Pumpkin pie tips from Jill of All Trades

This week, Jill Washburn, our Jill of All Trades, gives us some tips for baking a better pumpkin pie. With these tips, you'll have a pumpkin pie that friends and family will be raving about!

First up, the crust.  

Tip #1: Whether you do a homemade crust, or a store-bought one,  Jill says you'll get a better pie, if you bake the crust first.  The standard recipes will tell you not to, but Jill says that chefs will tell you otherwise. 

Tip #2: Once you've baked your crust (maybe 10 minutes or so, at 400 degrees) until it's golden, have your filling ready to go and pour it into the hot crust.

Tip #3: Since your crust is already golden, you don't want it to burn during the baking process.  Jill covers the ruffled edge of the crust with narrow strips of foil before she puts the pie in the oven.  That keeps the crust from getting too brown, or burning. 

Tip #4: Temperature is key!  Start your pie out at 400 degrees for the first 15-20 minutes.  Then, lower the temp to 325 for the rest of the baking.  This will give your pie a super smooth texture.  Depending on your oven, it should bake for another 40-60 minutes.  It's done when a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  You might have to "babysit" a bit at the end.  It'll be worth the extra effort to get that silky smooth texture.

Tip #5: If you're baking it ahead of time, let it cool for a couple of hours before you refrigerate it.

There you go! 

Here's the recipe that Jill used:

9-inch pie crust
2 eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. ginger
¼ t. cloves
½ t. salt
1 can pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk

Combine the dry ingredients in a measuring cup or small bowl.  Beat the eggs in a large bowl.  Add the dry ingredients to the eggs and mix well.  Stir in the pumpkin until it's all blended.  Slowly add the milk, stirring together until all it blended.  Pour into your pie crust (already baked), and cover the edges with foil strips.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, then reduce the temp to 325 degrees and bake another 40-60 minutes, depending on your oven.  You'll know it's done when it looks more solid on top and a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let it cool for a couple of hours before refrigerating.

Jill says to feel free to experiment, to make it your own.  A little maple extract would be great.  Also, a little vanilla extract would help temper it a bit for people who aren't huge pumpkin lovers.  Some grated orange peel would give it a fresh taste.  Put your own twist on it!

PROJECT RATING:  Way Easier Than You Think!!

To watch Jill take you through the process, click on the video player above.

Happy Thanksgiving from Jill of All Trades!!