Easy Custard Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin is native to the continent of North America. The pumpkin was an early export to France; from there it was introduced to Tudor England, and the flesh of the "pompion" was quickly accepted as pie filler. Pumpkin "pies" made by early American colonists were more likely to be a savory soup made and served in a pumpkin rather than a sweet custard in a crust.
It was not until the early nineteenth century that the recipes appeared in American cookbooks or pumpkin pie became a common addition to the Thanksgiving dinner.
My inspiration for this recipe came from my mom. Her recipe for pumpkin pie uses "Jell-o" brand vanilla pudding and pie filling, and she always called it custard pumpkin pie. There really isn't anything wrong with her recipe and it tastes great, but it's not technically a true custard. It's more of a marriage between a custard and a pudding, and instant at that. So, I developed this recipe by combining creme brûlée and pumpkin pie, hence, custard pumpkin pie.
Custard Pumpkin Pie
In terms of cooking from scratch there are a few exceptions that I make, the first being San Marzano tomatoes in a can. One of the other exceptions I make is pumpkin for pumpkin pies. I buy organic solid pack pumpkin in a can. It’s an excellent product, but mostly because stores have stopped carrying the variety of pumpkin to make pumpkin pie. Even if you find it it’s not likely to be organic.
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to thoroughly mix the ingredients and sift the flour.
Add the butter to the flour mixture and pulse off and on until you get a pea sized crumb.
This is the texture you're after.
Add the water and mix until it just comes together. Then transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface.
Gently form the dough into a disc, without overworking it.
Once the dough has rested roll it out into a "circle", to about an eighth inch thick.
Fold the dough in half and half again so that you have a quarter circle resembling the one above.
Unfold the dough over the pie plate and fit it to the dish, making sure to push the dough into the bottom edges of the pie plate. Repair any rips and tears in the dough and flute the edges of the crust.
Line the dough with foil and add weights or dry beans to the foil. Gently spred the beans out to the edge.
Bake the crust in a 350º F, oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights/beans by carefully picking up the four corners. Prick the bottom of the crust and continue baking another 15 to 20 minutes.
Ingredients for custard pumpkin pie filling.
Combine the sugars and spices in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Add the eggs to the sugar mixture and mix on low until the sugar has dissolved.
Combine the cream, pumpkin, and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine.
Add the pumpkin mixture to the egg mixture.
Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust and bake in a cool oven until the center is set.
An easy custard pumpkin pie.
Custard Pumpkin Pie From Scratch
- Yield: 1 9-inch deep dish pie
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Bake Time: 40 minutes for the crust; 1-1/2 to 2 hours for the pie
- Oven: 350º F / 170º C for the crust; 225º F / 110º C for the pie
For The Crust
- 300 grams pastry flour
- 200 grams butter
- 100 grams ice water
- 15 grams sugar
- 5 grams salt
For The Filling
- 75 grams sugar
- 50 grams brown sugar
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon clove
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla or vanilla bean paste.
For The Crust
- Preheat oven to 350º F / 175º C.
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to thoroughly mix the ingredients and sift the flour. Add the butter pieces and pulse on and off until the butter is in pea size chunks, about 10 pulses. Add the water in a steady slow stream while the machine is running, just until the dough comes together.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate while you make the filling.
- When you are ready to finish the pie, rollout the dough to a circle that is 2 to 3 inches larger than the rim of the pie plate.
- Fold the crust over on itself, in half and repeat so that the crust makes a quarter circle. Place the point of the circle in the center of the pie plate and unfold the crust. Push the crust into the sides and bottom. Don’t worry if it breaks, you will patch it with the extra dough. For now just get it into the shape of the dish. Patch any holes with pieces of extra crust, and trim off any excess around the edge using a paring knife. Flute the edges by placing your finger on the crust and squeezing the two sides up to it. See photo. Work your way around the crust. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.
- Line the crust with foil or parchment and place weights on the foil. I use black beans. You can buy pie weights but there isn’t any need. They don’t work better and there are some pastry chefs that say pie weights are too heavy for the crust, your call. Fill the pie with the weights and gently move the beans out to the edges.
- Place the crust in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven. Gently remove the weights by carefully bringing the four corners of the foil together and lifting up and away. Return the crust to the oven and continue baking another 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust is cooked and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside until the filling is ready. Reduce the temperature to 225º F / 110º C.
For The Filling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugars, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove. Whisk to thoroughly mix. Crack the eggs into a bowl and , while beating with the mixer on low add the eggs to the sugar mixture. Allow to mix until the sugar has completely dissolved in the eggs, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the cream, pumpkin, and vanilla in a separate bowl. Whisk to blend together.
- Add the pumpkin mixture to the egg mixture and beat slowly until well combined. Set aside until the crust is ready.
- Pour the mixture into the pre-baked pie crust and and place in the oven on the center rack. See Notes. Bake until the custard is cooked through and knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1-1/2 to two hours.
- Remove and cool on a wire rack. Once cool, place in refrigerator and chill through. Once chilled cover with film or foil.
- So that my crust does not burn I like to place my pies on a rack set in a sheet-pan. That way the only thing contacting the bottom of the pie plate is air. The other reason I do this is that with fruit pies, particularly, they can boil over making a real mess on the floor of your oven. this way if they do they boil over they spill on to the sheet-pan instead.
- You can substitute 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger, if you prefer.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg or allspice
- 3/4 teaspoon ground clove
Tags: custard pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie spice recipe, pumpkin pie from scratch, easy pumpkin pie