Though pumpkin pie is the classic Thanksgiving desert, during my last two years of local eating I had sadly put thoughts of it aside. You couldnt make it without nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon, I thought. Take those away, and youd either have a pie that tasted like a) nothing or b) straight pumpkin, both of which seemed like bad qualities in a desert. Instead I made blueberry or strawberry-rhubarb pie from fruits Id frozen earlier in the year - but it didnt feel quite right.
So this Thanksgiving I decided to be bold and develop my own recipe even though my mother-in-law was in town for the Canadian holiday, which because of our colder climate falls six weeks before the US date. She had previously said that my spiced pumpkin pie was the best ever. Does lightning strike twice? Could I hope to achieve this in-law approval rating again? You can now take advantage of what I learned from my trial.
As an additional hurdle, instead of making the pie with brown sugar as I used to do, I tried honey. I had a panic when after my accustomed 40 minutes of baking, the whole middle of the pie was still runny. However, I moved the rack down one notch and after another 20 minutes (I covered the crust edge with foil to keep it from browning further) it was done.
The mother-in-laws verdict? This is the classiest pumpkin pie Ive ever had. Phew!
Alisa Smith's No Spice Pumpkin Pie
1 pie crust
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste (substitute with sorghum molasses; or Grade 2/Amber maple syrup, depending on your local area)
2 cups roasted pumpkin
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup cream
PREPARATION1. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry making fluted edge by pinching, or crimp edge with fork. Combine all remaining ingredients and turn into pie shell.
2. Bake at 425 degrees F. from 40 to 60 minutes, until knife inserted into center comes out almost clean. Serve with whipped cream (sweetened with honey if desired).
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.