Classic Pumpkin Pie
All-purpose flour, for surface
Pâte Brisée for Traditional Pumpkin Pie crust
2 cups of the above puree*
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
Whipped cream, for serving
*Ruth Reichel recommends spreading, rather unevenly, the puree on parchment paper and roasting it at 400F for a few minutes, till the edges and peaks turn a bit brown.
Why does she do this? Not only does roasting deepen the flavor of the squash, but it bakes off some of the moisture in the puree, ensuring a more custard-like pie with less risk of a soggy crust.
Another piece of optional advice is to put the puree, when first out of the baked halves of squash in a food processor for a good long period, making it silky smooth. Our winter squash is so smooth to begin with that this step may be a waste of time.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll pate brisee disk 1/8 inch thick, then cut into a 16-inch circle. Fit circle into a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold edges under.
2. Shape large, loose half-circles at edge of dough, then fold into a wavelike pattern to create a fluted edge. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Freeze for 15 minutes.
3. Cut a circle of parchment at least 16 inches wide, and fit into pie shell. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges of crust begin to turn gold, about 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.
4. Meanwhile, whisk pumpkin, sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla, eggs, and milk in a large bowl.
5. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into cooled crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 50 to 55 minutes. (If crust browns too quickly, tent edges with a strip of foil folded in half lengthwise.) Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours (preferably overnight). Serve chilled with whipped cream.