There are two essential dishes people look most forward to on Thanksgiving Day. The beginning of the meal starts with a beautiful roasted turkey, and pumpkin pie certainly finishes it. One of my earliest memories of pumpkin
pie was when I was around 6 or 7 years old. Every year my siblings and I would pack into our family station wagon and drive to visit my aunt and uncle. Auntie Willie always baked one of those commercially made pies found in the freezer section of grocery stores everywhere. Despite the fact she would always over-bake them so the pie would have blisters of dark brown spots, I really loved those pies especially considering there was always multiple cans of whipped cream to cover our slices as much as we wanted to.
After Auntie Willie passed away I would bake pumpkin pie using the recipe from the back of the can of pureed pumpkin. But over the years Ive settled on this recipe Im sharing with you today for what homemade pumpkin pie should taste like. Its the type of pie that would never be mistaken for store-bought because it looks imperfectly perfect and just tastes like homemade from the first bite. Its the recipe I want my own kids to get used to enjoying every Thanksgiving and will hopefully pass along to the next generation.
I do use a time-saving shortcut by buying rolled pre-made pie crust. I also cut time by using my food processor to mix all the filling ingredients in just a couple minutes. You can always whisk the filling easily by hand.
Most rolled pre-made crusts come in a 2 pack per box. I like using one for the actual crust but I love to use the other crust to cut out leaves or trees to add a bit of decorative flair. Its fun to involve my kids in the process of cutting out leaves and making vein impressions on each one. Baking them on a separate baking sheet makes it easy to decorate the finished pie later.
Certain foods around the holidays are powerful in the way they evoke memories and feelings. This pie is one of those special recipes that I hope will help create wonderful traditions and memories for years to come.