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pumpkin pie seeds

Fresh Pumpkin Pie with Salty Roasted Pepitas

Photo by Iain Bagwell

I love pumpkin pie so much that I’ve requested it as my birthday “cake” every year since I was about thirteen. I happen to have been born in October, so that helps my choice make some sense. I am also fortunate enough to be married to Dave, whom I refer to as a pie guru. The point is, I’ve eaten a lot of pumpkin pie, so I know what I’m talking about when I say that this is the best pumpkin pie ever. If someone feels otherwise, I am ready for a throwdown, because I can guarantee that their version does not have a grainy cornmeal crust and salty, crunchy pumpkin seeds on top. And without those elements, there’s just no match.

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Ingredients

  1. Crust
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup cornmeal
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
    • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    • 3 tablespoons ice water
    • 1 large egg yolk
  2. Pepitas
    • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon canola oil
  3. Filling
    • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
    • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
    • Pinch of ground cloves

Preparation

    1. 1. To make the crust, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse 4 or 5 times, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    2. 2. In a small bowl, mix together the ice water and egg yolk. Add the egg mixture to the food processor, and pulse until the crumbs begin to climb the side of the bowl and hold their shape when pressed together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands—and a little muscle—form the dough into a 5-inch-diameter disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour before rolling.
    3. 3. Unwrap the dough, and using a rolling pin, roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to form an 11-inch circle. Working quickly and carefully, line a 9-inch pie dish with the dough. With your fingertips, make sure that the edge of the pie is smooth and even. Refrigerate it for 20 minutes.
    4. 4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    5. 5. Remove the pie dish from the refrigerator. Line the crust with tin foil, making sure to cover the sides, and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the dish and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the sides are somewhat firm and hold their shape. Remove the foil and bake for 6 minutes, until the bottom of the crust looks dry and the shell is a very pale golden color. Remove the dish from the oven and let the crust cool. Leave the oven on.
    6. 6. To make the pepitas, stir together the pumpkin seeds, salt, and oil in a small bowl. Scatter the seeds onto a small baking sheet and toast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the seeds are slightly toasted. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the pepitas cool.
    7. 7. To make the filling, mix together the half-and-half and eggs in a medium bowl. Add the pumpkin puree and mix well. Then add the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves, and mix well. The filling will be very runny. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Sprinkle the pepitas on the filling.
    8. 8. Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the dish and bake for 20 more minutes, or until the center of the pie jiggles just a bit when you touch the oven rack. Transfer the dish to a wire rack and let the pie cool completely.

Reprinted from One Girl Cookies: Recipes for Cakes, Cupcakes, Whoopie Pies, and Cookies from Brooklyn’s Beloved Bakery by Dawn Casale and David Crofton. Copyright © 2012 by One Girl Cookies Ltd. Photos copyright © 2012 by Iain Bagwell. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.

I love pumpkin pie so much that I've requested it as my birthday "cake" every year since I was about thirteen. I happen to have been born in October, so that helps my choice make some sense. I am also fortunate enough to be married to Dave, whom I refer to as a pie guru. The point is, I've eaten a lot of pumpkin pie, so I know what I'm talking about when I say that this is the best pumpkin pie ever. If someone feels otherwise, I am ready for a throwdown, because I can guarantee that their version does not have a grainy cornmeal crust and salty, crunchy pumpkin seeds on top. And without those elements, there's just no match.

Pumpkin-Pie-Spice-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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These pumpkin pie spice roasted pumpkin seeds are the perfect Thanksgiving snack. Slideshow: Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

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Recipe Summary

Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the seeds and boil for 10 minutes. Drain. Pat the pumpkin seeds dry on paper towels.

In a bowl, toss the pumpkin seeds with the vegetable oil, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg. Spread the coated seeds evenly on the lined baking pan. Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning the seeds every 10 minutes. Remove the seeds from the oven when they are crispy. Allow to cool to room temperature and serve.

A terrific appetizer for Thanksgiving, these pumpkin seeds are tossed with pumpkin-pie spices before roasting.