Are you more of a pumpkin, pecan or apple pie kinda gal? (and yes, “all of the above” is a totally acceptable answer.) Although I wouldn’t pass up any of them if offered, pumpkin pie (which to me is the pure essence of fall) is probably my most eagerly anticipated item on the Thanksgiving menu. And I’ve got to say that this particular pie takes the traditional version to a whole new level, m’dears. My mom whipped it up as the grand finale to the Thanksgiving feast I shared over on Hayneedle a couple weeks ago, and I just didn’t think it was fair not to share the recipe with all of you as you’re undoubtedly putting the finishing touches on your holiday menus this week.
So what makes this pie so extraordinary? For one, the filling has a light-as-air consistency that’s more like a mousse than a pie, and proves to be insanely addictive (I found myself standing at the refrigerator door late that night, nibbling “just one more” sliver.) Also, are any of you guys like me, wishing you could skip the pie crust and just take the filling? Well, this gingersnap-studded, candy-like crust will do away with any such notions, actually giving the filling a run for its money as the star of the show. And did I mention that the entire thing is ridiculously easy — a perfect choice for someone who only bakes, say, every Thanksgiving? Keep reading for the recipe, and many thanks to Chelsea Fullerton for the mouthwatering images!
Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust
for the crust:
- 1 1/4 cups ground gingersnaps, plus more for garnish (Whole Foods’ 360 brand are especially ginger-y)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
for the pumpkin filling:
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin (from one 15-ounce can)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, whisked to medium peaks
- Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine gingersnaps, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir in melted butter. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then bake until crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
- Make the filling: Bring milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks with cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl.
- Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup milk mixture into yolk mixture. Gradually whisk in remaining milk mixture. Return entire mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until bubbling in center, about 3 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Immediately whisk in pumpkin, then butter.
- Pour filling into gingersnap crust, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and crushed gingersnaps.
*recipe adapted from martha stewart living
**photos by Chelsea Fullerton