Autumn Leaf Pumpkin Pie
The traditional finale for a Thanksgiving dinner, pumpkin pie is the iconic fall dessert. Use decorative piecrust cutters to create leaves, acorns or other autumn shapes to top the pie for a dramatic finale to your Thanksgiving meal.
- 2 rolled-out rounds basic pie dough
- 4 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
- 2 1/2 cups (18 oz./560 g) pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) ﬁrmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) granulated sugar
- 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. all-purpose ﬂour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
- 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) milk
- 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbs. brandy
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving
Transfer 1 of the dough rounds to a 9-inch (23-cm) deep-dish pie dish. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) overhang. Fold under the excess dough and, using your thumb, decoratively flute the edges. Using a fork, gently prick holes in several places on the bottom of the crust.
Using decorative piecrust cutters or a sharp paring knife, cut out leaves or desired shapes from the remaining dough round.
In a small bowl, beat 1 of the eggs. Brush the edges of the piecrust with the beaten egg, then arrange some of the cutouts on the edges, pressing them gently so they adhere. (Save the remaining egg wash.) Place the remaining cutouts on a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to bake.
Freeze the pie shell for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Line the piecrust with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights and bake until the crust is light golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the piecrust to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes. (Leave the baking sheet in the oven.) Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C).
Meanwhile, make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining 3 eggs and egg yolks and whisk until combined. Add the cream, milk, vanilla and brandy and whisk until smooth. Pour the filling into the cooled piecrust.
Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet. Bake until the filling is set, about 1 hour and 15 minutes, covering the edges of the crust with foil if they get too brown. Transfer the pie dish to the wire rack and let the pie cool completely, about 4 hours, before serving.
While the pie cools, bake the decorative cutouts: Brush the cutouts lightly with some of the remaining beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to the wire rack and let cool.
To serve, decorate the top of the pie with the decorative cutouts as desired. Cut into slices and serve each with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Serves 10.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen