No this post is not about a single gal’s lonely Thanksgiving for one…and if I have just insulted you…I am sorry. Instead, this is one of those brilliant accidents. Although, it’s not quite as good as the accidental invention of Ivory soap, but it’s a great idea nonetheless.
Let me back track a few steps. I am not making Thanksgiving dinner, but I am bringing a pumpkin pie, a chocolate pudding pie and the cranberry sauce. I had gotten my crusts out of the way and was up to my elbows in pumpkin puree, when something went awry. I put double the amount of cinnamon into the pumpkin filling. I know, it does not sound like that egregious of an error, but I am always a proud baker, and I don’t believe in serving anything short of taste perfection if I can help it.
I tried to fish out some of the cinnamon, but to no avail. Before pouring the pie filling into my pie crust, I had a little taste just to check it out. I wouldn’t recommend this because it has three raw eggs in the batter so please don’t do it, but I took my life in my own hands and stuck a finger in and tasted it. To my disapproval, it tasted too cinnamon-y. Was it just my imagination?
The only way to truly test the pie was to bake it, and take a little bite. But I am afraid a whole pie with a bite taken out is just not the kind of dessert show piece my mother was hoping for on her Thanksgiving table. I had a few scraps of pie dough left over after I had trimmed it for the pan, and I decided to make one tiny little pie so I could be sure that my pie was not only edible, but lived up to the pumpkin pie deliciousness that I am famous for in our family (or not so famous for…who knows).
I rolled out a little circle of pie dough, just enough to squish into a mini muffin tin and poured a tablespoon of the filling into the pie crust. It cooked up in only about 20 minutes along side the big mama pumpkin pie. Look how lovely it turned out! It would be a nice, pretty little dessert to bring to a cocktail party. I know I am not the only person on the planet to have come up with a pumpkin pie tartlet, but the idea of a pre-Thanksgiving mini pie for the baker or chef on the night before Thanksgiving…that little gem is all mine.
As I sat at my kitchen table, enjoying my four little bites of pumpkin pie tartlet with a little squirt of whipped cream on top, dusted with a tiny pinch of nutmeg, I thought about what a lovely idea this is. Us Thanksgiving bakers, cooks or chefs are frequently spread thin on the BIG DAY. Do you even remember eating what you made on Thanksgiving or are you just exhausted and glad everything is out on the table at the same time? It’s sort of like the food at your wedding. You spend all this time selecting the menu and then you don’t even remember eating it.
But eating this teeny little pie all by myself, enjoying every slow delectable spicy bite—now that I’ll remember. By the way…it was totally delicious. Will I add an extra teaspoon of cinnamon next time? I don’t think so. I still imagined I tasted a touch too much cinnamon, but it was not enough to throw in the towel and start anew. I don’t think the guests will complain one iota. The crust, now that was over the top. I am sorry to tell you, but I am NEVER a humble baker so just get used to it if you plan on following this blog.
The recipe is so ultra gourmet (sarcasm noted)…it is straight off the can of Libby’s, but it’s what I have used for the last twenty years or so and it has never done me wrong so I highly recommend it. It’s absolutely the easiest pie you will ever make so go for it, dig in and bake a pumpkin pie from SCRATCH! You can do it! I have it on good authority that Trader Joe’s pie crust is totally divine so if sweating over homemade dough isn’t your thing then go for one of those if you have a Joe’s handy. Whatever you do, have a spectacular Thanksgiving and enjoy those around you..
Libby’s Plain and Perfect Pumpkin Pie
1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1 (15 ounce) can LIBBY’S 100% Pure Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 (12 fluid ounce) can Evaporated Milk
For my Pie Crust Recipe, click the link and scroll to the bottom of my Lemon Meringue Pie post.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar through nutmeg. In a large bowl beat together eggs and pumpkin puree. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin puree. Slowly add the can of evaporated milk and combine thoroughly. Pour into an unbaked pie shell and cover the edges with aluminum foil or use a pie edge cover like I did in a photo above. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes or until pie filling is firm. Cool completely before refrigerating. Top with whipped cream and a pinch of nutmeg. Happy Thanksgiving!