Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

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If you like your pumpkin pie spicy, use the larger amounts of cinnamon and ginger. To bake an unfilled pie shell, preheat oven to 425°F. Prick bottom and sides of pastry well with a fork. To minimize shrinkage, lay a large square of wax paper over crust and fill with uncooked rice or dried beans (experienced cooks keep a jar on hand, using beans or rice over and over). Bake pastry 10-12 minutes, just until tan. Lift out paper of rice. Cool before filling unless recipes direct otherwise. To bake a filled pie shell, follow directions given in individual recipes.

Serves8 Servings; Pastry: 1 single crust 8", 9", or 10" pie

Cooking MethodBaking



Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseDessert

Dietary ConsiderationPeanut Free, Tree Nut Free



Taste and TextureCreamy, Spiced, Sweet

Type of DishPie


  • 1¼ cups sifted flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening or lard, chilled
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1½ cups pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¾-1¼ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼-½ teaspoon ginger
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon maple flavoring (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Make the pastry: Place flour and salt in a shallow mixing bowl and cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle water over surface, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix in lightly and quickly with a fork, just until pastry holds together.

  2. Shape gently into a ball on a lightly floured pastry cloth, then flatten into a circle about 1” thick, evening up rough edges. Using a lightly floured, stockinette-covered rolling pin and short, firm strokes, roll into a circle about 3” larger than the pan you plan to use.

  3. To transfer pastry to pan, lay rolling pin across center of pastry circle, fold half of pastry over pin and ease into pan; press lightly. Seal any cracks or holes by pressing dampened scraps of pastry on top. Trim pastry so it hangs evenly 1” over rim, roll overhang under even with rim and crimp or flute.

  4. Make pastry as directed and fit into a 9” pie pan, making a high fluted edge; brush with egg white and chill 1 hour.

  5. Preheat oven to 450°F.

  6. For the filling, mix pumpkin and sugar until sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients, stirring well to blend. Set pie shell on pulled-out center oven shelf, then pour in filling.

  7. Bake 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350°F., and bake 30-35 minutes longer until a knife inserted midway between center and rim comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. Good topped with sweetened whipped cream.

  8. Pastry Variations:

  9. Processor Pastry: Place flour and salt in work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade and snap motor on and off once or twice to blend. Cut 3 tablespoons very cold butter and 2 tablespoons very cold vegetable shortening into small pieces and scatter over surface of flour mixture; cut in using 4-5 one-second churnings of the motor (mixture should be the texture of coarse meal). Sprinkle 1½ tablespoons water over surface of fat-flour mixture and mix in by snapping motor on and off twice; repeat with another 1½ tablespoons water, then repeat a third time, working in remaining 1 tablespoon water. Mixture will be crumbly, but do not mix further because you will toughen the pastry. Transfer pastry to a piece of plastic food wrap, shape into a pone about 5” across, patting stray crumbs firmly into place. Wrap and chill 30-40 minutes before rolling. Note: Do not double this recipe for a two-crust pie (it’s impossible to make tender pastry in quantity). Instead, make two batches of this recipe. Nutritional count same as basic recipe.


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