This year was the first year in well, ever, that I haven’t enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner with my family (or at least ate the leftovers when I got home from work). That’s one of the troubles living 10+ hours away from them – long weekends aren’t quite long enough to make the trip down for every holiday. But it’s okay, I’m an adult – I can deal with it. We had a low key Thanksgiving, taking a quick road trip to Valemount, BC on the long weekend, then having a small Thanksgiving dinner the following weekend with a roast chicken, roasted beets, broccoli, and pumpkin corn bread. And of course I had to make a pumpkin pie.
Here’s the thing – I honestly can’t remember ever making pumpkin pie before. I’m not even sure how that is possible. I know I’ve seen my mom make them plenty of times, but I have no recollection of whipping one up with my own two hands. I didn’t even have a go to recipe to use. So I browsed some of my cookbooks, and came up with a pretty traditional recipe. My fingers were crossed that it would turn out okay – pumpkin pie is probably the boyfriend’s favourite pie ever.
I set out that morning to make the pie, thinking I had all of the necessary ingredients in the house. Ummm…turned out I actually didn’t have any butter to make the crust. I contemplated a trip to the store just for butter, then remembered the coconut oil. Not wanting to get out of my pyjamas, I threw all caution to the wind and went for it.
I made my pie crust, then filled it with all that deliciously spiced pumpkin filling, and let the oven do it’s thing. Soon enough the house was smelling delightful – hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla filled the kitchen. When it was done, it looked like pumpkin pie. It smelled like pumpkin pie. And you know what – it tasted just like pumpkin pie too! Not that I doubted my baking skills, but you never know when you make something for the first time. It had a lovely creamy consistency, was just sweet enough, and had a great balance of warming spices. The crust was awesome too – you couldn’t even tell that it used coconut oil. The boyfriend was commented that the crust was the perfect crispy/flaky texture. Dare I say – I might just have made the perfect pumpkin pie?
Practically Perfect Pumpkin Pie
makes one 9” deep dish pie
A Thanksgiving feast would not be complete without a slice of pumpkin pie! This fairly traditional recipe combines rusty orange pumpkin puree with the warming scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to create a silky custard-like filling in rustic whole wheat pie crust. Serve it as is, or with freshly whipped cream for a great ending to your meal.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
- 4-5 tbsp cold water
- 1 can (396 ml) pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. For the crust: combine whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the coconut oil until the dough resembles small peas. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time, stirring until dough just comes together in a ball. Turn out on to a floured counter, and roll out dough large enough for a 9” deep dish pie plate. Place into plate, cut off excess, and flute edges.
3. For the filling: combine all ingredients into a large bowl, and whisk together until well combined. Pour into the prepared pie shell, smoothing out the filling.
4. Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F, then turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees F. Bake for another 30 – 40 minutes, until set and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
Notes: For a dairy free version, use coconut oil in the crust, and non-dairy milk in the filling (I used almond milk in mine). You can also omit the crust, and bake as individual custards in ramekins – baking time may vary.
Pumpkin Pie – love it or leave it? What’s your favourite Thanksgiving dessert?