Pumpkin pie experts... help!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Applespider, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday in London for a group of friends. We usually cheat and go out to a restaurant but our favourite isn't showing the football so we're doing it at home.

    The turkey, the stuffing, the corn, the squash, the sweet potatoes etc is all fine and I'm sorted on that front.

    But the pumpkin pie, I'm struggling with. If I'd thought about it last week, I could apparently have ordered one from a local bakery but it's too late now :( so my options are making one for the first time ever - or making a regular pecan torte or apple pie. I'd rather have a stunningly good pudding than a v average pumpkin pie.

    The local deli (which has an American section!) has Keeble's Graham pie crust and Libby's pumpkin puree. I tend not to buy prepacked stuff unless I really trust the brand. Are they any good? Or will using them make it v average?

    Otherwise any good recipes that people swear by? There are hundreds online but not entirely sure I trust some of them!

    Thanks... my football buddies will thank you!
  2. xsedrinam macrumors 601


    Oct 21, 2004
    Applespider, I'm not a chef, (but think I have good taste :) )

    My mother (who passed away at 94) and my mother in law (now 77) would both vote for Libby's pumpkin as a tried and true choice. The latter is still a fabulous cook and her pumpkin pie has been consistently great. Having gone back for extra servings at holidays over time, I'd vouche for Libby's as being a good choice.

    Hope all your football buddies are happy.
  3. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040


    Sep 13, 2003
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    Pumpkin pie doesn't usually go into a graham cracker crust. Standard pie crust works well. I don't have a recipe since I've always just eyeballed it. Blind bake the pie crust and then put in the filling. You will want to wrap the edges of the crust with tin foil to keep it from burning.

    In addition to the pumpkin puree you will need pumpkin pie spice, eggs, and sweetened condensed milk(check the puree can for amounts iirc its 2eggs and 8oz of milk). If you can't find pumpkin pie spice substitute cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in roughly equal quantities.

    As for using the canned pumpkin, there is nothing wrong with it. I made a pumpkin pie from scratch once and all it really adds to it is an hour or to cut and cook and puree the pumpkin.

    If you want to do without the pie crust you can make a double batch of the pie filling and bake it in a casserole dish.
  4. beatzfreak macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2006
    Libby's is good.

    I grew up on the Libby's Pumpkin Pie.

    There should be a recipe on the can. It's pretty easy.

    If the crust you're asking about is made from graham crackers, don't use it.

    Just use unbaked pre-made pie crust. Even Martha Stewart says it's okay.

    More info from Libbys:


  5. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I also agree on all the above counts: Libby's is good, and graham cracker crust (for pumpkin pie) is bad. :) I've made pumpkin pies with Libby's that turned out well, so I'm guessing yours will be magnificent!
  6. TwoUptons macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2006
    The Libby's canned pumpkin is fine; just don't use the "pumpkin pie mix" – it isn't very good.
    You can use regular milk instead of the evaporated milk, though I would suggest whole vs. skim.
    I use cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in my pies, so use the spices you like (though having some sort of seasoning is critical).
    A real crust is pretty easy to make. It just uses flour, butter, salt, and water. The New York Times just had an article on their favorite, and it had an easy recipe. While graham cracker crust would do in a pinch, it isn't as tasty with a pumpkin pie.

    A traditional pecan pie would also be very good. It is just pecans, eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and vanilla in a crust. I've done variations with walnuts, honey, pancake syrup, and whiskey when out of some of the other ingredients, so you can be very flexible around the basic recipe.

  7. TheAnswer macrumors 68030


    Jan 25, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    If it's your first time, I'd recommend using the Libby's and the graham cracker crust to make a pumpkin cheesecake. My best friend could never get the pie just right (burnt crust, soggy middles, etc), but his pumpkin cheesecake is awesome (unfortunately I don't have the recipe, but I know he found it online somewhere) Plus you can cook it a couple of days ahead of time so it lessens the stress on Turkey Day.

    Good luck!
  8. bastetbabe27 macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2006
    I've got a great, from scratch recipe

    It's not really that difficult, if you can find the ingredients over in London.
    Also, do you have any experience making pie crust? The crust this recipe makes is great, much better than a store bought version, but you can't beat the dough into submission, careful handling is in order. I will send it along later when I get home, tommorrow at the latest, if you want it. Oh, also, do you need measurements in metric?

  9. Raid macrumors 68020


    Feb 18, 2003
    In addtion to the spices above, my Grandmother always added a bit of spiced rum in the mix. I can recall her giving me the unused bit of condensed milk to drink straight from the can, as she needed room for the rum. :)

    If I recall correctly she said you substitute rum for condensed milk at a half ounce of rum for every 2 inches of the pie's diameter, less half an ounce. (i.e a 6" pie means 2.5 ounces, 8" would be 3.5 ounces). Then during baking if you notice the pie filling is cracking (getting too dry) then sprinkle a half ounce of rum on the pies top. Just remembering that smell makes me long for a warm piece with whipped cream on top.

    <edit> BTW don't take my rum measurment too literally, after thinking about it I'm not sure if that would leave any room for condensed milk! It's hard to remember because it has to be about 12 years since she's made one. Also if you're going to use ginger and cloves, they are both pretty powerfull and should be used sparingly!</edit>
  10. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Another vote against the graham cracker crust. Good with Key Lime pie, bad with pumpkin pie. And don't forget to have whipped cream available. Ice cream goes well with apple pie, but it must be whipped cream (or, perhaps Cool Whip, though I'd debate that) with pumpkin.

    Of course, I'm more of an expert on eating pumpkin pie than baking it. Perhaps you could send me a sample... :D
  11. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Another vote AGAINST GC crust. Needs a proper pie crust.
    But the canned punkin filling ****, while not the greatest, is pretty darned good in a pinch.
    I would suggest adding a touch (1/4-1/2 cup?) of evaporated milk, if available. It helps sweeten & creamy up the pie.

    And while whipped cream is a good idea, vanilla ice cream is even better.

    For the record, this thread has me going to Ben and Jerry's after work to pick up a couple pints of Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream.


    P.S., My fat ****ing ass says thanks. :p
  12. CEAbiscuit macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2006
    The Kitchen
    One thing that I did not see in the LIbby recipe is to bake your pumkin pie in a water bath. Put the pie pan on a baking pan with a little water in the bottom (maybe a 1/4 in). The steam with keep the pie from "cracking" and will generally yield a more even bake.
  13. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I knew I could count on you guys! Especially for the graham cracker base news. The store has the pumpkin puree, the condensed milk and the base all sitting next to each other - but since we don't get graham crackers here, I had no idea how they'd taste together.

    bastetbabe27, a good pie crust recipe would be awesome. I'm pretty good with baking and I've made pies in the past (although generally savoury ones rather than sweet). I've got a pie tin and some beans for baking blind. Metric or imperial would be fine - heck, I think I've even got one set of US style measuring cups if that's what you've got.

    I've got cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice for making Christmas cake so that should be OK. And I still have to go ice-cream/cream shopping so I might just get both!

    One last question, I have to work Thursday. I'm getting home at 520pm - just in time for the football to start at 5.30pm. So can I make the pie the night before and just reheat on Thursday? Or make the base on Wednesday night and then just do the filling?

    I'll post a pic if it all works!
  14. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Absolutely. My wife makes 2-3 PPies for the holidays and 1 generally ends up in the fridge which I "graze" upon for a week or so. Each nuke'd slice is just as yummy as the original.

    Or maybe it doesn't last long enough for me to officially taste it? e.g., I gobble pie.
  15. Roric macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2005
    I use the recipe found on the Libby's can, except I leave out the cloves. It is also online here.

    For the crust, I use Jiffy pie crust mix like pictured here. Please, please, please do not use the graham cracker crust!

    Now to have a light, flaky crust, there are some important things to consider. (I learned this just last night.) The oven MUST be preheated before putting the pie in. Also, the water must be ice cold. Also, do not melt the butter or overwork the dough. It would even be helpful to slightly chill the empty pie crust before filling and baking. The reason is the fat needs to burst in the oven early in the baking process. This is why you want a good temperature difference between the pie crust and the oven. This bursting of the fat gives the crust a light flaky texture.
  16. bastetbabe27 macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2006
    My mom's pie crust recipe....

    This recipe is a little different than ones you normally find that use butter, it uses vegetable shortening instead. Here goes...

    Pie Crust (Linda Egger's recipe)

    3 cups flour
    1.25 cups vegetable shortening (here in the U.S. we use Crisco)
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    5 Tablespoons water
    1 egg
    1 Tablespoon vinegar (apple cider vinegar is what I've always used)

    Sift dry ingredients together. Cut shortening into dry ingredients mixture. (Cut in smallish chunks, you want pea-sized crumbles). Beat together water, egg, and vinegar, and add to dry mixture. Mix well, but gently. Add more water if necessary. Makes two crusts, enough for one double crust pie, or two single crust pies. Roll out on a floured pastry cloth with a floured rolling pin so the dough doesn't stick. Follow your recipe for baking times

    That's it!
    My tips: i've found a pastry mixer to be very helpful, it's made of a row of wires curved in a 'U' shape with a handle across the top. If you don't have one or can't find one, use a fork to mix in the egg-vinegar mixture with the flour mixture. The mixing in of the wet mixture with the dry is the most important part, as this is where over-mixing can make your crust tough. Don't get scared, just be gentle and go slowly! When cooking the pie, it helps to cover the exposed pie crust edges with a ring of foil for the last 10-15 minutes of cooking to keep them from getting burned. One last thing: when rolling out the dough, flour the outer edges of the cloth more lightly than the center; the dough absorbs flour as you roll it farther out, and not flouring as heavily at the edges helps keep the edge of the crust from getting dry and cracking.

    Happy pie baking!
  17. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    For the pie crust, I usually make one of 3 parts flour to one part vegetable shortening. after you cut in the fat, add a pinch of salt, and enough water to bring it together.

    Roll it out between two sheets of wax paper, stick it in the freezer for about 10 minutes, then you can lay it into the pie pan. trim away the excess, and make decorative leaves with them or something, I dunno.

    This is the pumpkin pie recipe I use. MMmmmmm It's so fracking good!! :)
  18. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    That exists?!? :eek:

    My life is now complete.
  19. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    Pumpkin pie is the work of the devil.

    iGary will be enjoying apple pie with vanilla ice cream on Thanksgiving. :cool:
  20. Flowbee macrumors 68030


    Dec 27, 2002
    Alameda, CA
    It's best to make a pumpkin pie in advance as it will need at least 2 hours to cool after baking to properly "set up."

    If you're going to re-heat the pumkin pie, do it just slightly... the filling tends to soften when warm.

    (For anyone in the States living near a Trader Joe's, they sell a delicious frozen pumpkin pie that's just thaw-and-serve. Sure, it doesn't fill your house with that pumpkin-spice aroma, but it's freezer to plate in under an hour.)
  21. Flowbee macrumors 68030


    Dec 27, 2002
    Alameda, CA
  22. fitinferno macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2005
    London, UK
    Hope it went well! Wish I had seen this earlier...am always pumpkin pieing it up here in London.

    What/where is your local deli? Hoping to god the puree and maple syrup is in stock tomorrow as I have 4 of them and an extra crust to make! :eek: So having a backup if unable to find enough puree is always good :)
  23. jessep28 macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2006
    Omaha, NE
    As a pumpkin pie eater every holiday season for 20 years, I have to toss in the vote for the Libby's recipe. Our family has been using a very slightly modified version of the recipe on Libby's pumpkin cans for years.

    Also, I have to voice my opposition against graham cracker crust - a traditional pie crust serves the pie better.

    That reminds me that I forgot to have a slice yet. The after meal nap took a higher priority :). And watching boring, lopsided NFL games starring sportscasters fawning over overrated QB's Tony Romo and Joey "Joey Guns" Harrington.
  24. todd2000 macrumors 68000

    Nov 14, 2005
    Danville, VA
    Im surprised to hear everyone bash the GC crust, I've never tried it but I get an Ice Cream "Creation" from Cold Stone Creamery that consists of pumpkin ice cream, caramel, graham crackers, and whipped cream all mixed together. soooo good :). That being said I love pumpkin Pie, but normally we buy from a bakery or something, I have to confess it was Ms. Smith all the way This year though :)

    PS: How did the pie turn out?
  25. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Success! I was going to get the pumpkin puree etc in Partridges deli but then found the local Waitrose had a Thanksgiving counter with pumpkin puree, cranberries, sweet potatoes all in once place. They also had a rather nice looking sweet pastry base so just cheated and bought that rather than making own pastry.

    I tweaked the pumpkin part of the recipe with half evaporated milk/half cream, soft brown sugar, a little maple syrup and... a half glass of apple scrumpy ;) We were too full to eat it before midnight (UK time) last night but was fabulous... especially for breakfast this morning...


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