2 In Culture Corner

Recipe: Mom’s Pumpkin Pie (& Crust)

Autumn is for piles of colourful leaves, slick wet sidewalks, unpacking jumpers and carving pumpkins. It’s also for delicious comfort food, and one of my favourite November treats is spicy pumpkin pie with a big swirl of whipped cream.

Pumpkin pie is an American Thanksgiving tradition – a holiday I haven’t been home for in at least the last eight years – but while I don’t always cook a full meal for a crowd that day, I do almost always find some time to fill the house with the warming scent of a baking pie.

And so last weekend, on a rainy, blustery Saturday, I kicked off wet shoes after taking photos in the park and took over the kitchen. This is a recipe my mom has always made while my brother and I were growing up. As you’ll see from the recipe picture she sent me below for the actual pumpkin filling, it came from a woman called Clarine Schultz in our old school recipe book and has been well-loved!

As for the crust, this is an easy recipe, but any crust recipe you like will do – or just buy one, unbaked, if you’re feeling lazy.

Lacking waxed paper, I didn’t fully follow the written instructions when it came to pastry rolling and the cats (the only cookie cutters I had) on top sunk in a bit and look slightly wonky…but it all tastes like November to me!

Pre-heat the oven to 425F or 218C and dig out an 8- or 9-inch pie plate.

THE CRUST

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup rapeseed oil
  • 5 tablespoons cold water

Sift flour and salt into a bowl.

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Measure the oil and water into a mug without mixing and pour into the flour bowl.

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Grab a fork and chop your way around the bowl without too much stirring until you have one ball of pastry dough. Split this in half. It’s meant to make two pies, but I ended up just making one and used the second ball to pad out the top of the crust and add little cut-out shapes. You could also use it to make a top crust or set cut strips, fill with jam, twist and bake if you want to get creative. Or just make a second pie.

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Choose a lump, flour your surface (or use waxed paper as instructed in the image of the original recipe at the top of the post) and, using a rolling pin, flatten until it’s a few inches better than your 8- or 9-inch pie dish.

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Set into place.

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Design your edges however you like. This was where I added some of the second pastry ball since I didn’t roll the first one out quite thin enough – oops!

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Now make the filling.

THE FILLING

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Ingredients: 

  • 4 eggs, beaten slightly
  • 1 can of pumpkin (if you’re in the UK, try Waitrose or Partridges)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 level teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup whole milk

Easiest instructions ever: just combine everything above, in that order, mixing as you go!

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Pour it all into your pie crust.

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

If you want to make it a bit more interesting, pull out some cookie cutters and put that extra pastry to use. My mom usually decorates hers with festive Autumn leaves in different shapes and sizes. Like I said, the only shape I had was a cat, so cats it was!

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Serves warm or cold, topped with whipped cream, and dig in.

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Pumpkin Pie by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist

Store it in the fridge!

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Lisa
    November 14, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Love this! Also love your rolling pin! Where’d you get it?

    • Reply
      littleobservationist
      November 15, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      Thanks Lisa! The rolling pin is from Anthropologie last year. Not sure if they will still have the same one but they usually have a couple of nice ones!

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