Basic Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie (from scratch) – Day Two – Basic Pumpkin Pie baked in a lard crust

If you’re looking for a really good, and pretty basic Pumpkin Pie recipe, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve taken pure pumpkin puree and baked it into a crust made wit lard. I figure I’d better go big, or go home with this one!

Yes, this pie crust is with lard. You read that right. I saved bacon grease for a couple of days and used that in place of shortening or more butter. I wanted to know what the hype was all about. This pie crust sure was crispy and delicious.

To render my own lard, I enjoyed several lunches of bacon and eggs. I’d pour the bacon fat through a cheese cloth over a fine mesh sieve and let it just drip through while catching all of the “bits”. I got a good cup’s worth and am now keeping it in the fridge and adding to it each time I make more bacon.

Don’t worry about the flavor ruining the pie. This recipe just uses two tablespoons of lard to six tablespoons of butter, so there is no funky bacon pumpkin pie flavor.

The lard helps to provide structure to the crust. Butter melts quicker than lard and those little lard pockets help to keep the shape to the crust. Yes, there was some shrinking of the crust, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as all butter recipes. The crust flakiness is from the fat, whether it’s butter, shortening, or lard, melting and creating air pockets in the pastry shell.

The fresh pumpkin gave this pie just that little extra kick of creaminess. Yes, you can use canned pumpkin, but really… it’s just once a year. Surely you can try to roast your own pumpkin and make a pie with it. Take the extra step. It’s definitely worth it.

I also loved that this recipe didn’t have evaporated milk. To be honest, I don’t even know what evaporated milk is…. This recipe has cream and milk and it was pure heavenly.

The smooth, custard like filling should be shiny and not crack – kind of like cheesecake. When baking, the center should remain a little jiggly and almost uncooked. This will ensure that it’s not dry and will not pull away and crack down the middle or around the edges.

Food 52 has some great advice on baking your pie. They recommend a metal pan, but if you prefer a glass or heavy ceramic pan, try this –

Blind bake at 350 F lined with parchment and filled with baking beans/weights until sides are dry and firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove weights, then bake until completely dry and firm (including bottom crust) and starting to turn golden, 5 to 10 minutes more. Cool thoroughly. Then watch the pie closely as it bakes — it might be done early, since the cold raw crust isn’t there to protect it. And if the edges are starting to look wrinkled while the middle is very jiggly, turn the heat down to 350.

Basic Pumpkin Pie

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Cook time: 

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Serves: 1 9-inch pie

Pumpkin Pie (made with real pumpkin puree) baked in a flaky lard crust.
  • +For the Crust
  • 6 Tbsp butter, chilled
  • 2 Tbsp lard, chilled
  • 1 C flour, plus extra for rolling dough
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/ 8 - ¼ C ice water
  • +For the Pumpkin Filling
  • 1¾ - 2 C fresh cooked pumpkin puree
  • ¾ C sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C cream
  • ½ C milk
  1. +Prepare the Crust
  2. Use a 9-inch Metal pie pan for best results
  3. Cut the butter and lard into small pieces and place into the freezer for 15 minutes. They need to be cold.
  4. Pulse the flour and salt 3 to 4 times in a food processor. Add butter and lard and pulse 5 to 6 times. Remove lid of food processor and drizzle one tablespoon of cold water over the mixture. Replace lid and pulse 5 times. Add another tablespoon of water and pulse again until mixture holds together when squeezed. For clean hands, place mixture in large zip-top bag, squeeze together until it forms a ball, and then press into a rounded disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut off the two sides of the plastic bag. Open the bag to expose dough, and sprinkle both sides with flour. Cover again with plastic and roll out with a rolling pin to a 10 to 11-inch circle. Open plastic again and sprinkle top of dough with flour.
  6. For an easy way to get your dough into your pie pan, use two pans. First, place a pan right side up on top of the crust. Turn everything upside down and peel plastic from bottom of dough. Place second pan (the one you will bake in) upside down on top of dough and flip it over again. It makes a pie pan "sandwich". Remove first pan from atop dough. Trim edges if necessary, and create a neat edge.
  7. Place the dough into the freezer until ready to use.
  8. +For the Pumpkin Filling
  9. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  10. Pour the pumpkin puree into a saucepan and stir over direct heat for 10 minutes until somewhat dry and slightly caramelized, stirring frequently. Remove from heat but keep hot. Add the sugar, salt, and spices, and stir into hot pumpkin. In a stand up mixer, beat eggs, add in cream and milk, finally adding the pumpkin mixture and mixing until smooth.
  11. Pour immediately into your cold, prepared pie crust and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and only an inch circle in the center of the filling remains soft. Cool thoroughly on cake rack.
  12. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to completely setup.
Crust recipe from Food Network
Pie Filling Recipe from Food 52


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