Monday, December 18, 2017

Lucy Burdette's Holiday Pumpkin Pie #recipe

LUCY BURDETTE: Christmas is different in Key West than it is in New England. Of course, I miss the snow (a little) and ice (not really) and a trip to see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center (a lot!) But on the other hand, we have palm trees and lights! 

When thinking over holiday recipes, I wondered why pumpkin pie had to be confined to Thanksgiving. And I decided it didn't!

You would think pumpkin pie should be a slam-dunk recipe. But there are many questions out there. Pre-bake the crust? Don’t bake the crust? Evaporated milk? Sweetened condensed milk? Whipped cream? I studied four or five of them and chose what looked like the best options. I wanted a little maple flavor and also to jazz the pie up with my beloved chai spice.

For the Crust:

1 1/2 cups flour
Scant tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chilled cream cheese
3 tablespoons water

Mix the dry ingredients together in a food processor. Add the butter and cream cheese and pulse until you have small crumbles. Don’t overdo this. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the crust barely holds together. (You will think you haven’t added enough, but you will!)

Dump the dough onto a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, and gather it together, then press into a disk. Refrigerate for an hour or more. (This is a good time to make the filling.) 

Roll the crust out between two sheets of waxed paper, trying not to overwork it. Peel off the top piece of paper and lower the crust into your 9 inch pan. Bake for about 40 minutes until the crust seems done, just browning around the edges and golden all over.

in the food processor

gather into a ball

roll and pinch the edges

bake with pie weights

ready for filling!

For the Pie filling:

One can organic pumpkin
1/2 cup good maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon chai spice or plain cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
Three eggs
1 1/4 cup evaporated milk

Whip the pumpkin with the two sweeteners, the milk, and the spice, and taste to see if it’s sweet enough for your crowd. Add a little more if needed. Then beat in the flour and the three eggs until the filling is smooth.

Carefully pour this mixture into the hot pie crust. (This is the hardest part of the recipe.) You should have the pie pan on a sheet pan in case of spills or drips. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then check to see if the crust is too brown. If it is, fold some thin strips of aluminum foil to cover the crust. Bake until set, that is, barely jiggly, probably 50-60 minutes.

Cool to room temperature and either serve as is or refrigerate overnight. Serve with freshly made whipped cream, I like a teaspoon of vanilla and a dash of whipped cream maple syrup in mine!

so pretty out of the oven

but of course it sinks a bit later

Merry Christmas and happy all holidays to our readers and friends!

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...


  1. I hope you enjoy your holiday and get to see that precious grandchild.

    1. thanks Sue, you too! We are going to see that little girl right after Christmas!

  2. Enjoy the uniqueness of Key West at Christmastime, Lucy! Love the palm trees and lights, and that there are no icy sidewalks to slip and slide your way around. Pumpkin pie is always a good staple to have so thanks for the sharing this recipe.

    Merry Christmas to all!

    1. and to you too Grace--and hope you are out of that boot soon! xo

  3. When we first moved to south FL, we laughed at the palm trees all decked out for Christmas. Then we realized how cool they actually look!
    I'm still trying to figure out how the lights on the fronds work. Are they octopus like arrangements with strings of lights meeting at a central plug?
    I like the idea of adding maple syrup with the brown sugar. That must add lovely flavors.
    Very merry Christmas to you and yours.