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The best pumpkin pie. Ever. Really.

I’m not a recipe braggart. I swear. I fully get that my favorite go-to recipe could be your gigantic failure (although if you don’t follow my recipe, but still complain to me that it failed – so help me – I will roll my eyes so hard). However, this recipe is the exception.

This is the best pumpkin pie ever. Hands down.

The difference between a pie made from canned pumpkin and one made from home roasted pumpkin is like the difference between an ok supermarket tomato and the tomato that smells like sunshine while the juice is dribbling down your chin before you even leave the garden.

pumpkinsIn spite of me being the professional baker, my sister is still the sweets maker for all of our family functions. However, she has ceded this one to me. She doesn’t even like maple syrup, but the pumpkin pie is always my Thanksgiving job now. I’ve actually never met someone who has said, “meh” on this pie. I’m sure they exist, but like fairies and ghosts, I’ve never met one.

Since becoming a mom, my time has gotten more valuable and way less predictable. I never know when I might suddenly need to drop everything to nurse a baby, kiss a bump or clean up poop (wherever it has landed this time). So recipes that demand precision have been relegated to after bedtime or during that immensely precious span of nap time. What I have fallen in love with are those recipes that work on mom-time. I can do part of it during any breakfast of the week, another part of it can happen when the kiddo is momentarily entertained by something that I’m just hoping is not dangerous, and the bulk of it can cook unattended while I’m at work or storytime. And if I need to be adulting right at the final moments of cooking, another few minutes in the heat won’t ruin everything.

Here are my mom-time tips for this recipe:

  • The pumpkin can be roasted up to a week in advance (or longer if frozen after pureeing).
  • You can even roast the pumpkin in a slow cooker (cut, de-seed, fit it all in the slower cooker with the lid on and cook until it’s fork tender).
  • The pumpkin can be “set to cool” all day long.
  • The pie filling can also be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated. Just pour it in the crust when you’re ready.
  • The pie itself can be made a day in advance and left at room temperature (refrigerators kill a great crust)
  • Buy your crust. Or, if you make tasty crusts (and lots of pie), make a bunch of them after bedtime or at naptime, place them in disposable pie tins and freeze them stacked with wax or parchment paper between the tins, in a plastic bag.
  • Or just leave out the crust all together. This becomes Maple Pumpkin Custard, lower calorie, and really – my favorite way to eat a pumpkin.

img_5002And a bonus “recipe”:

If you’re wondering what to do with the extra pureed pumpkin, mix it up with granola and/or oats and a couple pinches of pie spice until it sticks together. Scoop them out onto a greased cookie sheet as 1.5 inch cookies and bake for 20 minutes at 350° F. Store in the fridge.

Maple Pumpkin Piepie dough

1 3- to 4 lb pie pumpkin
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 unbaked 9” pie shell

1) Preheat oven to 450° F

2) Slice the pumpkin in half from pole to pole and cut off the stem. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the pumpkin, open side down, on a greased cookie sheet. Roast until a fork easily slides through the skin or the pumpkin, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

3) Scoop the flesh of the pumpkin into a medium bowl and puree with an immersion blender (or food processor).

4) In a large bowl, beat the eggs until uniformly yellow. Add 1-1/2 c pureed pumpkin, maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk until smooth

5) Whisk in the cinnamon, ginger and cloves.

6) Pour mixture into the pie shell and bake for an hour at 350° or until the center of the pie doesn’t quiver when jiggled. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Serves 8

Enjoy!

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