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A Most Pleasant, Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Silky, creamy pumpkin pie provides the perfect blend of spice combined with sweet, roasted pumpkin. The flavor will transport your spirit into blissful holiday joy.

If fall were a taste, it would be this pumpkin pie. 

Pumpkin Pie
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

While not everyone likes pumpkin, this recipe might just be the method that changes minds. A tangy splash of goat’s milk and a little cardamom adds a new, subtle nuance to this classic dessert. If you splash a little cardamom whipped cream on top, You will have a hard time stopping with just one piece. 

Pumpkin pie ingredients
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Making a pumpkin pie from scratch may seem like quite the endeavor, but every moment of love that you put into making this pie will be worth it when you are satisfied by its delightful, fresh flavor. 

First, we make the homemade crust

Measuring spoon in glass of ice water, glass measure of flour, small bowl of beaten egg.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 8 TBSP of ice-cold water
  • 11 TBSP of cold butter
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt 
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Extra flour for rolling out pie crust
Small bowl of eggs being beaten with a fork.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Egg and Cold Water

Many recipes for pie crust call for a mixture of eggs and cold water. I chose to use one egg and  8 tablespoons of water. The water thins out the pie crust and gives it a slightly lighter taste. Using two eggs and less water also results in a delicious pie crust. 

Ice water being poured into a small bowl, glass measure of flour and a stick of butter in the background.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Cold Butter

Cold butter cut into small pieces, glass measure of flour and glass of ice water in the background.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Place your butter in the freezer for about 10 minutes before cutting it into small cubes. Keeping all of your ingredients cold will establish a perfect foundational pie crust.  (See instructions below for the best procedures to keep your other ingredients cold.) 

Butter cubes being swept off a wooden cutting board with a knife into a mixing bowl.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

All-Purpose Flour

Flour being poured onto the butter pieces in the mixing bowl.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Refrigerating your flour about 20 minutes before you begin to mix it with the other ingredients helps to uphold the cool temperature and develops a perfect texture for your pie crust. When making a pie crust, keeping all of your ingredients cold helps solidify the butterfat. This means the butterfat will melt more evenly into your crust.

Closeup of woman's hands mixing the butter pieces into the flour.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield
Closeup of hand using a fork to blend butter and flour in a mixing bowl.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Salt, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Ginger, Nutmeg 

This blend of spices warms your palette and gives the crust more character. Salt awakens the tongue to taste all of the other delicious seasonings. While cinnamon nutmeg, and ginger commonly flavor pumpkin pie, the use of cardamom adds a more exotic, bright flavor to this dish. 

Measuring spoons with spices in them, a large cube of butter, and an egg on a white plate.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Cardamom is a prized ingredient in many parts of the world, especially in Asian cuisine. It can be used in sweet and savory dishes. 

Closeup of hand adding spices to a mixing bowl containing flour and butter pieces.

Replacements

If you do not have these individual spices, adding a TBSP of pumpkin pie spice into your flour will deliver similar results. Pumpkin pie spice typically contains a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Feel free to add a dash of ground cloves into your crust, but be careful how much you add, because cloves have a punch of flavor that can cover the subtlety of other ingredients when overused. 

Woman's hands holding a ball of pie crust.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Refrigerate Your Pie Crust

To get the perfect flaky crust you dream of, refrigerate your pie dough before rolling it out. About thirty minutes in the refrigerator will allow the gluten to rest and the other ingredients to integrate, softening your crust. This makes it easier to work with and easier to eat. 

Woman's hands wrapping a ball of pie crust in plastic wrap.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Extra Flour For Rolling Out Your Pie Crust

Closeup of rolling pin taken at an angle.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Dusting your rolling pin and the surface of your counter with flour will keep your pie dough from making a sticky mess. You can also add dry flour to the outside surface of the pie dough for extra ease in forming and flattening your crust. 

Container of flour, rolling pin and wooden board in the background.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Use your rolling pin to relocate your pie crust into a pie pan. You do this by wrapping it around a well-floured rolling pin and gently unwrapping it over the pie pan. This method and a gentle hand will keep your pie crust from cracking. 

Floured pie crust disc on floured wooden board.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Remove any excess dough hanging off the edge of your pie and use a fork to crimp the edges or use your finger to flute the edges. This will not only make your pie look beautiful, but this method also keeps the pie from puffing up in the oven. 

Closeup of woman's hands using rolling pin to roll out disc of pie crust.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield
Woman's hands using rolling pin to flatten and shape pie crust.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield
Woman's hands rolling pin crust on to rolling pin for transferring to pie dish.
Photo by Brodie Porterfield
Woman's hands using rolling pin to place pie crust in pie dish.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield
Woman's hands finger-crimping edges of pie crust.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Pre-Baking Your Crust

I like to ensure a sound structure for my pumpkin pie by pre-baking it for about 5 minutes in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven. If you intend to store your pie this will keep the pie from getting too soggy at the bottom and giving in under the weight of other ingredients. 

If you are short on time, you can skip this step. 

Aluminum foil with dried legumes used as pie crust weights for baking.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Now for the pie filling…

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 of a small pumpkin
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 12 oz. can of evaporated goats milk (can use regular goats milk if needed) 
  • 1/4 cup of honey 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Salt
Closeup of the inside of a cut pumpkin half.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Pumpkin

Pumpkin wedges on foil-covered baking sheet.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

To bring out the beautiful flavor and soften your pumpkin, be sure to roast it before pureeing. Remove the seeds and stringy cartilage inside of the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin into 2-inch slices, and place them on a sheet pan. Place sheet pan in a preheated oven at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Pumpkins are ready when brown spots occur, and a fork can be smoothly glided into the pumpkin flesh without much resistance. 

Woman's hands using knife to scrape out pulp and seeds from a cut pumpkin half.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Remove the sheet pan from the oven and allow the pumpkins to cool. Remove the pumpkin skins when pumpkins are cool enough to touch. Now, you are ready to puree your pumpkin with a few other ingredients. 

Baking sheet of pumpkin wedges in an oven.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield
Closeup of roasted pumpkin wedges
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield
Woman's hands peeling skins from roasted pumpkin wedges.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

2 Eggs

2 eggs will add to the creaminess and thickness of this dish. 

White plate with small piles of spices, two eggs in the background.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Replacements

Eggs disappear quickly in our family, so I am often reaching in the refrigerator to find an empty space where eggs used to sit. Some great replacements include applesauce (this will also add sweetness to your pumpkin pie, so you might want to use slightly less honey or sugar to balance the flavor.), Mayonnaise, or yogurt. 

Closeup of can of Meyenberg brand of evaporated goat milk.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Evaporated Goat’s Milk

Goat’s milk has a tangy, delicate taste that adds irresistibility to pumpkin pie. Evaporated milk commonly gets used in baking, because it rarely curdles even at high heat. However, the sugar content in evaporated milk should be considered when adding honey or sugar to the pie. I added less honey than I would if using heavy whipping cream. 

Can of goat milk being poured into a food processor bowl of ingredients.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Replacements

Heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, or regular evaporated milk can be used in place of evaporated goat’s milk. These ingredients may change the cooking time, so be sure to keep checking on your pie for doneness if you make substitutions. 

Honey being poured into a food processor bowl containing roasted pumpkin.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Honey 

I like to add sweetness in the most natural ways. Using local honey makes this decadent pumpkin pie a little healthier.

Honey fights allergies and helps with digestion. 

Replacements

While honey pairs delightfully with pumpkin, brown sugar, regular sugar, or molasses can be used to replace the honey in this pumpkin pie recipe. 

Closeup of spices on the surface of pumpkin pie filling ingredients.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom, and Salt

For me, cardamom needs to be included in the perfect blend of spices for pumpkin pie. It adds brightness to that cozy warm feeling brought in by the cinnamon and nutmeg and blends with the heightening flavor of ginger.

Replacements

Pumpkin pie spice can be used in place of this spice blend. Some varieties of apple pie spice contain cardamom as well as the other spices above, so it can also be used as an adequate replacement. 

Overhead view of baked pumpkin pie
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Optional Homemade Whipped Cream

One of the best ways to make your pie even more lovingly made is to add homemade whipped cream. Whipped cream is simple. Add heavy whipping cream and a heap of powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like it) to a stand mixer with any additional spices (I used cardamom) or flavor extracts. Mix until stiff peaks form and the whipped cream has a desirable thick creaminess.

Closeup of heavy cream being poured into stand mixer bowl with whisk attachment in place.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield
Woman's hands holding a container of powdered sugar, a stand mixer with whisk attachment in the background.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield
Closeup of spice being added to stand mixer bowl ingredients.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Pairings

Often, pumpkin pie makes its way to the table for fall celebrations, so finding festive foods, reminiscent of this cozy time of year can be as simple as knowing what vegetables are in season.

Mixed or roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, onions, kale, Fava beans, radishes, and beets all bring in the flavors of fall. Pair these lovely treats with a turkey loin, roasted duck, or chicken, or even turn them into a traditional soup. Butternut squash soup, French onion soup, or an Italian sausage soup with kale would be delicious entrees to serve before the pumpkin pie. 

Occasionally, roasted pumpkins make an appearance in chili. This delicious fall favorite would make an excellent beginning to a meal that ends with pumpkin pie. Perhaps, pair your chili with a salad covered in toasted pumpkin seeds. 

Closeup of a slice of pumpkin pie topped with spiced whipping cream.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

A cheese and fruit plate with raisins, oranges, goat cheese (to mimic the goat’s milk), and gruyere would work perfectly as a course before eating this amazing pie. You can also add a delicious apple cheesecake galette to make a dessert duo for your final course.

Almondo wine, a sparkling wine with natural almond flavor pairs beautifully with pumpkin pie, adding a nutty accent to your palette and perfectly pairing with pumpkin. The cardamom also melds well with the subtle almond nuances. You can buy Almondo at your local ALDI.

Ice cream on top of dessert makes everything better. Cinnamon ice cream or vanilla ice cream goes great with pumpkin pie. You might even add a little caramel, cranberries, or toasted nuts for extra delight.

Ultimately, this pie can be served on its own or with any meal. It is so enjoyable as a simple snack or as a complement to any dinner.

The essence of fall fills your mouth with every bite of this most pleasant homemade pumpkin pie.  

Pinterest image of a whole baked pumpkin pie.
Photography by: Brodie Porterfield
Pumpkin Pie Crust

Pumpkin Pie Crust

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Silky, creamy pumpkin pie provides the perfect blend of spice combined with sweet, roasted pumpkin. The flavor will transport your spirit into blissful holiday joy.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 8 TBSP of ice-cold water
  • 11 TBSP of cold butter
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Extra flour for rolling out pie crust

Instructions

  1. Mix 1 beaten egg and 8 TBSP of ice-cold water in a cup. Set aside for later.
  2. whisk together all-purpose flour and all spices (salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg).
  3. Cut butter into small 1/4 inch pieces and pour into flour mixture.
  4. With your fingertips or a cold fork, begin to massage flour into the butter.
  5. After several minutes of massaging, pour your egg and water mixture slowly into the flour mixture. Once all ingredients are integrated, your pie crust should be malleable enough to form into a ball.
  6. Wrap your pie dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for thirty minutes.
  7. Add extra flour to your rolling surface, rolling pin, and refrigerated pie crust.
  8. Press on your dough ball with your rolling pin to begin the stretching process. Now roll over flour until you have created a flat surface large enough to cover a pie pan.
  9. Carefully wrap your pie crust dough around your rolling pin and transfer it to a buttered pie pan, unrolling it above the pan. Gently lower the crust into the pan.
  10. Decorate your pie using a fork or your fingers to flute the crust.
  11. In a preheated oven at 400 degrees Farenheit for 5 minutes, pre-bake your pie by adding tin foil or parchment paper weighed down with beans (to keep the shape and keep the dough from puffing up).
  12. Add your pie filling and bake according to your pie filling recipe.
  13. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Silky, creamy pumpkin pie provides the perfect blend of spice combined with sweet, roasted pumpkin. The flavor will transport your spirit into blissful holiday joy.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of a small pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 12 oz. can of evaporated goats milk (can use regular goats milk if needed)
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Salt

Instructions

  1. Cut small pumpkin in half. Store half for future use. Remove cartilage and seeds from 1/2 of a small pumpkin and cut the pumpkin into 1-2 inch wide slices.
  2. Roast the pumpkin slices in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Pumpkins should be ready in 10-20 minutes or when a fork can glide smoothly into the flesh of the pumpkin without much resistance.
  3. Once the pumpkin slices have become tender, give them a little time to cool. Remove the pumpkin skins and toss the pumpkins into the blender with all remaining ingredients.
  4. Blend until all ingredients have been integrated and the pumpkin mixture is smooth, without lumps.
  5. Pour Pumpkin blend into a pie crust and cook for 40-50 minutes in the 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven.
  6. Remove from oven, cover in whipped cream if desired, and enjoy your delicious pumpkin pie!

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