One of the most iconic autumnal dishes is pumpkin pie. However, with great pie comes great responsibility; a few missteps could squash your pie’s potential. Here are our top tricks to ensure your baking experience is as easy as, well, pie.
Tip #1: Fresh spice makes everything nice. Pre-packaged, one-stop Pumpkin Pie Spice may be convenient, but taking the time to incorporate each spice individually leads to a much more flavorful outcome. The individual spices have a much more assertive flavor, and the smell of the pie will be more fragrant. Pro tip: grate your own nutmeg. Your taste buds will thank you for it.
Tip #2: Open up the pumpkin. The difference in taste between fresh and canned pumpkin is indiscernible. Save yourself the effort; the time you would have spent carving and de-seeding your pumpkin can be better spent eating dessert. The key is finding a quality canned pumpkin. (Psst… Have you tried our organic pumpkin yet?)
Tip #3: Ditch the white sugar. Swap out half the required white sugar with brown sugar. Brown sugar has a more intense, molasses flavor, which will be noticeable when it comes time to eat. This simple swap will give you richer, more indulgent bites. Brown sugar does have more moisture, however, so opting for a 50/50 sugar split will allow the pie to maintain its structure.
Tip #4: Scratch canned crusts. Grandma’s secret to perfect pie? Always bake your own crust. Pre-made crusts lack the rich, buttery flakiness of a homemade number. Do your family a solid and whip one up; it only takes four ingredients. Or, you can spice things up with a creative crust. A gingersnap base will add some fall flair to the dish.
Tip #5: Pre-bake your crust. Because pumpkin pie’s base is more liquid, it’s easy to end up with an undercooked, gooey mess. To avoid soggy slices, bake your crust for 10 minutes at 375 degrees prior to pouring in the pumpkin mixture.
Tip #6: Go for the gold. Want our family secret to camera-ready, golden brown crusts? The key is brushing on an egg wash, which is simply a beaten raw egg, before pre-baking the crust.
Tip #7: Little jiggle? It’s done. Cooking is finished when the outer edge of the filling has developed a firm set with some light browning, and the center circle (4-6 inches) will have a soft set and shake like gelatin. The middle will solidify after it is out of the oven. Keep it in the oven until the center is solid and it will be overcooked.
Go forth and pumpkin pie like a pro! Looking for other pumpkin-based recipe inspiration? Check out our recipe page for simple ways to add pumpkin to every meal, without the crust. What are your pie making tips? Share in the comments!