Perfect Pumpkin Pie, Take Two

A few weeks ago, I made my first pumpkin pie completely from scratch. It was definitely palatable, as most pumpkin pie is, but the flavor was a little too subtle for my taste. But with Thanksgiving still a ways away I had plenty of time to practice. And when my friend and colleague, Nicole Williams, invited me to a dinner last night at her  fabulous apartment, I knew the time had come to try another version. You may have seen Nicole on TV before—as a successful career expert she’s frequently on the Today show—or have checked out her website, WORKS By Nicole Williams, (edited by yours truly) but what I learned recently about her is that she’s slightly obsessed with pumpkin pie. Which means she’d be just the person to test out a recipe I found on that I’ve been eager to try.

I had a feeling this recipe would be good because it calls for lots of spices—cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cardamom. And oh was I right. This is a fantastic pumpkin pie recipe! It’s incredibly flavorful and the distinct spices really come through. I made two versions, one using heavy cream and one with evaporated milk. After tasting both, I think the heavy cream gives the pie a smoother texture.

As with my last pie, I used fresh pumpkin and I made a pate brisee crust, but this time I used whole wheat pastry flour, which worked beautifully. The crust is light and buttery. The only other change I made was using light brown sugar instead of dark because that’s what I had on hand. If you are looking for a pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving, this is it. Everyone at last night’s dinner raved about how good it was (two of Nicole’s guests had never eaten pumpkin pie before!) so this is the recipe I’ll be using come Turkey Day. Now if I could just perfect my stuffing…


Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar pumpkin or from canned pumpkin purée

1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest


Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix sugars, salt, and spices, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Stir in cream. Whisk all together until well incorporated.

Pour into pie shell and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.



1 Comment

  1. November 19, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    This is the BEST pumpkin pie I have every tasted in my life and as Michelle suggests…I am a connoisseaur!

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