Or, Pumpkin Pie for People Who Don’t Like Pumpkin Pie
As I tweeted this weekend when I was making this for the second time already this fall: it’s milk, eggs, vegetables, and metabolically-beneficial spices in a whole-grain crust. Shut up.
But really, this pumpkin pie corrects the things that formerly stopped me from liking pumpkin pie.
First, the only spice is cinnamon. I have a constitutional aversion to most premade spice mixes and I have literally never bought a jar of “pumpkin pie spice” whatever that is. What do I dislike in it? Is there mace or cloves or nutmeg? They’re welcome in certain other things but not my pumpkin pie.
My friend Nikki, whose surname is even more Convoluted Dutch than my maiden one was, uses spekuloos spice in her pumpkin pie. I haven’t tried it myself, but it sounds promising.
Second, the filling is heavy on pumpkin flavor. I haven’t compared this recipe to others so I can’t intelligently speculate on why, but I guess it has less eggs and milk and other nonsense compared to pumpkin puree.
Third, the graham cracker crust. Ordinary pastry doesn’t provide enough contrast to pumpkin pie filling, I think (unlike, say, a fruit pie), which makes the whole thing feel monotonous. This graham cracker crust is chewy in some parts, crumbly in others, and darn tasty all by itself. The corner pieces of this pie are the ones people covet.
Without further ado:
-The pie is baked in a 9×13 baking dish, also known as a lasagna pan. My very favorite is this one one from HIC. I have two and want more.
-Preheat your oven to 375F
-2 sleeves graham crackers
-1/2 c granulated sugar
-1/2 c aka one stick aka 4 ounces butter, melted
Crunch up the graham crackers into your food processor. Blitz for a second or two to get them mostly broken up. Add butter and sugar and blitz until the crumb is even, which should be only a few seconds.
Dump the mixture into your baking dish and press it more or less evenly around the bottom and up the sides. It won’t go all the way, but make it go as far as you can.
Put the baking dish into the heating oven while you make the filling.
-2 cans or 3.5 c pumpkin puree
-1 15-oz can evaporated (NOT CONDENSED!) milk
-1/2 c regular milk
-1 c granulated sugar
-1.5 T cinnamon
Put everything in a bowl and mix until smooth. I do this part by hand and it is fine.
Remove baking dish from oven, pour filling into crust, and return to oven for 50 minutes. At this point the exposed parts of the crust should be toasty and the top of the filling should be fairly dark, but it will still have a wobble in the middle. This will set as the pie cools.
The butter and sugar in the crust will have caramelized during baking, which makes pieces somewhat difficult to prise out during the pie’s first few hours of life. Over time moisture from the filling will soften it up. This changes the eating quality (the crust will be chewy and crunchy at first, yum) but also makes it easier to serve, so decide for yourself which you prefer.