The Everyday Gourmet
Pumpkin Pie

This lovely Pumpkin Pie is as delicious as it is pretty.  Hubbie and friends request it every year and although the "leaves" take extra time and effort, it makes it consistently special every time I make it.

The Pie Crust

At this busy time of year with all the home made dishes that we make from scratch, I have cut a corner on occasion by picking up Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust Dough.

It comes two to a package which is perfect for this purpose.  One crust to hold the filling and the other for decorations!

If you have time, the following recipe yields excellent results:

2 C Flour, All Purpose

1 tsp Salt

2/3 C Shortening

5 - 7 Tbs of Water, Ice Cold

Sift the flour and salt together.  With two table knives or a pastry blender cut the shortening into the flour until it is the size of peas. Sprinkle in the water 1 Tbs at a time working the mixture with a fork and pushing the dough to the side as you work. When the dough is still stiff but no longer crumbles, you have the right amount of water. (Do not add more or your crust will be tough.) Also, do not be tempted to over mix.  Press the dough into two balls.

On a lightly floured surface place one ball.  Flatten it with your hand. Flour your rolling pin and beginning at the center of the dough begin rolling from the center to the edge all the way around until you have a 12 inch circle of dough. Using your rolling pin, gently lift your circle evening into a 9 inch pie plate. Fold your edges under (not under the pie plate) to make them neat.

Now, roll out your second crust.  Using very small leaf cutters (we bought ours from William Sonoma) start cutting leaf shapes.  When your are done, sprinkle them very lightly with water and then sprinkle them with colored sugar (try to use the colors that compliment your table decor - burnt oranges, golds, yellow and reds). 

It is much easier to fill your pie crust prior to pressing the leaves in place.

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees

Pie Filling

1/2 C Sugar

1/4 C Brown Sugar, Light

2 Tbs Ground Cinnamon, to taste

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Ground Ginger

1/4 tsp Ground Cloves

2 Eggs, Large

2 C Fresh Cooked Pumpkin OR 1 (15 oz) can Libby's Pure Pumpkin

1 Can (12 oz) Evaporated Milk

1 unBaked Pie Shell 

Mix the sugars and spices together in a small bowl.  In a large bowl beat the eggs and add the sugar and spice mixture.  Then add the pumpkin and lastly pour in the evaporated milk slowly, stirring until smooth (the fresh pumpkin will be less smooth than the canned, just make certain that all the ingredients are integrated.)

Pour the prepared filling into your pie shell. With moistened finger tips press the "leaves" gently onto the pie crust edge, overlapping them slightly and turning them at slightly different angles as you work your way around.

Bake for 15 minutes then turn the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 40 minutes.  

Keep a close watch on the leaves and if they start to turn too dark, loosely and gently cover them with foil to prevent them from burning.

Unless you are a very experienced cook, we recommend that you prepare this a day ahead.  Keep it in the refrigerated and rewarm prior to serving.  

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