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Simple pumpkin pies can dress up any holiday table

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    Chai pumpkin pie

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    Pumpkin chiffon pie

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    Heirloom pumpkin pie

Published November 25. 2019 01:30PM


What better way to celebrate the holidays than with a homemade pie. Down to your own handmade crust, pies are so much fun to make.

I love bringing home all kinds of squash from local farms to make many recipes with them. Pies also mean family to me.

My brother Joshua loved Mom-Mom’s crustless pumpkin pie. Josh ate pumpkin pie just about every day, almost with every meal.

Therefore, in memory and in honor of my little brother Joshua’s cravings for this dessert, I present three pumpkin pies.

They are my Chai Pumpkin Pie with a rich all butter crust inspired by my sisters and their Chai Lattes, my light Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with a graham cracker and homemade gingersnap cookie crust and lastly my Heirloom Pumpkin Pie with a few traditional pumpkin pie spices.

Enjoy these holiday pumpkin pie recipes from my own recipe box to yours. Have fun making homemade crust and enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Chai Pumpkin Pie

Pie crust

9-inch pie crust

1 tablespoon of sugar

2½ cups of cold all-purpose flour (Note: Place your food processor with your flour in it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to get chilled.)

6-8 tablespoons of ice cold water

1 teaspoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon of kosher salt

2 sticks of cold unsalted butter, diced into small cubes


Pumpkin pie filling

1 15-ounce can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

½ cup of sugar

¼ cup of light brown sugar

1 cup of heavy cream

3 eggs

¼ teaspoon of kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon of Vietnamese ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon of cloves

¼ teaspoon of cardamom

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon of ginger

Measure out your water and add the vinegar to it. In the food processor, place flour and butter and pulse about 20 pulses until the butter is about the size of small peas. Slowly while pulsing add vinegar and water mix to the processor. Pulse until all the water is added. Dough should be moist and if you squeeze the dough it should hold together.

Divide dough, shaping into two round flat disks. Cover with plastic wrap and set into the refrigerator for a few hours to overnight. Set the dough out five minutes before rolling out.

On lightly floured surface, roll out pie dough evenly, but not too thick. You want to fit it in your pie dish with a little overhang. Place dough into pie pan, crimping the crust the way you like it. Cut off any excess dough. Place pie pan with crust into the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes to an hour. If longer, cover with plastic wrap.

Line pie crust with a round piece of parchment paper and fill the crust with pie weights or dry beans. Use something to weigh the crust down. Bake the pie crust at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. Remove weights and then bake the crust again for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Place a ring of foil around the edge of the crust now, to prevent dark edges. Mix all the pie filling ingredients together with a whisk. Pour into pre-baked pie crust. Bake on a baking sheet at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-50 or until the pie is slightly jiggly in the center. Set on a cooling rack to cool.

Cover with plastic wrap until you are ready to garnish with fresh whipped cream, some crushed walnuts or pecans or simply eat as is. Top each slice with cream garnish and a cinnamon stick if you wish.


Heirloom Pumpkin Pie

9-inch pie crust (See Chai Pumpkin Pie recipe)

15-ounce can of pure pumpkin puree or 1¾ cup of honey nut squash puree

¾ teaspoon of cinnamon

½ teaspoon of ginger

1/8 teaspoon of allspice

Pinch of cloves

¼ teaspoon of kosher salt

3 eggs, room temperature

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted

½ cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup

1¼ cups of half & half

Prepare pie crust using Chai Pumpkin Pie crust recipe. Place a ring of foil around the edge of the pie crust now, to prevent a dark-edged crust. Mix all the pie filling ingredients together with a whisk.

Pour into your pre-baked pie crust. Bake pie on a baking sheet at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 or until the pie is slightly jiggly in the center. Set on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cover with plastic wrap until you are ready to garnish with whipped cream, some crushed walnuts or pecans or simply eat as is. Cool and room temperature is when this pie is at its best for eating.

To make honey nut squash puree, wash and cut squash in half lengthwise. Place cut-size down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast at 375 degree Fahrenheit oven until tender for about one hour or until when pierced, a knife goes through. Scoop out the squash flesh, place in food processor and process until smooth. Set aside in an airtight container to use within a few days at most.


Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Pie crust

½ cup of ground gingersnaps

1 cup of ground honey graham crackers

2 tablespoons of sugar

6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted


Chiffon Pie Filling

1½ cups of pumpkin puree

¾ cup of whole milk

½ cup of sugar plus 3 tablespoons of sugar

3 eggs, room temperature and separated

1 envelope of unflavored gelatin

¾ teaspoon of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of ground ginger

¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg or simply ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon of allspice

¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar, optional

¼ teaspoon of kosher salt

Fresh cream garnish

1 cup of heavy cream

½ teaspoon of vanilla

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 tablespoon of bourbon (optional)

For crust, mix all ingredients together and pat down into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15-20 minutes or until slightly browner and crust is firm. Set aside to cool completely before you add the pie filling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread pumpkin out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until pumpkin is a little darker in color and some moisture is evaporated. Place pumpkin in a bowl with the spices while still warm. Let cool completely at room temperature.

In a saucepan, add the gelatin and milk. Put mixture on the heat just to warm it slightly until gelatin dissolves. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and the ½ cup of sugar until light in color. Add gelatin mixture to egg yolk mixture. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the mixture is slightly thickened. Pour into the cooled pumpkin mixture. Cool in the refrigerator until cool but not fully set.

In a separate clean bowl, mix egg whites until foamy and slowly add the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk, until medium stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the cooled pumpkin mixture. Fold in another third, then the final third. Add to cooled crust, spreading evenly. Place in the refrigerator. Overnight is best.

For fresh cream garnish, in a cold bowl, add heavy cream, sugar, bourbon and vanilla. Whisk to medium peaks.



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