I had no idea it would take so long, but somehow this year’s Thanksgiving pumpkin pie took hours and hours to make. You know how it goes. First you have to find all the ingredients. Then clear a space in the kitchen, which wasn’t easy — Alan and Abby were killer-delicious-cooking up a Thanksgiving feast. I needed to make the pie crust from scratch. Alan was all over it — he pulled out the Cuisinart, measured up the flour and boom, pie dough, that was easy. But then he gave me the news: “This needs to chill for an hour before you can roll it out.” An hour. Okay. As you can imagine, my clear spot on the counter got filled up in an hour and then I had to clear it off again, wash it, dry it and make room to roll out the pie crust. I found the rolling pin, and then Alan said “Want me to do it?” I could tell by the look in his eye that he really wanted to do it, so okay, I let him do it. Then he tells me about the next delay: “We need to fill this with beans and bake it until it’s brown.” Beans? Fill it with beans? What was Alan up to, I wondered. Next thing I knew he had cut out some pastry paper and lined the pie crust and filled it with dried beans and into the oven it went. I kept checking on it but it seemed like it took a really long time to get brown. I guess the beans help the crust stay nice and flat because it turned out perfect.
In the meantime, I opened the canned pumpkin filling and put it in a mixing bowl. Then I went for the spices: ground cinnamon, cloves and ground ginger — guess what? I couldn’t find these ingredients. Dilemma. I kept digging around in the cabinet and came up with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves, and Alan helped me grind these into powder. And the result was really powerful spice, fresh and aromatic, much better than the ground stuff that comes in a jar. As for the ground ginger, no luck, but we did have some candied ginger pieces. Alan chopped it up into small pieces and we threw that in too. The recipe called for some eggs and a can of sweetened condensed milk and then stir.
While I wasn’t looking, Alan started whipping it violently with a whisk! “HEY — it says to stir gently!” I said. Oh well, it’s done now, let’s just see what happens. Pumpkin pie went into the oven again for another 45 minutes. Well let me tell you, it was the best pumpkin pie EVAH! Light and fluffy, with the ginger and the clove flavors really coming through, and a perfectly flaky crust. Topped with a dollop of Cool Whip, man, it was killer delicious. It may have taken all afternoon, but it was worth it, I kid you not. And Alan let me take the credit for baking this amazing pumpkin pie even though he did almost all of the work. Shhh, it’ll be our little secret.
Here’s the recipe, in case you want to try it yourself.
1 15 oz. can organic pumpkin
1 cinnamon stick ground to a powder
1/2 tsp cloves ground to a powder
1 tbsp candied ginger finely chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 9″ pie shell
Prepare your pie shell. Mix pumpkin and spices together. Add the rest of the filling ingredients. Whip with a whisk until it’s frothy. Pour into pie shell. bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. You can serve it cool or warm, and it’s especially yummy with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top. Serves 6 – 8.