No cans needed for this pumpkin pie – perfect flavor and crust every time without any processed ingredients. Healthy enough to eat for breakfast!
for one pumpkin pie (filling)
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1/4 c. pure maple syrup
- 1 3/4 c. fresh pumpkin puree (or 1-15oz can pure pumpkin, but I don’t recommend it)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cloves
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
Ingredients for single whole wheat pie crust:
- 1 1/2 c. flour (can use 100% whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. sugar or sucanat
- 1/2 c. butter or lard or palm shortening
- 4–5 Tbs. ice water
To make your own pumpkin puree, which may very well be the step upon which the success of this recipe depends (I cannot guarantee results with a can, as I’m convinced I’ll never make a pie with canned pumpkin again after trying this one):
- Turn the oven on to 350 or 400F. Scrub a whole pie pumpkin.
- Put the entire pumpkin into oven for 10-15 minutes as it preheats.
- Remove pumpkin, which will now not break your knife. Slice pumpkin in half – any direction will do.
- Scrape out the seeds and stringy stuff, reserving seeds for making crispy pumpkin seeds.
- Place pumpkin halves, cut side down, in a baking dish or cookie sheet with at least a half inch of water. Bake for 30-60 minutes until you can pierce the rind with a fork. Allow to cool.
- Scoop out pumpkin flesh and puree. I doubt this would work in a blender unless it’s a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec. I used the food processor* here mostly only because I was going to use it to make the crust and filling anyway. On a non-pie day, I much prefer the ease of use and cleanup with an immersion blender for pureeing mushy orange vegetables of any kind. Scoop the pumpkin out of the machine and set it aside.
- Rinse the food processor or scrape very well with a spatula.
To make pie crust:
- In the bowl of the food processor, pulse the 1 ½ c. whole wheat pastry flour (mine happened to be freshly ground), ½ tsp. , and ½ tsp. sugar, for the pie crust a few times.
- Cut ½ cup extremely cold leaf lard or butter into about 8 pieces and add to mixture, pulsing until it looks like cookie crumbs.
- Dribble 4-5 Tbs. ice water into the food processor while it’s running, but stop it when the dough begins to stick together. Make sure there’s enough hydration to form a ball without handling the dough very much.
- With your hands, finish pressing all the dough together. Add more water if absolutely necessary, but try not to if you can. Also try to handle the dough as little as possible; this will ensure a flakier crust.
- Form dough into a ball and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
To make pumpkin pie filling:
- In the meantime, work on the filling, also using the food processor. If a little pumpkin gets in your crust or a little crust in your filling, it’s no big deal.
- Separate egg whites and yolks. Whiz egg whites in the food processor until frothy* and then remove to a separate bowl.
- Process the egg yolks, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, spices and cream until evenly mixed. Fold in the egg whites with a spatula.
To assemble the pie:
- Roll out pie crust and form into a single pie plate, fluting the edges. (See below for a photo tutorial. Freezing the pie crust for 15-30 minutes may help bake up a perfect crust.)
- Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.
- For best crust, place a metal cookie sheet on the bottom rack to radiate heat (also protects oven from a mess if the pie bubbles over).
- Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F for another 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on racks.
- If the crust begins to brown too much on the edges, move the pie down a rack OR cover crusts with aluminum foil.
Need crustless? Pour into a greased pie plate or 8×8 glass dish, and bake at 375F for 45-60 minutes (until knife inserted in center comes out clean).
You might want to taste the filling before baking – I didn’t use salt, and it was really good, but I noticed that the recipe on “the can” that I used to like calls for 1/2 tsp. salt per pie. I hate for your flavor to fall flat because of no salt…I think I’ll add 1/4 tsp. this year and I bet it’s even better!
No heavy cream? Whole milk will work in a pinch.
For a creamier yet tangy sort of flavor, use about 1/3 c. sour cream in place of part of the milk in the substitution above. It’s good!
Got an extra half hour? Freeze the crust after it’s in the pan for 30 minutes before filling/baking and it will taste even better.
Need a gluten-free crust? This one is unique and really yummy: walnut oat pie crust
Pie filling adapted from Out of the Box Food; pie crust adapted from my grandma.