If you’re a pumpkin pie lover, then the texture of traditional pumpkin pie is probably not a problem for you. But then, if you’re a pumpkin pie lover, you may, like me, be intrigued by the idea of taking your pie to the next level.
Pumpkin lovers, meet the Smooth and Silky version of Pumpkin Pie!
I first became aware of techniques to a smoother pumpkin pie last year. The gourmet in me wanted to see if it was really possible to improve on my great grandmother’s recipe, so I broke tradition and tried Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. The result was so good, it even converted non-pumpkin pie eaters over to my side of the dessert table at our gathering!
This year I tweaked the recipe a bit more–adjusting the spices and streamlining the process, and decided to share with you my short cut to getting that super smooth texture for the filling.
The first step that sets this pie apart is simmering the pumpkin, spices, and sweetener (sugar and maple syrup–oh my!) for a while till it’s thickened and glossy. This doesn’t add too much time to the process, because it can bubble away while you prepare your other ingredients.
Once you’ve got your crust made, you have a choice: to pre-bake, or not to pre-bake. Ya’ll, I actually did a side-by side test of both styles of crust, requiring me to make TWO pies and eat TWO slices side by side this weekend (oh, the agony), and the results? If you’re a pie crust connoisseur, you definitely need to pre-bake the crust. This is what keeps the crust from getting gooey and dense under the layer of pumpkin. So, if flaky from crimp to tip is your thing, pre-bake your pie crust at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Pie weights would be SO handy here, or your crust may cave in along the sides a little. But, I don’t have pie weights, so my crusts slouch a little. Oh, well.
At this point, the amazing Deb over at Smitten Kitchen combines the pumpkin and the half and half mixture and then pushes it through a very fine sieve to achieve the silky smooth filling. But even she admits this step was agonizing. I figured there had to be a better way, and that’s when I turned to my high-powered blender.
This here is a Blendtec, people, and this is how pumpkin pie gets to heaven.
First, I put the thickened pumpkin puree into the container and gave it some love at medium speed. This transforms the pumpkin from ‘puree’ to ‘silk’.
The vortex–that’s what you’re looking for when you want a super smooth and thorough blending job–and what average blenders struggle to do, especially with thicker things like thickened pumpkin puree. But the Blendtec didn’t blink an eye.
After the pumpkin was smooth, silky, satiny, and syrupy, I gradually added the half and half and egg mixture while mixing on low.
Even on low, the Blendtec does a thorough job of combining things–there were no bits of unblended pumpkin puree in the corners of the container when I finished. Ah, the joys of a high powered blender.
My crust was finished baking just as I got the filling done, so I poured it in and gave it 40 more minutes to set the custard. Then I let it cool at room temperature for several hours, allowing it to finish cooking the center, before transferring to the fridge.
The house smelled amazing this weekend, and I was so glad our Church did a Thanksgiving Potluck the Sunday before Thanksgiving so my house could smell festive a whole week in advance of the holiday. And also, so I could take these pictures and get you the perfect pumpkin pie recipe in time for your holiday preparations!
- 3 c. pumpkin puree
- ¾ c. sugar
- ¼ c. maple syrup
- 1½ t. ground ginger
- 1 t. cinnamon
- ½ t. nutmeg
- ¼ t. cloves
- 1 t. salt
- 2 c. half and half
- 3 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 pre-baked pie crusts
- In a 2 quart or lager saucepan, combine pumpkin puree, sugar, spices, and salt. Cook over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Continue simmering, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes until it's thick and glossy.
- Meanwhile, combine half and half, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla in medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Pour pumpkin puree into high-speed blender and mix on high until very smooth.
- Turn mixer to low and gradually add half and half mixture. Blend until combined.
- Pour filling into crust and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then lower oven to 300 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes longer--until center is set.
- Cool pie at room temperature for several hours, then store in fridge.
Blendtec sent me their Designer 625 model to test out this month. I’ll have a full review for you in an upcoming post, including the little things that set this blender apart from other high powered blenders I have known and loved.
This post contains affiliate links because I’m clever like that (not…my husband does that part for me!)
How many pies are you making this week? What varieties will you be making? Or what is your favorite pumpkin or non-pumpkin Thanksgiving dessert? I’m bringing dessert to our celebration this week, and I’m always up for trying something new!