The weather is changing and the smell of fall is in the air. My husband, the non-cooked-fruit guy, actually loves pumpkin pie and has been talking about it for the last couple weeks. Go figure. I think he likes the smooth texture. For his last day of work before he moves on to a new and better position (yay!), I decided to make him a pumpkin pie. I happened to have a can of pumpkin from last winter, but I couldn't find any evaporated milk. We had leftover heavy cream from some other dish we made, so I thought that would work perfectly! The reason evaporated milk was used in the original recipe is because it's shelf stable and can last for months or years even in the cupboard. The flavor is a little sweeter than milk since some of the water is evaporated, so I figured heavy cream would be a perfect substitute since it's a little sweeter and a lot richer than milk. I think I added about 500 calories to the pie by making this substitution, but that only amounts to a little bit in each slice (unless your "slice" is 1/4 the pie, which my hubby and I could easily devour).
Since I had a large can of Libby's pumpkin but only wanted to make one pie, I halved the recipe from the back of the can. My brain isn't working like it used to before the baby was born, and I forgot to add half the amount of salt. Well, that turned out to be the secret to a delicious pie! I am always a fan of adding more salt than recipes call for, because I think it brings out all the flavors, but I never thought of adding more salt to the Holy Grail of pumpkin pies. I had always thought the original Libby's pumpkin pie recipe was delicious, even after trying various recipes and even roasting a sugar pumpkin to begin with. I guess even classics can get better!
This will be my new recipe for pumpkin pie. I can't wait to make another one!
Better-than-Libby's Pumpkin Pie
3/4 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 2 large eggs 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S 100% Pure Pumpkin 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or milk or a combination of the two (I used 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk) OR 1-12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell (I used Barefoot Contessa's Perfect Pie Crust recipe)
Whipped cream (optional)
Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in milk and/or cream. Pour into pie shell.
Bake in preheated 425°F. oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.