This extra-special "spirited" pumpkin pie is an excellent choice for a Thanksgiving feast or any special fall or winter dinner.
The pie is made with a little bourbon in the filling, but orange juice, milk, or an orange flavored liqueur would be delicious as well.
If you're pressed for time, you can use refrigerated pie dough or a frozen pie crust for the pastry.
- Food Processor Butter Pie Crust
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 7 ounces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar, optional
- 1 stick chilled butter (4 ounces) cut in small pieces
- 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
- Pumpkin Filling
- 1 can (about 1 3/4 cups) pumpkin purée
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons bourbon*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon (scant) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- pinch ground cloves, optional
Combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of sugar; process in a food processor until well blended.
Add the butter pieces to the processor and pulse about 6 to 8 times, or until the mixture is coarse and some of the butter is the size of peas.
With the processor running, add the ice water through the feed tube until the dough begins to clump together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead a few times to bring it together.
Flatten into a round disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Put the dough disk on a lightly floured surface. Flour the dough lightly and place a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper on the dough. Roll out to a circle about 14 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the surface and dough lightly with flour, as needed to prevent sticking.
Line the pie plate with the dough and form a fluted edge.
Chill for at least 30 minutes before baking, or put in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Prick the dough all over with a fork. Line it with a sheet of aluminum foil, pressing it gently to cover the bottom and up the sides. Fill the foil-lined crust about half full with pie weights or dry beans.
Heat the oven to 375° F (190° C/Gas 5). Bake the crust for 15 minutes, or until it looks somewhat dry and begins to show a bit of color. Take it out of the oven, remove the foil and pie weights, and prick again if necessary to remove any air pockets. Return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes longer. Remove to a rack and set aside.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325° F (165° C/Gas 3).
Whisk the pumpkin puree with the eggs, cream, brown sugar, bourbon, and vanilla until smooth and well blended. Whisk in the spices and salt.
Pour into the crust and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes. The outer edges of the filling will puff up slightly and the center will be only slightly jiggly.
Remove to a rack to cool completely.
Serve with whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar, if desired.
Refrigerate any leftovers.
*If you don't have bourbon or don't like the flavor, substitute with more cream or milk, orange juice, or an orange flavored liqueur.
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