Growing up I wasn’t a huge pumpkin pie fan.
I had spend years eating pumpkin pies that came directly from a grocery store and certainly tasted like it.
Or if they were homemade several ingredients came out of a can.
My world changed when Alton Brown came out with a new Good Eats episode “American Classic IX Pumpkin Pie” right around Thanksgiving time.
I have never made my own pumpkin pie before so I was looking forward to trying this recipe to see if it would be worthy of a spot on the Thanksgiving menu. I can tell you that it has been on my menu ever since!
Below you will find my notes from this recipe.
1. This recipe calls for homemade pumpkin puree, not the stuff out of a can. Alton gave instructions on how to make the puree. For more details, read my post on the puree.
2. Alton forgoes the traditional crust in favor of one that combines crusted up ginger snaps with brown sugar, ginger, and butter. The crust was pretty easy to make. I love it. My wife prefer a traditional crust. Some years we will make two pies during the holiday season so that we are both happy.
3. The filling was also pretty easy to make. Be careful not to burn your pumpkin puree when you are heating it up. Mine was pretty thick already, so I just warmed it before adding the half and half. Speaking of which, I like that he used half and half instead of the condensed milk that most recipes call for. We don’t need no can anything in our pumpkin pie recipe!
4. My wife likes her pumpkin pie with a lot of cloves, so I added them even thought they weren’t in the recipe. I also add a little bit of cinnamon (about 1/2 teaspoon).
5. The cooking time is suppose to be between 45-50 minutes. The center of the pie should be jiggly while the outsides pretty set. For me at 40 minutes the center was pretty well set, not jiggly at all. But we like out pumpkin pie to be on the firm side in this household so I wasn’t disappointed.
Recipe Grade: A-
Every year we make this pie and every year it gives rave reviews. Thanks Alton Brown for starting a tradition in our home.
Alton Brown's Pumpkin Pie
- 6 ounces gingersnap cookies
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 ounce butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
To make the crust
- Combine the gingersnaps, brown sugar, and ginger in your food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Pulse a few times if you have chunks of gingersnaps still.
- Drizzle in the butter.
- Pulse until combined
- Take the mixture and press it into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan.
- Pre-bake the crust in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To make the filling
- Add the pumpkin puree to a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer. Cook the pumpkin until slightly thicken. Should only take a couple minutes.
- Add half and half, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the egg, egg yolk, and brown sugar. Beat with a whisk until smooth.
- Add the pumpkin puree from the saucepan to the mixing bowl. Whisk until completely combined.
Cooking the pie
- Add the pumpkin filling to the pie crust, make sure to leave room at the top. You may have extra, I always do.
- Bake in the oven until the center is slightly jiggly. This should take about 45 to 50 mintues. I would check on progress at the 30 minute mark.
- Allow to cool before serving. 2-3 hours is best to allow pie filling to properly set up.