Recipe: Pumpkin Pie

If there were two things you could count on growing up in the lava life at 80 Kenyon, it was onion dip from an envelope with a side of ridged chips and a bowl of unshelled mixed nuts with a nutcracker set on top for cracking, on Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, when you opened the door of my grandmother’s house–or wherever she was living–the chips and nuts were there. Never missing, never late, never more, never less.
“Sit down” she’d say, “and eat your appetizer.”
If she had decided to go fresh, and caramelize her own onions to stir into the Breakstones, it would have wrecked everything. Some things just aren’t meant to be changed.

I feel the same way about pumpkin pie. Don’t even whisper fresh pumpkin to me. Don’t mouth the words. The only thing I want to know is pumpkin pack. I have been using the same recipe since I could read the side of the can. From the beginning I have used fresh milk and cream since my mother didn’t buy evaporated, and right at the end, I would get the grinder down from the spice cupboard and add a flury of nutmeg.

Make your crust for a 9 inch deep dish pie crust (1 cup flour, 7 tablespoons of unsalted butter, pinch of salt, big pinch of sugar, drops of ice water to bring it together. Freeze for at least half an hour and then let unchill enough to be able to roll.) Blind bake for til just before golden, covering the edges.)

Stir together:
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin–I use Libby’s
12 ounces of half cream and half whole milk

Serve with ever so lightly whipped heavy cream.

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