by Jane Rodmell for All The Best Fine Foods, a ‘Certified Good Food Fighter

Pumpkin Pie

At All The Best we’re in high gear preparing your favourite feast for Thanksgiving: moist and delicious roasted free-range, fresh Ontario turkey with apple sage stuffing and tasty pan gravy and lots of traditional side dishes made from produce from local farms. You can put your feet up and relax!

For dessert, of course, our thoughts turn to all things pumpkin. As soon as orange pumpkins ripen in the fields at the end of summer, customers come looking for our pumpkin pies. It might have something to do with the fact that the perfectly spiced filling is rich with cream and fresh eggs and a hint of brandy! We recommend that you serve it at room temperature with a generous spoonful or two of lightly sweetened vanilla or brandy-flavoured whipped cream. A little chopped crystallized ginger adds a nice touch too.  Enjoy the perfect ending to your Thanksgiving feast.

If you are feeling ambitious to make your own pumpkin pie, here is our recipe.

‘The Best’ Pumpkin Pie

Preheat oven to 350°F (180° C)
9-inch (23 cm) pie plate
2 eggs
¼ cup (60 ml) granulated sugar
3 tbsp (45 ml) brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) canned pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
11/2 tsp (7 ml) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 ml) ground ginger
¼ tsp (1 ml) freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp (1 ml) salt
2/3 cup (159 ml) whipping (35%) cream
1 1/2 tbsp (22 ml) brandy, opt
9-inch (23 cm) Sweet Short Crust or Flaky Pie Pastry Crust in 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate partially baked

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed or with a whisk, beat eggs and granulated and brown sugar together until combined and smooth and pale in colour. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. With electric mixer or using a wooden spoon, stir to combine. Fold in cream and brandy.

Place pie plate lined with a partially baked pastry shell on a baking sheet. Fill with pumpkin mixture. Bake in preheated oven until pastry is golden and filling is just set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Serves 6

Note: Do not overcook pumpkin pie or the filling will dry out and crack. We recommend removing the pie from the oven when the filling is puffed around the edges and just beginning to be firm in the centre.

Other pumpkin options: Make your own puréed pumpkin using a fresh ’pie’ pumpkin. Cut pumpkin in half; scrape away seeds and fiber and place cut side down on an oiled baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven until very tender. Timing will vary from 35 minutes to over an hour depending on the size and density of the pumpkin. Cool cooked squash, then remove peel and mash until very smooth. Force purée through a fine-meshed sieve for extra smooth texture, if you wish. Cool and refrigerate.  Reserve 11/2 cups (375 ml) pumpkin purée for this 9-inch pie. Freeze extra purée for future use.

Adapted from All The Best Recipes by Jane Rodmell, Robert Rose 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!