Sunday, October 24, 2010

Best Pumpkin Pie EVER. Period. The End.

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My best friend, Angie, called me today looking for a pumpkin pie/pumpkin cheesecake recipe to take to a dinner she was going to tonight.  I was happy to instantly have a fantastic recipe to share with her.  I wish I could take credit for this amazing deliciousness, but is owed entirely to Paula Dean.

I've made this for Thanksgiving and other fall festivities for the past few years, and everyone loves it.  Even people who say they don't like pumpkin pie.  A couple of notes about the recipe - this makes a ton of filling, and I've found it's more than enough to fill my pie dish. I like to take the extra, and put it into buttered ramekins to bake up little individual "pumpkin cheesecake soufflés."  Also, the recommended cook time is not accurate - it actually takes much longer.  Just keep baking until  a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the pie.  I wish I had a correct cook time to share, but I've never actually tracked it, I just know it takes longer than the recipe says it does.  If your crust starts to get too brown while you're waiting for the pie to finish, just crimp some aluminum foil around the crust and you should be fine.  Lastly, the recipe says "optional" to the ground ginger, but I think that the ginger adds a delicious and slightly unexpected flavor note, so don't skip it!

So, Angie, what did you think???

Paula Dean's Pumpkin Pie

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
  • 1 piece pre-made pie dough
  • Whipped cream, for topping


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.
For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.
Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream

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