The single most requested dessert at our Thanksgiving table is pumpkin pie. (The second being apple pie.)
In fact, pumpkin pie is so synonymous with the holidays that during this time you can find “pumpkin spiced” everything, from lattes to donuts.
Homemade vs Canned Pumpkin Pie
When making a pumpkin pie from scratch, you have a choice. You can either use pumpkin purée from a can, or make your own pumpkin purée by cooking a sugar pumpkin.
Canned pumpkin purée will give you a consistently good result in your pumpkin pie. Making your own purée by roasting a sugar pumpkin (or other flavorful winter squash like kabocha or butternut) can give you a deeper, more interesting flavor.
Which one tastes better? My friend Suzanne and I performed an experiment with her family to find out which pie tasted better, the one with canned pumpkin or the one made with puréed roasted sugar pumpkin.
Each of us received two slices, one from each pie, without knowing which was which. The winner?
The adults clearly preferred the pie made from roasted pumpkin—it had a richer flavor. One child preferred the pie made from the canned purée, the other two had no preference. Needless to say, everyone finished both of their slices, and the whipped cream too!
1 box refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts in a box)
1 (15 oz) can pureed pumpkin
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp table salt
Plus whipped cream for topping
1. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray.
2. Cut as many 5 inch circles (either using a round cutter or a bowl or glass) as you can out of each pie crust, and fit them into each tin, crimping over the sides as necessary. Reroll the scraps if needed to get 12 crusts.
3. In a bowl or a 4 cup glass measuring cup (I used the measuring cup so I could pour it into each muffin tin directly without dirtying another bowl), whisk together the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and salt.
4. Pour the pumpkin mixture into each crust. Make sure not to fill completely to the top so that the pumpkin spills over the sides of the crust (if you’ve used a 5-inch cutter, you shouldn’t have that problem since the crust will be as tall as the muffin tin).
5. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and bake another 20-25 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
6. Let the pies cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes, then pop them out. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.