Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, even more so now that my first son was born on this day over a decade ago. I love getting together with family, spending time together indoors in a cozy, warm home while the fall air outside gets crisper and chillier as it creeps toward winter. The sights and scents and flavors of Thanksgiving are incredible, from spicy cinnamon pumpkin pies, delicious apple ciders, and crackling wood fireplaces, to nutmeg sprinkled on hot spicy teas, chestnuts in the delicious homemade stuffing, sugary cranberries, and of course a roasted turkey. For me, a delicious Thanksgiving Day pumpkin pie tops the list as a seasonal favorite!
My home is small so my Thanksgiving Day dinners tend to be small, but whether I’m hosting or visiting the home of others, my cinnamon pumpkin pie that I’ve been making it for years is always ready for others to enjoy. We start with the crust, and I used to make it from scratch, but after discovering some organic store bought versions with just a few real, natural ingredients, I decided to outsource the work and pick those up. I no longer make it with a sweet dough crust (I reserve this for my apple pies), and now make my family favorite pumpkin pie with a graham cracker crust. If you do make crusts at home, chill the dough for one day before placing it into the pan for a better texture and firmness, and with a flour crust, leave a 1/2 trim over the edge to fold and flute later.
For the pumpkin filling, you can either buy organic pumpkin puree in a can (what we now do- it’s the perfect consistency perfect already), or use fresh pumpkin (extra work and mess for no extra benefit, not doing it anymore!).
Penelope’s Pumpkin Pie Recipe
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (we use organic canned)
1 graham cracker pie crust or sweet dough crust
2 eggs yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinammon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cup light cream or half and half
1. Preheat oven to 350º degrees.
2. Put pumpkin puree in a bowl and whisk in eggs and egg yolk.
3. Whisk in remaining ingredients in order listed, and pour the entire filling into the pie crust.
4. If baking in a sweet dough crust, fold over the crust edges and flute with fingertips, or use a fork to press in a pretty ridge design.
5. Bake for one hour on the lower rack (until filling is set). Cool pie on rack, then put in refrigerator overnight.
For a get together, we often pie pre-made frozen crust and use a pizza cutter to cut it into strips that we overlay over the pie. Sometimes we use a small cookie cutter shaped in autumn themes, like leaves or pumpkins, and punch out shapes from the pie crust to overlay on top as well and decorate the grid-style top crust layer. There are many ways to decorate your pies if you want to gift them or display them on a dessert table at a party, and these are our favorites. This pumpkin pie recipe not only tastes delicious, but your kitchen will smell great while making it and for long after from the cinnamon and nutmeg- yummy!
This time of year is super fun for autumn activities like apple picking and pumpking picking and carving, so make sure you get out and make wonderful family memories!