Thanksgiving is all about tradition. While some of the best parts about coming home for break are seeing family and friends and sleeping in your own bed, the highlight for me is always the deliciously warm piece of pumpkin pie that I inhale a little too quickly on Thanksgiving night. I never fail to seize the opportunity of my cousins being distracted by football to station myself first in line at the dessert table.
Unfortunately, pumpkin pie has been perpetually categorized as a seasonal dessert, so the window of acceptable times to perfect baking it is quite small. If you’re interested in baking your own pumpkin pie and having bragging rights as chef of everyone’s favorite part of the meal, you’re going to need these tips to ensure that your baking adventures won’t go awry:
Trust the crust
If you’re up to the challenge, making homemade crust for your pie can make all the difference. To prevent a soggy crust it is important to take the time to freeze the shell for a short amount of time, and then pre-bake it to firm up the crust. Also, brush a light egg wash of egg white and a pinch of salt to create the beautiful golden brown crust that is the holy grail of pie making. Lastly, put your pie on the bottom shelf of the oven to avoid sogginess, while making sure that the bottom crust gets cooked through. If you’re lacking in time and motivation during this short Thanksgiving break, a store bought pie crust will work just as well, and I promise to not rat you out to your family!
Focus on the filling
The perfect pumpkin pie will have a rich texture with a great balance of pumpkin and spice flavors that should encompass the warm and beloved taste of fall in one bite. One way to deepen the flavors of your filling is to add brown sugar to the recipe. It brings the flavor of molasses without too much sweetness and makes the filling bolder. Be careful to not over beat the filling because you will thin out the texture of the pie and it will not have the thick and creamy qualities that we all savor. In terms of canned versus fresh pumpkin filling, many baking experts say that there really is not much of a taste difference. For a fresher more organic feel, making your own pumpkin filling is very doable, but definitely daring so prepare to get messy!
This Thanksgiving I have a lot to be thankful for and I know I’ll be celebrating that the right way: with my family, friends and a large slice of scrumptious pumpkin pie. If you take on the task of making homemade pumpkin pie this year and succeed, I think you may want to add me to your list of things to be thankful for.
Find a pumpkin pie recipe that suits your baking needs here: