Serves: Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
- Pie Crust: makes 2 (9-inch) pie shells
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 tablespoons (1-¼ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 6 ounces cream cheese (not low-fat) at room temperature, cut into ¾-inch pieces
- Filling: makes 1 (9-inch) pie
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (about 20 grates on a whole nutmeg)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups (12 ounces) heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup (4 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (1-¾ ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 cups (16 ounces) canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
- Whipped cream, for serving
Procedures:This recipe takes an American classic to celebration status with a careful blend of spices and heavy cream, outshining the stale spice mix and evaporated milk of less enchanting recipes. Ever notice how spices clump up and don’t blend well when added to a custard? The trick is to blend them first with the eggs, whose fat helps the clumps disperse evenly, before adding any liquid to the custard mixture.
To make the dough: Put the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly to combine. Scatter the butter and cream cheese over the top and pulse about 12 times, or just enough until the dough begins to clump together (butter pieces will still be visible). Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and gather it together.
Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled but not hard, 1 to 2 hours.
Lightly flour a work surface, and roll out a dough disc into a 12-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick. The remaining pie dough can be left frozen for later use, or rolled into a second 12-inch round for an additional pie. Loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin, center the pin over a 9-inch pie dish, and carefully unroll the round over the dish, easing it into the bottom and sides and allowing the excess to overhang the sides. Trim the overhanging dough to ½ inch.
Preheat oven to 375°F and place a rack in the bottom third.
Make the filling: Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl to break them up. Add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and salt and whisk well to blend evenly. Whisk in the cream, brown sugar, granulated sugar and pumpkin and blend well.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer directly into the shell and bake until the custard is set, about 30 to 40 minutes. Test by tapping the side of the pie pan—the center of the pie should look firm and move as one piece. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool completely, about 2 hours.
To serve: Slice the pie with a thin and sharp knife and use a pie server to transfer each slice to a plate. Serve with homemade whipped cream.
Finishing touch: A set of crust cutters makes it easy to add a seasonal touch for a presentation your guests will love.