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Classic pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dessert — plus a bonus pumpkin tart recipe

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Thanksgiving means it’s pumpkin pie season, and if you’re looking to go classic, consider the recipe below.

“This pumpkin pie recipe is a fantastic choice. It’s simple and straightforward, with a creamier-than-usual finish,” said Chef Dennis Littley of askchefdennis.com in Florida.

“Unlike many pumpkin pie recipes, which come with premade pie filler, this one will guide you through making your own filling,” said Littley, noting that this recipe is highly adaptable and can be enjoyed all year round.

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Read on for Littley’s pumpkin pie recipe, plus a bonus pumpkin dessert to make for Turkey Day and beyond.

Classic Pumpkin Pie by Chef Dennis Littley 

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Serves: 8 people

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Classic Pumpkin Pie Ingredients

classic pumpkin pie ingredients

If you are looking for the perfect pie to bring to our Thanksgiving feast this year, look no further than this classic pumpkin pie recipe that is sure to please the whole family. (askchefdennis.com)

Pumpkin Pie Filling ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

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  • 2 large eggs
  • 15 oz of pumpkin puree
  • 12 oz of evaporated milk (condensed and unsweetened)
  • whipped cream, to taste
Homemade Butter Pie Crust in Pie Plate

Just because it is homemade does not mean it has to be complicated, and this homemade pie crust is easy as, well, pie. (iStock)

Homemade pie crust ingredients:

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  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg

Classic Pumpkin Pie Instructions

Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, salt and, of course, pumpkin spice to create the perfect sugar-spice mixture. (askchefdennis.com)

Pumpkin pie filling:

1. Mix together sugar, cinnamon, salt and pumpkin spice in a small bowl.

2. Beat the eggs in a bowl until they are light, pale yellow and have doubled in size. 

3. Use your hands to combine the sugar-spice mixture with the eggs.

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4. Add the pumpkin pie spice and purée to the mixture and blend it all together.

Pumpkin pie making, filling preparing, pouring spices

Add the sugar-spice mixture to the eggs and then combine it with the pumpkin puree to get started on your filling. (iStock)

5. Add the evaporated milk to the mixture.

6. Pour the pumpkin mixture into a pie shell.

7. Bake at 350℉ for 40–50 minutes.

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8. Leave it to cool on the side before refrigerating it.

woman whisking whipped cream

The final touches to your pumpkin pie include a heaping of whipped cream plopped onto top of the tasty slice. (iStock)

9. Top it off with whipped cream before serving.

Pumpkin Pie Crust:

1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

2. Pulse the ingredients 4 times until they fully mix together.

3. Add pieces of cold butter and pulse every other second until you are left with buttery pebble-sized pieces.

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4. Add the egg and pulse it in until the dough becomes a ball.

pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving

The best way to take your pumpkin pie to the next level is by making a homemade pumpkin pie crust. (askchefdennis.com)

5. Place the dough on a floured surface and flatten it into a disc.

6. Wrap it in a plastic bag and refrigerate the pie dough for 15-20 minutes.

7. Once it has set, roll out the pie dough until it’s slightly larger than the pie pan and refrigerate until needed.

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Looking to think outside classic pies this Thanksgiving? Try a pumpkin tart.

“This walnut pumpkin cream cheese tart is part pumpkin and part cheesecake, and is a twist on the traditional pumpkin pie,” said Patty Mastracco, a recipe developer for California Walnuts (@cawalnuts) in Folsom.

Mastracco suggests serving the tart with vanilla whipped cream for a light and airy topping and sprinkle chopped toasted walnuts on top for an extra crunch.

walnut pumpkin pie CMS

If you want a pumpkin pie, but are hoping for something with more of twist, take a look at this walnut pumpkin cream cheese tart. ( California Walnuts)

Walnut Pumpkin Cream Cheese Tart

Serves 12

Prep Time: 90 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes 

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Ingredients:

Rolling a pastry for baking a pie and pricking it with fork. Recipe concept

This sweet, crunchy crust is the perfect balance to this smooth and creamy pumpkin tart. (iStock)

Sweet Tart Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

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  • 1/3 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
Measuring Cup Full of Canned Pumpkin Puree

Add good quality pumpkin puree for a tasty, pumpkin-filled dessert. (iStock)

Filling:

  • 1 (15-ounce) canned pumpkin
  • 4 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

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  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
chopping walnuts. for pie

Add some more crunch to this creamy, pumpkin dessert with half a cup of coarsely chopped walnuts. (iStock)

Directions:

Sweet tart crust:

  1. Stir together flour, walnuts and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in butter and egg. Stir well with a fork until a soft dough forms. Gather into a ball and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.
  2. Preheat oven to 350℉ and coat a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Lay pastry dough on a lightly floured board and roll into an 11-inch circle. Press onto the bottom and sides of the prepared pan and poke with a fork on the bottom and sides. Bake for 20 minutes.

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Filling:

  1. While the crust is baking, whisk together pumpkin and cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk, beating until incorporated.
  2. Pour filling (item 1) into the prepared crust and top with walnuts. Bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is set when the pan is gently tapped.
  3. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cut into desired size of slices and serve.
  4. Optional: When ready to serve, top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream.

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