring frequently. Remove from heat but keep hot.
  2. Mix thoroughly together the sugar, salt, and spices, and stir into hot pumpkin.
  3. Beat eggs, add cream and milk, and beat into pumpkin mixture until smooth.
  4. Pour immediately into unpricked pastry-lined pie pan and bake in a moderately hot oven (400° F) for 25 to 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and only an inch circle in the center of the filling remains liquid. Cool thoroughly on cake rack before cutting.
  5. Note: Perfectly baked pumpkin pie has no cracks on its surface. Baking hot filling in a chilled crust at 400° F for 25 to 30 minutes produces a smooth, shiny good textured custard and a well-baked crust free from soaking. But if your pie dish is thicker glass or ceramic instead of metal, or you loathe underdone bottom crust, you might still want to blind bake it a little. Here's what we'd recommend: Blind bake at 350 F lined with parchment and filled with baking beans/weights until sides are dry and firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove weights, then bake until completely dry and firm (including bottom crust) and starting to turn golden, 5 to 10 minutes more. Cool thoroughly. Then watch the pie closely as it bakes -- it might be done early, since the cold raw crust isn't there to protect it. And if the edges are starting to look wrinkled while the middle is very jiggly, turn the heat down to 350.
Jump to Comments (99)

Comments (99) Questions (9)

Default-small
Default-small
Default-small

9 months ago Amy Ghiz

Wow, I made this and it's fantastic. It's exactly the same recipe as my Mom's, except using milk and cream instead of evaporated. It was exactly enough filling for one Pyrex deep dish pie plate (my usual recipe makes two), and I blind baked for 25 minutes. Outstanding. Thank you!

Parmigiano-reggiano_gal

10 months ago PRST

Geez, spell check got me again- sorry. I meant to say substitute ras el hanout…..

Parmigiano-reggiano_gal

10 months ago PRST

The caramelizing of the pumpkin is truly amazing along with substituting ras el hanout (1-1.5 tsp) and cinnamon (1/2 tsp) for the cinnamon and ginger in this recipe. However it might depend on the quality of your ras el hangout. My pie was OUTSTANDING, especially a day or two after baking.

Default-small

10 months ago Rogan

Okay, butchered this pie ten ways to monday and it was STILL amazing. My roasted whole pumpkin was kinda chunky and my caramelization did not pan out. Then, working with a cranky, old food processor, I managed to WHIP my pie crust. Devastating! Yet, I just soldiered on and froze it bit and formed it (quickly) into a crust shape, dumped in my mix and popped it in the oven and waited for tragedy to strike. It did take a bit longer to cook then indicated above, but when it came out it was as if all mistakes has been cooked out of it. It looked and smelled like…PIE. Redemption. Will make again at Christmas and try to follow recipe to a T. It must be a heavenly piece of pie if my bastard version was seriously awesome.

Img_0638

10 months ago Mulzee

This was a wonderful pie! I should have blind baked it a bit before adding the filling but overall it was delicious and was enjoyed by all. I used a butternut squash instead of pumpkin but the flavour worked well in the pie. Will be making this again for sure!! Thanks!

Default-small

10 months ago Kayo

had no trouble with crust burning (used the lapadia crust recommended), took about 10 more minutes than estimated. This is a wonderful custardy pie.

Default-small

10 months ago ccrfood

Anyone having problems with the crust burning after 10 minutes in the oven? Starting from square one.

Image

10 months ago i. cristina

if your crust is burning too soon, it's helpful to cut a big ring of foil to cover the crust while the rest of pie continues to cook! (think of making a paper valentine - fold a piece of foil in half and half again, then make a C shape twice)

Moi_with_tiara

10 months ago lorie brand

I am baking another one today! the local store was out of libby pumpkin puree which is much darker and richer tasting than the generic "kroger/western family". fyi. you can always use the extra puree to make pumpkin chia breakfast pudding!

Stringio

10 months ago Zachary Conrad

Thought the custard is too sweet, reduced sugar to 120g. "You don't have to blind bake the crust" should include the caveat: if you don't mind a gummy, under-done crust. With these adjustments, was great! Like that there's no need for cans of anything.

Default-small

10 months ago Annella Jo Anderson

I didn't know anyone else valued Meta Givens Encyclopedia of Cooking at all these days.
I am 75 years old and it was my first cook book as a girl of 9. I loved it then and I love it now. Thanks for featuring it. Jo Anderson

Moi_with_tiara

10 months ago lorie brand

This was the weekend dessert. I used the lapadia pie crust recipe subbing in the vodka from the cooks illustrated for the chilled water. (I chilled the vodka). Carmelizing the pumpkin really adds an amazing flavor. I also had extra custard which went into a ramekin. I baked a 9" pie and had to add 8 additional minutes to reach done.

Stringio

10 months ago Susan McIntosh Cohen

doing a test run with a commercial crust, and there was too much filling for the crust... so I had to eat the custard unbaked -- what a hardship!!!!! ;-)

Mcs

10 months ago mcs3000

Whoa! Going on the T-Day menu.

Default-small

10 months ago abbygayle

Do you think it would be possible to bake this without a crust?

Pizzeria_neck_shot

10 months ago daisybrain

Last year I baked some of the filling in ramekins for the gluten intolerant at my table. What a hit. So... YES!

Port_online

10 months ago SunBunny

Thank you Rachel!

Default-small

11 months ago lanalovesfood

my mom and I just made this :) so delicious

Img_6652

11 months ago Rachel C.

I just baked this pie in a 9.5-inch glass pan using all half-and-half instead of cream and milk, and the pie turned out perfectly!! There are no cracks on the surface, and it took 45 minutes at 400? (although I'm sure I could have taken it out at the 40-minute mark).
I blind-baked the pastry for about 20 minutes to avoid the soggy crust, and even though I didn't wait for my crust to cool thoroughly, it didn't create any cracks on the surface.

Default-small

11 months ago Donna Walter

Searching FOOD52 for this mention: "we like lapadia's simple Himalayan Blackberry Pie crust" I'm getting ready to cook my pumpkin. Fingers crossed it's a neck pumpkin not rich color but from organic farmer.

Miglore

11 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Here's the recipe! http://food52.com/recipes...

Default-small

12 months ago Christine

What great tips...I can not wait to make one or 2 of these!