I know, I know… it is too late for this post. You have already eaten your Thanksgiving pie. But hey, Christmas is just around the corner. A perfect pie is a fab dessert choice after any dinner and Christmas dinner is no exception! Above is a creamy deep dish pumpkin pie with a nutty streusel top. I made it for our family Thanksgiving dinner today. I will include the recipe below the perfect pie crust recipe, in case you want to file it away for next Thanksgiving. Believe me, you will want to make it next year, it is divine. So here is my Mom’s perfect pie crust recipe. But first, a few tips and tricks for you before you make it.
- The fat doesn’t have to be cold, but I have found that ice water seems to work better.
- Try not to handle the crust much with your hands. Once you cut the fat to the dry ingredients and then add the water… dump it out on the counter. Even if it is crumbly… go ahead, dump it out. Then gently scoop up the crumbly bits and put them into a small round disc shape. Now… don’t ever touch it with your hands again. Only the rolling pin gets to touch it until you are ready to put it into the pie plate that is.
- Use dough bands so you get an even thickness every time. This will ensure that your crust will bake evenly as well as look pretty. The crust should be 1/8 of an inch thick.
- Don’t overdo it with flouring your counter and rolling pin. Add just enough flour so your dough won’t stick. If you are worried about knowing how to tell if you are being overzealous with the flour, try rolling your crust out on a fine dish towel. If you flour the dish towel then, roll your dough on it, all of the excess flour will go into the cloth instead of your dough.
- A large deep dish ceramic pie plate will always look more impressive and give a guest a much larger slice of pie… and cmon who doesn’t want a bigger piece?
- Piercing your crust aka docking with a fork needs to be done excessively. I’m talking all over the entire crust, up the sides, on the bottom, on the fluted edge between the flutes… Everywhere you look on the crust, you should see the little holes from the fork. Why? Well, first it helps prevent your crust from bubbling and shrinking. But make sure you only dock a blind shell… not a pumpkin or double crust pie.
- Pie weights? No need for them if you pierce your crust as suggested above. Also, I feel like it is just one more unnecessary gadget to get lost in a kitchen drawer.
- Always bake your pie on the lower racks in your oven. This ensures that our crust gets completely done at the same time as your filling. Unless you have a fancy schmancy convection oven and in that case, I don’t know what rack to put it on!
Nancy’s Perfect Pie Crust
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 Cup Butter Flavored Crisco
- 1/4 Cup Ice Water
Mix flour and salt together. cut in shortening. Add a bit of ice water at a time until the dough starts to come together but is still crumbly. Roll out using a light dusting of flour on your counter and rolling pin. Lay into pie plate. Trim and crimp edge. Pierce with a fork all over the entire crust. Everywhere. Even the edges… take out all of your holiday stress and frustration. Do it! The more holes the lighter and flakier your crust will be. Bake as directed with your pie. If baking a blind shell to fill later (like for a banana cream pie) Bake at 400 degrees until just starting to get golden on the edges… about 8-10 minutes.
Pumpkin Streusel Pie
- 1 unbaked pastry shell, 9-inch
- 1 can (16 ounces) pumpkin, or 2 cups puree
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Pecan Streusel Topping
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/8 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup firm butter (or more you kinda need to eyeball this a bit)
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut (sweetened flaked shredded)
Heat oven to 400°. In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices, and salt; blend well. Streusel topping: Combine brown sugar and flour; cut in the butter until crumbly. Stir in chopped pecans and coconut. Set aside. Pour pumpkin mixture into the unbaked pastry shell. Place a rack in the middle of your oven and one a step or two higher. You want the pie to fit on either rack because you are going to move it to the top rack at the end of baking. Bake for 15 minutes on middle rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Bake for 25 minutes longer. Next, sprinkle streusel topping over pie. Move to a higher rack and continue baking at 350° for about 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until golden brown and the filling is set. Serve this with cinnamon infused whipped cream and it is amazing! You will be the hit of the party yet again!