I love this time of year and one of the reasons is because I love everything pumpkin... well that is everything except PUMPKIN PIE! I have always been bothered that I can love pumpkin flavor so much but hate pumpkin pie and I have always said that it is the texture that I hate. Well to solve this I came up with a pumpkin cream pie that has all the good pumpkin flavor but without that weird pumpkin pie texture. This pie is so good and to make it even better I made a cheesecake flavored whipped cream to go on the top! This recipe is a must try! Oh and don't miss my great tip on how to get stickers off of glass dishes (or anything glass) at the end of my post!
Here is the graham cracker crust recipe... I know you can buy them at the store, but I promise that making your own is worth every effort!
Yields one 9 inch pie
Graham Cracker Crust (from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook... of course)
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 8 graham crackers)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt (I add this just because I think most things are better with a pinch of salt)
1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. If you are making your own graham cracker crumbs put them in your food processor or in a ziplock bag and crush them until you have fine crumbs.
2. Melt the butter and mix the butter, sugar, salt, and graham cracker crumbs with a fork in a bowl until well mixed.
4. Pour mixture into a pie plate and evenly spread out then using a flat bottomed measuring cup or regular cup press the crumbs onto the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides until the crust is formed.
5. Bake until crust is fragrant and starting to brown about 15-20 minutes.
6. Let cool on counter until ready to use.
To Make Ahead: The crust can be stored at room temperature, wrapped tightly in foil, for up to 2 days.
Pumpkin Cream Filling
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 three inch vanilla bean split lengthwise*
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of ginger, nutmeg, and cloves)
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium saucepan. Then add the egg yolks and quickly pour the milk and the evaporated milk in the pan very slowly while whisking the ingredients together. Then take the vanilla bean that has been cut in half lengthwise and using a paring knife scrape out the seeds and add them to the saucepan along with the pod. Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking frequently until the mixture starts to simmer then continue to heat mixture for 1 minute until it is thick and smooth. Then remove from heat and remove the vanilla bean pod.
2. Add the butter, pumpkin pie spice (or combination of spices) and the pumpkin puree and stir until smooth. Then pour the mixture into a shallow dish so that it will cool faster, you can put it in the fridge if you are in a hurry. Cover with plastic wrap flush to the mixture, this way a skin will not develop on the top.
3. Whip the heavy cream for about 30 seconds and then add the brown sugar and whip until soft peaks form.
4. Once the pumpkin cream mixture is cooled fold in the whipped cream and pour into cooled crust. Then cover tightly with plastic wrap flush to the surface and refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably 4, or you can even refrigerate overnight which really gives the filling time to set up and the flavors to blend.
*I really recommend using a real vanilla bean in this recipe not just extract, I have made it both ways and the difference is HUGE! I promise it is worth it!
Cheesecake Whipped Cream
1 cup chilled heavy cream
3 tablespoons cheesecake instant pudding mix
1. Whip the heavy cream for about 30 seconds, add the pudding mix and whip until fluffy.
Instructions with pictures...
Fold the cream into the pumpkin cream until it is all incorporated and pour into the cooled crust.
Cover with plastic wrap, make sure it is flush with the filling and refrigerate.
Here is one of my favorite tips! Have you ever had a sticker on something glass that will not come off no matter what you do? I have this happen a lot in the kitchen with new dishes and this is by far the easiest way and the best part is there is NO MESS!
Tear off a piece of plastic wrap big enough to cover the entire sticker. Then get the sticker and the plastic wrap wet and cover the sticker with plastic wrap and wait for 5 minutes. Then take the plastic wrap off and the sticker should slide right off! If there is any sticky residue it should just wipe off with a paper towel! How easy is that?