What would Thanksgiving be without a homemade pumpkin pie? I am usually too full to eat too much pumpkin pie after dinner on Thanksgiving, but it is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast Friday morning. Pumpkin pie is so light and melts in your mouth. Below is my favorite recipe for homemade pie crust. It is simple to make (from all food storage ingredients) and is very easy to work with and nice and flaky. After many pies, I have found the most important tip is to NOT make your crust in a food processor or with an electric mixer. Anytime I mix the dough too much it becomes pasty and too sticky. Cutting the dough with knives or a pastry cutter is the way to get your dough to be the best consistency.

Now..onto the ultimate pumpkin pie recipe. Although the Libby’s Pumpkin Pie recipe on the back of their can is very good, Paula Deen has stepped it up a few notches with heavy whipping cream (instead of evaporated milk), sour cream (gives it an awesome tang), and butter (of course it’s better with butter!). The caramelized nuts on top also brings this pie to a new level. I love the combination of the flaky crust, smooth center, whipped topping and the crunch of the sweet nuts. Together it is a holiday hoe-down in your mouth. No need to look any farther for the perfect pumpkin pie. Scratch one thing off your list 😉

Best Homemade Pie Crust
  1. 1 1/3 c. butter shortening
  2. 4 T. sugar
  3. 2 t. salt
  4. 4 c. flour
  5. 1/2-3/4 c. cold water
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If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt together. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender or criss crossing 2 knives until dough is the size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mixing with a fork until all of the flour is moistened. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap the ball in saran wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will make the crust more firm and the dough flakier. This recipe makes two single pie shells or one top and bottom pie shell. Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface, into a large circle. Fold dough in half and place half the circle into the pie shell.
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Cut the shortening into the flour mixture until the dough begins to break down to the size of a small pea. Use ice cold water to help keep the dough firm and easy to work with.Once the dough is soft, but not too wet, place on a large piece of saran wrap and wrap up to set in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight. The dough in this stage can also be wrapped twice and frozen for a later meal/pie.

Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface. I like to roll my dough onto the saran wrap I have wrapped the dough in, or onto a piece of wax paper. This helps lift up the pie crust easily into your dish. Don’t over flour the crust or your pie will end up too dry.
Cut the pie crust one inch around the pie plate. Roll the crust under to create a thicker edge to your pie.
Pinch your pointer finger in between your other two fingers to create a beveled edge to your crust.If using the pie dough for a single cooked crust, poke the bottom of the pan with a fork to prevent bubbling. For the pumpkin pie you can just pour the pie batter directly into the crust.

Paula Deen's Perfect Pumpkin Pie
  1. 1 9 inch pie shell (I used the recipe above and with this batter made 9 muffin tin miniature pumpkin pies and one regular sized pie shell)
  2. 1 (15 oz.) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  5. 2 Tbs. butter, melted 2 1/2 c. heavy cream, divided
  6. 1/3 cup sour cream
  7. 2 tsp. cinnamon
  8. 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger (I used about 1 t. freshly ground ginger)
  9. Pinch ground cloves
  10. Pinch ground nutmeg
  11. Pinch salt
  12. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  13. 1/4 cup powdered sugar (for whipped cream topping)
  14. 1/4 cup caramelized nuts (recipe below)
Caramelized Nuts
  1. 2 Tbs. butter
  2. 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup chopped nuts
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  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Partially bake the pie shell, according to the package directions. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, 1 1/2 c. heavy cream, sour cream, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt and vanilla. Pour into the shell. Bake for 10 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and continue baking for 45-65 minutes (or longer..just cook until pie is set.  Time will vary depending what size of pie dish you cook it in.) Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. With an electric mixer, whip the remaining cup of heavy cream on high speed until the cream starts to froth. Gradually add the powdered sugar and whip on high until the cream stands in peaks. either spoon or pipe the whipped cream around the edges of the pie and garnish with the caramelized nuts.
  3. Caramelized Nuts: In a small skillet melt the butter and sugar over medium heat. Add the nuts, stirring until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour onto aluminum foil. When the pecans are cool, crumble into small pieces and sprinkle the topping on top of the whipped cream.
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