Our Favorite Pumpkin Pie – the correct Pam Anderson’s recipe

This pie by Pam Anderson (no not THAT Pam Anderson - is just gorgeous. Silky, beautiful and a fantastic blend of spices.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I’m reposting with new photos! Years ago, my son & I were in a pretty severe accident – my then 14 year old daughter made a good portion of the Thanksgiving dinner on her own, while I talked her through – from my bed. She’s always had a great talent for cooking.

Pam Anderson's Perfect Pumpkin Pie
Pam Anderson’s Perfect Pumpkin Pie

A moment of confusion must have set in…when we sat down to eat the pie, one after another of us discovered a clove – a burst of flavor – as we ate. I told her to put 1/4 teaspoon of clove in the pie – she didn’t realize I meant ground! Of course, my poor daughter has suffered endless jokes about the pie ever since, all with mostly good grace.

So this isn’t that pie, nor even the standard Libby’s that I grew up with – this is a masterpiece of a pie reworked by Pam Anderson (note: there are some recipes out there for this pie on the internet that are incorrect!) that’s become our favorite recipe.

Pam Anderson's Perfect Pumpkin Pie
Pam Anderson Pumpkin Pie

Just a bit more work, this is a pie that solves everything that you don’t like about pumpkin pie. A gorgeous flavor, not over spiced, it lets the pumpkin flavor shine through, a beautiful, almost fluffy custard and a method that ensures the crust that stands up to the silky filling.

Here’s the recipe and a few (well a lot) of things to know to make a successful go of it. While I’ve never made the mistake my daughter did, over my many years of pumpkin pie making I’ve fallen into one pitfall or another, many times. You won’t with this pie and these hints! I know this will work well for you and I hope you have the best Holiday, ever!

Pam Anderson's Perfect Pumpkin Pie
Pam Anderson Pumpkin Pie

Pam Anderson's Silky Pumpkin Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

  • 1 can (15 ounces) 100% pure pumpkin, not “pumpkin pie filling”
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
  • 1 cup canned evaporated milk
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 9-inch pie shell, baked, a deep dish works well
  • Whipped cream for garnish

Prebake pie crust until fully baked as directed in my post on how to Blind Bake a Pie Crust. When done, remove the crust and adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Turn oven down to 300 degrees F from 425 degrees F.

While the pie shell is baking, in a saucepan, heat pumpkin, salt and spices to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Add milks and whisk to combine.

Whisk the eggs and yolks together in a medium bowl to blend, then whisk in the pumpkin mixture, a tablespoon or so at a time at first to gently warm the eggs. After a few tablespoons, continuing to whisk, add the rest of the pumpkin mixture.

Whisk well to form a silky texture; use a spatula to make sure all the filling is lifted from the bottom and edges of bowl. (Some versions of this pie state to use a blender which I’ve found creates a rather unattractive top to the pie.)

As soon as crust is done, pour warm filling into still warm, just from the oven, shell. Bake until a thin-bladed knife inserted about half way from the center comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes.

If the crust begins to get too dark, use a pie shield, instructions below to make one. Have it at the ready. Pieces of foil may be just draped over the crust, but what a hassle.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Refrigerate and after cool cover carefully with foil.

from the kitchen of www.frugalhausfrau.com

My notes:

  • Make sure to pour the warm filling into the warm crust, working quickly so that the oven is still warm when filled pie is added.
  • If you’re filling or the pie crust is not hot enough or the oven temperature reduces too much from 425 towards 300 when you add the pie, this may take significantly longer to cook.
  • Instead of measuring out spices and salt, I sometimes use a scant 2 1/2 teaspoons of my pumpkin pie spice. This makes a darker pie with a more “Libby’s” type flavor.
  • I generally bake this in a deep dish pie plate and take care to not build up the crust above the top; if using a standard, it’s a tight fit and I build the crust up over the top; there may still be some left over.
  • I generally use a “pie shield” and place it over the crust at about 17 minutes. If you don’t have one, see instructions, below.
  • You can get an idea of when to test by giving the pie a “jiggle.” There should only be a very faint movement in the very center of the pie while the rest appears quite firm. It will continue to cook after it’s removed from the oven.
  • I prefer to cool this on the counter on a rack to room temperature, then put in the refrigerator uncovered until it reaches refrigerator temperature. Then cover. This reduces the chance cracks, pulling or condensation will form, marring the perfect surface.

Notes from Pam Anderson:

  • This recipe calls for a prebaked pie shell. I prefer my own pie crust, of course but use any crust you like, even frozen. Just be sure it’s baked by the time you have the filling prepared.
  • Don’t let an insipid dessert ruin your feast. Your guests will gush over this dense, intense pie.

To make your own pie shield:

With very little measuring skill, and an interest in being frugal,the easiest method I’ve found is to make the pie shield before any baking is attempted. Simply place a sheet of foil over the pie plate – the foil should hang over about two inches on all sides.

Press it down so the markings from the edges of the pie plate show, then fold over triangles of the foil so that there is a double edge and the edge hangs over the outside of the pie plate by about 1/2 inch and overlaps about a half-inch on the inside. If the original demarkation from the pie plate is not clear, repress.

Using a scissors, cut out the center, making sure to leave the 1/2 inch overhang towards the middle. Straighten the shield out and have ready. It won’t be beautiful, but it will work.

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Extras:

  • It’s a good idea to think of a use for the almost 1/2 can of evaporated milk and two egg whites left over so they don’t go to waste. They can be frozen.
  • If you’re not using a deep dish there may be a little left over filling – it can be baked in small custard cups along with the pie. They’ll be done much more quickly; you’ll just have to check them frequently. 30 minutes?

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I will be sharing this recipe at our very own Throwback Thursday and Fiesta Friday. Our Fiesta Friday co-hosts this week are Antonia @ Zoale and Petra @ Food Eat Love.

 

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