fluffy pumpkin pie
Fluffy Pumpkin Pie, my deliciously ugly contribution to our Thanksgiving dessert table.
In the spirit of keeping this blog honest, I have a confession. I make ugly pies. Deliciously ugly pies. Pie dough is one of the few pastries that I genuinely do not enjoy making and I have deep respect for those of you who make it beautifully. I’m looking at you, Irvin Lin.
Since I typically only make pies for holiday meals where five thousand other items are already being prepared, I have mastered the art of turning frozen pie crusts into rustic masterpieces. The secret is a two pack of frozen pie shells, one for the actual pie crust and the other for decorating. Plunger pie crust cutters are great for quick, detailed little pie decorations and help distract from minor imperfections like cracked tops and uneven sides.
This Fluffy Pumpkin Pie recipe, as I have lovingly renamed it, is a Thanksgiving staple in our home by way of Paula Deen. It is light and fluffy with just the right amount of pumpkin flavor. My top always cracks and the first piece never comes out clean, but it is so delicious that I don’t mind. This is where I would normally reflect on how deliciously ugly pies are a metaphor for life, but I believe Kate Payne already said it best this year.
I’ll just leave you with our favorite recipe for pumpkin pie in hopes that you too will enjoy life’s little imperfections.
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, plus 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup half-and-half
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 frozen pie crusts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove crusts from freezer, set one aside to thaw.
- Place a piece of foil into second pie crust, covering both sides and bottom. Fill with pie weights and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- While baking, prepare filling. In the stand of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Add sugar and salt and beat until fully incorporated. Add eggs, half-and-half, butter and vanilla extract to mixer and beat until smooth. Beat in spices and pour mixture into pre-baked pie crust.
- Use small cookie cutters or pie crust plungers to cut desired shapes out of first thawed pie crust. Place cutouts on top of pie filling and bake for 50-60 minutes until the center is set and decorative crust is golden brown. Place onto wire rack to cool to room temperature before serving or refrigerating until ready to serve.
Plunger Pie Crust Cutters
Ceramic Pie Weights