Thanksgiving means pies! In my mind, pie has always been the holy grail of baking. I come from a family of great home cooks and bakers and all of the women can make great pies. My maternal grandma was once the best cook I knew! Unfortunately she doesn't cook or bake anymore because she has forgotten how. But the legacy was passed to my mom, aunts, sisters, and now to me.
One of my favorite pies is pumpkin. Crust is the trickiest part about pies, in my opinion. It's easy for them to be messed up by over-stirring and handling. So let's get rolling on the recipe.
Single-Crust Pie Dough
*For one 9-inch pie
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
4-6 tablespoons ice water
1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl using a whisk. Then put the shortening in the bowl and mix with a pastry blender quickly until it has the texture of coarse sand. Now scatter the butter pieces over the top and mix it in with the pastry blender until it looks kind of like coarse crumbs. Don't worry if you still have chunks of fat, that's what makes it flakey!
2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. Stir and press the dough together, using a stiff rubber spatula, until the dough sticks together. If the dough does not come together, stir in the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it does. Form the dough into a 4-inch disk, wrap tightly in plastic rap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
3. Let the chilled dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling it into a 12-inch circle and fitting it into a pie plate. Please enjoy the following photo-instructions:
Don't forget to freeze your crust at this point! Now, onto the filling.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix all the ingredients together and pour into the frozen, unbaked pie crust. Bake in preheated 425-degrees F oven 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350-degrees F; bake 40 minutes longer. Cool completely before serving.