Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I love the cool weather, comforting food, and time with family. I also think of it as the calm before the crazy storm that is the Christmas season, so I really enjoy having the downtime to be in the kitchen, experimenting and trying new recipes.
This year I am splitting pie duty with my brother. He is bringing the pecan and I am in charge of the pumpkin. I have to admit, pumpkin pie is not my favorite dessert. I usually have a piece every Thanksgiving more for tradition than the fact that I actually enjoy it. But when I do eat pumpkin pie, I prefer it with lots of the spices that we think of during the holidays…nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cinnamon. If you like your pumpkin pie with less spice, I would recommend cutting back on the amounts listed in this recipe.
I wanted to add a little extra crunch so I decided on a walnut streusel topping. I think my biggest problem with pumpkin pie is the texture; one soft, mushy bite after another. The addition of the streusel solved that problem, making me think maybe I’ve been too hard on pumpkin pie all these years.
I know when it comes to pumpkin pie there are the people who say you must always blind bake your pumpkin pie crust first in order to avoid a soggy pie bottom and then there are those who say that it is not necessary and doing so results in an over cooked crust. For this pie I did not blind bake the crust. Instead, I have found that if you bake the pie on the lower center rack you can avoid a soggy crust on the bottom and a burnt crust on top. However, if you are an avid member of the “always blind bake” team or really want that bottom crust super flakey, feel free to add that step. I would just made sure to brush the pie crust edge with an egg wash (1 egg and 1 tablespoon cold water, whisked) and cover with foil or crust guard.
I got the inspiration for this recipe from Cooking Light. Using fat-free sweetened condensed milk will not only give you a dense, creamy filling, it also cuts back on the calories so you won’t feel as guilty when you go back for the second piece.
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 can pumpkin (15 ounces)
- 1 can fat-free sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
- 1 pie crust (store bought or homemade)
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup regular oats
- 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons chilled butter (cut into small pieces)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons water
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- First prepare the filling by combining the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl (cinnamon through sweetened condensed milk). Stir with a whisk until smooth.
- To prepare crust, roll dough to an 11-inch circle. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under and flute.
- Next prepare the streusel topping by combining all of the dry streusel ingredients (flour through ground ginger) in a mixing bowl.Cut in the chilled butter with fingertips until crumbly. Sprinkle with water, tossing, until lightly moistened.
- Pour pumpkin filling mixture into the prepared crust. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the filling.
- Place pie on the lower middle rack in the oven. Bake for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
- Remove from baking sheet and cool completely on a wire rack.
- I made leaves out of leftover pie crust by cutting the shapes out with a small pairing knife and brushing the back of each leaf with an egg wash to "glue" them to the pie crust.