Maple Pumpkin Pie for Procrastinators

 

I’m a procrastinator when it comes to deciding what pumpkin pie I’m going to serve for Thanksgiving. (It’s not one of my better qualities.)

The problem is, quite frankly, that pumpkin pie is simply not my favorite. I find most versions underwhelming – often boring – and not worth the calories.

So this year I’ve rekindled my infatuation with a maple pumpkin pie I made regularly during my New England years. A touch of maple syrup…a dose of heavy cream…and just the right blend of spices, and now we’re talking good pie.

This is one I’ll be making this year; if it’s not too late, you should consider it as well.

And no matter what pies you make…and whatever you’re feasting on tomorrow…may your Thanksgiving be blessed, filled with warm smiles, boundless gratitude, good food, and people who bring joy to your life.

My best wishes to you and my gratitude for your ongoing support of The Pie Academy.

Ken

PASTRY NOTE: Use any pie dough you like for this pie. I recommend the GOOD BASIC PIE DOUGH or the FOOD PROCESSOR PIE DOUGH.

Maple Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

  • GOOD BASIC PIE DOUGH or FOOD PROCESSOR PIE DOUGH, refrigerated
  • FILLING
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half or light cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH cloves and nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

Instructions

  1. If you haven't already, prepare the pastry and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the pastry into a 13 1/2" circle on a sheet of lightly floured wax paper. Invert the pastry over a 9 1/2-inch deep dish pie pan, center it, and peel off the paper. Tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and sculpt the edge into an upstanding rim. Flute the edge, then refrigerate the pie shell for 1 hour. At the end of the hour rest, preheat the oven to 400°.
  3. Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil 16" long and press it into the shell so it fits like a glove; you should be able to make out the crease in the bottom of the pan. Add enough dried beans to the foil to fill by about three-quarters; bank the beans up the sides. Bake on the center oven rack for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and beans, then prick the bottom of the shell 6 or 7 times with a fork, to keep it from puffing up. Reduce the heat to 350° and bake the shell 12 minutes more. Transfer to a rack and cool. When cool, dab some cream cheese on your finger and "plug" the holes in the shell.
  4. When you're ready to bake the pie, set the oven to 350°. Using a whisk or electric mixer on low speed, beat the eggs lightly in a large bowl. Blend in the light cream, heavy cream, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix the brown sugar, flour, spices and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the liquid mixture - along with the pumpkin - and blend well with a whisk. Pour the filling into the cooled shell.
  5. Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325° and bake another 20 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set; it should be jiggly, not soupy in the center. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack. Cool thoroughly, then cover with tented aluminum foil and refrigerate until serving (with whipped cream, of course.) Makes 8 to 10 servings.
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