This basic pumpkin pie is anything but basic. It starts with pumpkin puree, a flaky crust made with lard, and a little TLC.
Basic Pumpkin Pie baked in a lard crust
If you’re looking for a really good and pretty basic Pumpkin Pie recipe, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve taken pure pumpkin puree and baked it into a crust made with lard. I figure I’d better go big or go home with this one! What do you think?? Well, it might not be as basic as you might think…
Yes, this pie crust is with lard. You read that right. I saved bacon grease for a couple of days and used that in place of shortening or more butter. I wanted to know what the hype was all about. This pie crust sure was crispy and delicious.
To render my own lard, I enjoyed several lunches of bacon and eggs. I’d pour the bacon fat through a cheese cloth over a fine mesh sieve and let it just drip through while catching all of the “bits”. I got a good cup’s worth and am now keeping it in the fridge and adding to it each time I make more bacon.
Don’t worry about the flavor ruining the pie. This recipe just uses two tablespoons of lard to six tablespoons of butter, so there is no funky bacon pumpkin pie flavor.
Why use Lard?
The lard helps to provide structure to the crust. Butter melts quicker than lard and those little lard pockets help to keep the shape to the crust. Yes, there was some shrinking of the crust, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as all butter recipes. The crust flakiness is from the fat, whether it’s butter, shortening, or lard, melting and creating air pockets in the pastry shell.
The fresh pumpkin gave this pie just that little extra kick of creaminess. Yes, you can use canned pumpkin, but really… it’s just once a year. Surely you can try to roast your own pumpkin and make a pie with it. Take the extra step. It’s definitely worth it.
I also loved that this recipe didn’t have evaporated milk. To be honest, I don’t even know what evaporated milk is…. This recipe has cream and milk and it was pure heavenly.
The smooth, custard like filling should be shiny and not crack – kind of like cheesecake. When baking, the center should remain a little jiggly and almost uncooked. This will ensure that it’s not dry and will not pull away and crack down the middle or around the edges.
Food 52 has some great advice on baking your pie. They recommend a metal pan, but if you prefer a glass or heavy ceramic pan, try this –
Blind bake at 350 F lined with parchment and filled with baking beans/weights until sides are dry and firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove weights, then bake until completely dry and firm (including bottom crust) and starting to turn golden, 5 to 10 minutes more. Cool thoroughly. Then watch the pie closely as it bakes — it might be done early, since the cold raw crust isn’t there to protect it. And if the edges are starting to look wrinkled while the middle is very jiggly, turn the heat down to 350.
For the Crust
- 6 Tbsp butter, chilled
- 2 Tbsp lard, chilled
- 1 C flour, plus extra for rolling dough
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/ 8 - 1/4 C ice water
For the Pumpkin Filling
- 1 3/4 - 2 C fresh cooked pumpkin puree
- 3/4 C sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 eggs
- 1 C cream
- 1/2 C milk
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Pour the pumpkin puree into a saucepan and stir over direct heat for 10 minutes until somewhat dry and slightly caramelized, stirring frequently. Remove from heat but keep hot. Add the sugar, salt, and spices, and stir into hot pumpkin. In a stand up mixer, beat eggs, add in cream and milk, finally adding the pumpkin mixture and mixing until smooth.
- Pour immediately into your cold, prepared pie crust and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and only an inch circle in the center of the filling remains soft. Cool thoroughly on cake rack.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to completely setup.