I found this pie crust and hence, what I consider the PumpKING pie recipe of all times, on the internet, a few years back, and it has changed my ability from creating a mediocre pie crust into making a perfect, flaky pie crust, and as such, my pies are raved about by family and friends.
As I cannot take credit for this recipe, you can go to https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/ to learn about Sally McKenney, a professional food photographer, cookbook author, and baker. Her kitchen-tested recipes and thorough step-by-step tutorials give readers the knowledge and confidence to bake from scratch. Sally has been featured on Good Morning America, HuffPost, Taste of Home, People and more.
Check out Sally’s website to see additional details and photos, which will help you to navigate through each step.
Pie Crust Ingredients
- 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled), plus more for shaping and rolling
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 2/3 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
Keeping your pie dough as cold as possible helps prevent the fats from melting before the crust hits the hot oven. If the butter melts inside the dough before baking, you lose the flakiness. The bottom line is that the colder the ingredients, the easier your pie crust is to work with, and the better it will turn out.
Keep some of the butter in the freezer & transfer it to the refrigerator a few hours before beginning the crust. This way it is still a little bit frozen and very, very cold. For the shortening, always keep it in the refrigerator when using it for a pie crust.
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl (the flour and salt). Place the bowl in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Add the butter and shortening to the dry ingredients, and use 2 forks or a pastry cutter to cut in the fats. Overworking the dough is a no-no because it can lead to overworking the fats into the dough. There should be some larger pieces of butter and shortening in the dough when you’re done.
- From a cup of ice water, measure out 1/2 cup, since the ice has melted a bit. Drizzle the cold water into the dough, 1 Tablespoon at a time, stirring after every Tablespoon has been added.
- Add just a little water at a time so that you don’t accidentally add too much. Stop adding water when the dough begins to form large clumps. Use about 1/2 cup of water.
- You want the dough to clump together, but not feel overly sticky. Once the dough is clumping together, transfer it to a floured work surface.
- Using floured hands, fold and smush the dough into itself, forming it into a ball. The ball of dough should come together easily. If it feels a bit too dry or crumbly, dip your fingers in the ice water and continue forming it with your hands. If it feels too sticky, sprinkle on more flour and then continue forming it with your hands.
- Once your ball of pie dough has come together, use a sharp knife to cut it in half because this recipe is enough for 2 pies. After the dough is cut, you should see clumps of butter and small bits of shortening throughout the pie dough.
- Now, let the pie dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours & up to 5 days. Flatten each half into 1-inch-thick discs using your hands. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap.
- Pie dough freezes nicely, so it’s a great idea to make ahead of time & store for up to 3 months, after wrapping it into tightly wrapped discs.
- Working with one crust, you’ll need a clean work surface, a rolling pin, and some flour. Lightly flour the work surface, rolling pin, and your hands, and sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough. Use gentle-medium force with your rolling pin on the dough—don’t press down too hard on the dough.
- When rolling dough out, start from the center and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough with your hands as you go:
- Between passes of the rolling pin, rotate the pie crust and even flip it, to make sure it’s not sticking to your work surface. Sprinkle on a little more flour if it’s sticking. Roll, turn. Roll, turn. Do you see that beautiful marbling of the butter and shortening throughout the dough? Flaky layers, here you come!
- Roll the dough into a thin 12-inch circle, the perfect size to fit a 9-inch pie dish. You want enough crust to have some overhang so you can make a decorative edge.
- It’s best to use a glass dish when baking a pie. Make sure the pie crust is pretty well centered in the dish, with some overhang all around the sides. Tuck the crust into the pie dish, gently pressing it to the interior all the way around—no air bubbles.
- Trim dough around the edges, if there’s excess dough in some spots—you want about 1-inch overhang. After you add your pie filling and top crust (such as a lattice pie crust), fold overhang back over and pinch the top and bottom crusts together. Now you can create a pretty edge, such as fluting or crimping.
The total bake time is about 55-60 minutes. At this time, the center of the pumpkin pie will be slightly wobbly. It will set as it cools. Careful not to overcook it, so as to not cause the filling to crack.
Perfect Pumpkin Pie Filling Ingredients
- Egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk
- One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs
- 1 and 1/4 cups packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup milk
Par-baking the crust: Line the pie crust with parchment paper. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. (Note that you will need at least 2 standard sets of pie weights to fit.) Make sure the weights/beans are evenly distributed around the pie dish. Par-bake the crust for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment paper/pie weights. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork to create steam vents and return crust (without weights) to the oven for 7-8 more minutes or until the bottom is *just* starting to brown.
Making the pumpkin filling:
- Whisk the pumpkin, 3 eggs, and brown sugar together, until combined. Add the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, heavy cream, and milk. Vigorously whisk until everything is combined.
- Pour filling into the warm crust. Only fill the crust about 3/4 of the way up. (You should only have a little filling leftover.
- Bake the pie until the center is almost set, about 55-60 minutes. A small part of the center will be wobbly – that’s ok. After 25 minutes of baking, be sure to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or use a pie crust shield to prevent the edges from getting too brown. Check for doneness at minute 50, and then 55, and then 60, etc.
- Once done, transfer the pie to a wire rack and let it cool completely, for at least 3 hours, before serving.
- To make your perfect pie even more epic, have available whipped cream when it’s served.