the pumpkin pie

We are on the cusp of the holidays.  Thanksgiving is merely weeks away, so I hope you are already planning your menu.  Our family is one of those families that freaks out if mom changes anything on the menu.  We eat the same potatoes, the same stuffing, the same smoked turkey every year, and most importantly, the same Pumpkin Pie.

This pie is historical in the Wood Family.  It all started when my parents, Will and Cindy were little, bitty, newly weds in east Texas.

After they came home from the honeymoon, Will suddenly loved all kinds of different foods he had hated before.  Squash?  Cindy put a little butter, a pinch of this, a dash of that and he would inhale it.  My nana, Gloria, was a little offended, and rightly so. If Will had hated it growing up, he loved it when Cindy made it. One day she looked at her daughter-in-law after dad greedily consumed a plate of green beans and said, "He would eat s**t if you fed it to him."

Oh, but Gloria doesn't go down without a fight.  The holidays came around and Will asked Cindy to bake him a pumpkin pie.  She skimmed through her trusty copy of The Southern Living Cookbook and bookmarked the pumpkin pie recipe.  That Saturday while Will was studying, she rolled out the dough, mixed up the filling and set the gorgeous, little pumpkin pie in the window of their condo. Will came home, tossed his book bag aside, and cut himself a huge piece. He took one bite of the first slice, and said, "This isn't the pie."  

"What do you mean THE pie?" my mom questioned. 

"It's not my mom's pie.  Ask her for the recipe." And he walked off.  So Cindy tried another recipe and another.  She chased down the Swann man and transferred their pie into her tin pie pan.  She went to bakery's, bought cook books, tried every recipe on every single brand of pureed pumpkin.  All for nought.  He rejected every single pumpkin pie attempt. Finally, she called Gloria and asked for the recipe. 

Gloria gave her the wrong recipe.  For ten years in a row, whenever asked Gloria managed to forget an ingredient or add something else in.  

Finally, enough was enough.  Will called her and got the recipe.  I think he said somehting like, "If you ever want to see your grandkids again..." He gave Cindy the recipe and she made the pie, and for the first time in ten years he was able to enjoy the fluffy, cinnamon-y pumpkin pie he grown up with.  The moral of the story? Make this pie. 

Now if you think this is the exact recipe, you are out of your mind.  My nana would drive up from Charlottesville and spank my 25 year old arse, but it is close enough that only my dad could tell the difference. 

The Pumpkin Pie

1 Deep Dish Pie Crust (I double this Simple Gluten Free Crust recipe!)
2 eggs, beaten
1 16oz. can pureed pumpkin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Yields: 1 deep dish pie (6-8 servings) or 2 regualr pies (12-16 servings)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Chill Time: 2 hours


1. Roll out crust and fit to pie pan. Crimp edges. Set aside. 

2. Combine all ingredients until just blended.  Pour batter into pie crust.

3. Bake at 425F for 10 minutes. Remove and line edges of crust with foil. Return to oven and reduce heat to 350F and bake for 40-50 or until a toothpick comes out clean.  

4. Place in the refrigerator to cool.  We usually wait two hours. Top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon sugar.