This year for Christmas dinner we upped the ante and made a pumpkin pie and pie crust totally from scratch. Originally we were intimidated by the idea of making a crust from scratch, but really it wasn’t bad at all! It takes only a few minutes and a couple of ingredients! The keys to making a great pie crust from scratch are:
- Use precise measurements for ingredients
- Add ice water by the 1/2 tbsp to achieve moist clumps
- Flour your rolling surface and pin really well
- Roll pie crust from the middle outward lifting up (not pressing down hard)
- Don’t over roll the crust
- Roll the crust to about 2 inches larger than the diameter of your pan
But let’s get down to the good stuff… the recipe. We adapted a recipe from Paula Deen for the filling. We cut back the sugar, added a few spices, and swapped low fat cream cheese for full fat cream cheese. We thought the filling came out PERFECT!
Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- 1 (8-ounce) package low fat cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp ginger
Directions for Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer.
- Add the pumpkin and beat until combined.
- Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined.
- Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined.
- Finally, add the vanilla and spices and beat until incorporated.
For the crust we followed Martha Stewart’s recipe and it came it just great! This crust is made with just butter no shortening, and the key is to use very cold butter!
Ingredients for Pie Crust:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling dough
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3 tablespoons ice water, adding increments of 1/2 tbsp ice water if needed
Directions for Pie Crust:
- Pulse flour, salt, and sugar several times in a food processor to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces remaining.
- Add 3 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time). Do not overprocess, this is key!
- Turn dough out onto a work surface; form dough into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Before baking, unwrap dough and place the dough on a large well floured wooden surface. Roll dough to a 14-inch round (for a 9 inch pie plate). Then carefully lift the dough (it helps to have someone to push the plate under the dough as you lift) and place in the pie pan. Trim the excess edges and use a fork or your fingers to pinch the crust.
Assemble & Bake the Pie:
- To make the pie preheat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit. Pour pie filling into the prepared crust above.
- Bake pie for 15 minutes in preheated oven. Then drop the temperature to 350 degrees Farenheit and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. We ended up baking for 44 additional minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 2 hours. If you want to speed up the cooling process place a warm pie over a container of ice or refrigerate once it cools a little.
This pie was so delicious! It was great for Christmas dinner, but honestly would make for the perfect treat at any gathering, or even just a special dinner at home!