It is fall, time to enjoy watching the leaves turn red, and orange as well as summer vegetables bountiful come into the season! It's a beautiful time in my farm kitchen, it's time to use up fresh farm harvests such as apples, squash, butternuts, pumpkins and so much more.
Our pumpkin patch yielded lots of pumpkins, some big, some small but all ripened and matured in the garden. ( See the deep orange color of the pumpkin flesh in the pics!)
As my children sweep the leaves from the sidewalks, and gather them into heaps which they destroy by jumping happily on them, they know mama’s baking her favorite Amish Apple Pie.
Apart from the hot soups and delicious vegan curries made from summer harvests, it's delightful to make delicious desserts and sweet treats for special occasions such as Thanksgiving. The decadent Amish pumpkin pie is always a befitting dessert that I make as our country remembers our founding fathers.
I stumbled on the recipe determined to make a version that will stand out from the regular pumpkin pie recipes.
The Amish Pumpkin is very delicious, always leaving my family asking for more during Thanksgiving. This recipe uses fresh pumpkins and oh what a pleasure as my farm store is usually full of butternut and pumpkins. We use whole milk instead of evaporated milk and heavy cream, thus making it more nutritious and with fewer quantities of refined sugars.
Sun-ripened farm produce possesses a distinctly sweet taste, this enables us to adjust the amount of sugar we add to the pumpkin pie filling. ( See the deep orange color of the pumpkin flesh in the pics!)
My mother was curious to taste the pumpkin dessert to see if I had grasped the culinary lessons she had offered me before I moved from her house.
Mama had many Amish and Mennonite friends who would lend her books such as ‘ Treasured Amish and Mennonite Recipes’, ‘Amish Community Cookbook’ and the Pennsylvania Dutch CookBook.
Let's get down to business as I share with you the recipe that made her and my children keep asking for more…
Ingredients And Substitutions
This ingredient brands the recipe and forms the major part of the filling. You can use canned pumpkin puree or prepare your puree from scratch as we do at the farm. Homemade pumpkin puree has a rich and authentic taste.
Large eggs are at room temperature and are the best, weighing an average of 50 to 60 grams. The pie filling is a custard that is thickened by eggs.
Sweetens the pumpkin pie filling and gives it a rich brown color. This can be substituted by maple syrup or honey or a healthier sweetener such as stevia powder.
Forms a major part of the filling making it extremely moist and creamy. You can substitute milk with heavy cream or evaporated milk.
A small amount is added to the pumpkin custard filling, acting as a thickener. This enables the pie filling to be set properly.
2 (9 inches) pie crust:
The amount of pumpkin filling that the recipe yields can fill two 2 (9 inches) pie crusts. Homemade or quality store-bought pie crusts will do. (See notes for a quick homemade pie crust recipe)
Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger spices:
This rich combination of spices always blends perfectly with anything pumpkin!
Mixing bowls: medium-sized bowls would be good for the dry and wet ingredients.
Rubber spatula: As you pour the pumpkin pie filling into the pie dish, a good rubber spatula will help you scrape off all the batter; there will be no wastage.
Electric hand mixer or Stand mixer: does work a little easier, especially when whisking the egg whites as well as mixing the other ingredients.
Measuring cups and spoons: Critical for measuring ingredients accurately.
9-inch Pie dishes: you can bake in a stainless steel dish, glass, or even an aluminum foil pan. Ensure to use a 9-inch pan, so all the pumpkin pie filling can perfectly fit.
Cooling rack: This is essential for adequate cooling of the Amish custard pumpkin pie. This prevents the bottom of the loaf from getting soggy. Air passes through the bottom of the cooling rack, perfectly cooling the pumpkin pie.
Parchment paper or aluminum foil: used to cover the pie crust as you blind bake with crust with weights such as beans.
Blender; this is useful if you’re making the purée from scratch. After cooking or roasting the pumpkin the blender will refine it to a smooth consistency.
Pastry Mat or Ruler: If you are making the pie crust from scratch, you will need these tools. Roll the pastry dough to 12 inches.
FAQ Amish Pumpkin Custard Pie
You probably baked the pie longer than you should have. Since the filling is a custard that contains eggs. When the protein in the egg is overcooked it tends to tighten and then crack.
Use the jiggle test to see if the pumpkin pie is read. The middle part will jiggle a little like a jelly would do. The rest of the setting of the pie will take place as the pie cools.
This happens if you fail to blind-bake the pie crust. Blind baking means baking the crust by itself. Line the pie dish with the crust dough, brush the crusts with melted butter.
Line the crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place weights of your choice such as dry beans or peas. Bake for 15 minutes until almost golden brown.
This delicious pie can be made ahead of time. Slip a cooled pie into a freezer plastic bag, remove all the air out, and freeze.
The pie can stay in the freezer for about 2 months and in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days.
Sure you can! You may just have more of the pumpkin pie filling, bake it in a glass dish or aluminum foil pan. It still will taste delicious. This will be celebrated by those trying to reduce their wheat intake!
Always follow the baking time in the recipe to avoid cracks in your filling. The jiggle test will work fine as opposed to using a knife when checking for readiness.
The middle part will jiggle like jelly when the pumpkin pie is ready and continue to set properly as it cools.
Another valuable tip! Measure out the filling in a measuring jar to pour equal amounts into each pie plate. An overfilled pie crust will crack opps ….
Amish Pumpkin Custard Pie
- Mixing bowls
- Rubber spatula
- Electric hand mixer
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 9-inch Pie dishes
- Cooling rack
- Parchment paper or aluminum foil
- Pastry Mat or Ruler
- 4 tablespoons All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
- ½ cup Unsalted melted butter
- ½ cup Brown sugar
- ½ cup Granulated sugar
- 2 cups Milk
- 2 large Eggs
- 2 cups Pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ½ cup Cold butter
- ½ cup Cold shortening
- 3 cups All-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ cup Ice cold water
- 1 tablespoon Vinegar
- When using a food processor, pulse the flour with the cold butter and shortening until the mixture appears like sand. You can use a hand pastry blender or your fingers to mix the flour and the butter.
- Add a tablespoon at a time of ice-cold water and vinegar into the flour and butter mixture.
- Turn over the mixture on a clean surface and form a ball with your hands. Work fast to form a ball, and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
- Divide the dough into two pieces, roll it into two round discs, line up the two pie plates, and set them in the refrigerator as you prepare the pumpkin pie filling.
Blind baking the pie crust
- Preheat the oven to 345F
- With a rolling pin, out the pie crust to about 12 inches wide at the center.
- Gently pick the rolled pie dough and line it on the pie dish. Make your desired patterns at the edge of the pie plate. Do not poke holes in the pie crust because the pie filling is runny.
- Brush the pie crust with melted butter and bake it for 15 minutes.
Amish Custard Pie Filling
- You can make your pumpkin puree, roast the pumpkin or boil it in little water. Once the pumpkin is cooled, mash it in the blender for a smooth consistency. Place the puree in a strainer to remove excess water.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk egg yolks, brown sugar, and white sugar until fully incorporated. Add the pumpkin puree and give it a mix. You can use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer.
- In a separate bowl mix the flour with the spices and pour it into the pumpkin mix. Mix till fully incorporated, add in the milk, and keep mixing.
- Vigorously beat the egg whites till you see soft stiff peaks. Add the fluffy egg whites to the pumpkin mixture. Fold gently till the egg white is distributed into the mixture.
- Set the mixture aside for about 30 minutes to allow the spices to bloom! You surely notice a difference in flavor when you let it set aside for a good amount of time.
- Pour the prepared pumpkin pie filling into the pie crusts. Bake the pies for 30 minutes. The pie will be ready when the center jiggles slightly.
- Let the pie continue to set on a cooling rack. Slice once the pie has completely cooled down. Enjoy with some ice cream or whipping cream.