When it comes to Thanksgiving, there is no dessert more iconic than the traditional pumpkin pie. To add a fanciful finish to this pie, use decorative piecrust cutters to create shapes from rolled-out pie dough. Then bake the cutouts and place them on the baked and cooled pie.
Classic Pumpkin Pie
For the dough:
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz./390 g) all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) (8 oz./250 g) cold unsalted butter, diced
6 to 8 Tbs. ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 Tbs. water
For the pie:
1 1/4 cups (9 oz./280 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
2 cups (15 oz./470 g) pumpkin puree
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) milk
Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the 6 Tbs. ice water and pulse twice. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water, 1 tsp. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide in half. Shape each into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Place 1 dough disk between 2 sheets of lightly floured waxed paper and roll out into a 12-inch (30-cm) round about 3/16 inch (5 mm) thick. Transfer to a 9-inch (23-cm) deep-dish pie dish and press the dough into the dish. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) overhang. Fold under the excess dough and, using your thumb, decoratively flute the edges. Roll out the remaining dough disk in the same manner. Using decorative piecrust cutters or a paring knife, make cutouts as desired and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the piecrust and the cutouts in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Brush the edges of the crust with the egg mixture. Line the piecrust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment and weights and bake until the crust is light golden, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Brush the cutouts with the egg wash and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool.
In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Add the pumpkin, eggs, cream and milk and whisk to combine.
Pour the filling into the prebaked piecrust and bake until the center is set, 60 to 65 minutes, covering the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or a piecrust shield after 30 minutes if they brown too quickly.
Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least 2 hours, before serving. Serves 10.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen