Before I tell you about this pie, I first want to thank you all for your support and kind words. The comments on yesterday’s post made me feel warm-and-fuzzy-special which is a nice change from the short-bus-special I normally feel.
I never rode a short bus but I did ride a special bus in high school that took me out of district to the nerd school. Maybe that explains a lot.
I was obsessed with finding the perfect flaky crust last year. And I found it: use a little lard with your butter to get the bestest crust imaginable. Although, it is a little difficult to find leaf lard so I would understand if you wanted to skip it. I often do. I think if you make a homemade crust with just about any recipe, most people will love you for it.
But this year I decided to try something different. And easier. A cookie crust. A ginger snap cookie crust to be exact. I mean, hello? Ginger snaps and pumpkin… why haven’t I tried this sooner?
By the way, have you tried the triple ginger snaps from Trader Joe’s? They are too good. You cannot eat just one. I dare you to try.
Cookie crusts are almost too easy. Sure, you can buy them ready made, but why would you? I mean, imagine the possibilities. Any crisp cookie would do. You could even add in chopped nuts. (I secretly wonder if I could use Oreos. I mean the cream filling would just melt away, right? Or would it? Inquiring minds want to know. Well, I want to know anyway).
And another thing, while we are talking pumpkin pie… you make your own whipped cream, right? I mean, I don’t want to get all bossy about it, but if you don’t, you really should. And if you do, try giving it a kick with your favorite liquor. I added a splash of bourbon to use with this pie and it was insanely fantastically delicious.
I wonder if a splash of Grand Marnier would give whipped cream a creamsicle flavor?
adapted from Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything
Using a cookie crust gives this pie less depth than a regular flaky crust (since you can build up the edge of the flaky crust above the pie pan), so I found that the following recipe actually makes enough filling for 2 pies if you are using cookie crusts. My guess is that you might have leftover filling anyway with a flaky crust but just a little… unless of course you are using a deep dish pie pan.
* I reduced the sugar in the recipe by about 1/4 cup. If you prefer your pie sweeter, add an additional 1/4 cup of granulated sugar.
1 9-inch cookie crust (recipe follows)
2 cups pumpkin purée, fresh or canned
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 teaspoons pumpkin spice* (I used 2 teaspoons but think I would increase it next time because I like a little more spice)
2 cups half-n-half or whole milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Beat eggs and sugar. Add spices and salt.
- Stir in the pumpkin and then the milk.
- Pour this into your prepared crust(s)
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until the custard is mostly set (the center may still be a little jiggly but the rest should be set).
Ginger snap cookie crust
adapted from Everyday Food, November 2010
I omitted the sugar in the crust as well because I thought the cookies had enough sugar already. We didn’t miss the extra sugar.
1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (6 ounces or about 30-40 cookies)
optional – 3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Crush the cookies into crumbs: Either in a food processor or place cookies in a zip top bag and mash them with a rolling pin or frying pan.
- In a bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs and salt. Add the melted butter, stirring until well-distributed throughout the cookie crumbs.
- Press the crumb-butter mixture into your pie pan. (I found pressing around the rim first and then into the center worked best for me)
- Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the crust is dry and set.
- Fill and enjoy