Food & Swine

Pumpkin Pie


Pumpkin Pie… need I say more?  This is a deliciously perfect recipe for pumpkin pie and it happens to be the first recipe I ever shared on my blog.  I use lard in the single pastry crust for this particular pie, but butter will suit perfectly.  Pre-baking the crust ensures that it won’t be soggy and undercooked.  This pie is the ultimate pumpkin pie, different from the famous canned pumpkin label pie recipe in a couple of ways.  I hope you try this and the filling can certainly be made and placed in a store purchased pie shell too.  Just sayin’.

Pumpkin… you mean you don’t use the canned stuff?  Hello, the canned stuff is all we use in this house.  Been there, done that, roasting my own pumpkin and making my own puree.  No thank you. Never again.  Canned Pumpkin is welcome in my pantry at all times.  Forever.


I get many questions on which type of ‘fat’ (ie: lard, butter or shortening) a person should use for their pie crust.  Here’s a simple set of rules:

If you like:
A blonde crust (lighter in color)
Old fashioned “how Grandma made it” flavor
Melt in your mouth crust
If you can tolerate using a fat that is more difficult to work with (melts quickly)

If you like:
A deeper golden or browned crust
A rich, buttery flavor
Crust with less melting quality but some flakiness
If you need an easy to use ‘beginner worthy’ fat to use in creating a pie crust

If you like:
A blonde crust
Little to no flavor
Great flakiness
Somewhat easy to work with
*I don’t recommend the use of Butter flavored shortening, as I think it has off-flavors.

Use a combination (1/2 and 1/2) of any of the two fats.  I would recommend the combinations in the following order.
1. Lard & Butter
2. Shortening & Butter
3 Shortening & Lard

Bake that pie!

November's finest

November’s finest

Pumpkin Pie
By: Cristen
Makes 1 standard 9″ pie

Pre Baked Pastry for a single crust pie:

1 1/3 C a/p flour

1/2 tsp salt (aids in flavor)

2 tsp granulated sugar (this aids in flavor and crust browning)

1/2 C premium leaf lard, cut into small cubes, frozen or very well chilled (if no lard is available: substitute same amount of well chilled butter)

1/4 C ice water (cold water keeps the rest of the ingredients cold, the key to a great crust)

2 tsp apple cider vinegar (high acidity works as a tenderizer

1 egg yolk or 1 egg white (I use the yolk for a richer deeper color in my crust)

Combine flour, salt and sugar.  Cut in lard until mixture is crumbly and fat is the size of peas.  Combine water, vinegar and egg yolk, add 1 T at a time until you have a nice mixture that gathers into a ball nicely.  Do not overwork this dough.  Work quickly as lard can be finicky and melts quickly.  Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Remove from refrigerator.  Generously flour your counter.  Roll pastry to a 13 inch circle.  Carefully roll into 8″ standard sized pie plate.  Roll edges under and crimp decoratively.  Chill for 20 minutes.  While chilling, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Remove pie plate with prepared unbaked pastry and prick holes in bottom of crust gently with a fork.  Cover with 2 sections of parchment, add beans or pie weights and blind bake crust for 15-20 minutes until set.  Remove from oven.  Remove parchment and weights and return crust to 400 degree oven for 6 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool a bit while filling is made.

Pumpkin Filling

1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz.)

1/3 C light brown sugar, packed

1/4 C granulated sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tiny pinch of ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs plus one egg yolk

3/4 C heavy whipping cream

1/3 C whole milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk all ingredients together until combined.  Pour into pie plate.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake for 55-60 minutes until filling is just set in the middle.  (It will slightly jiggle.)  Set aside to cool completely prior to serving.

Sweetened Whipped Cream

2 C whipping cream

1/2 C powdered sugar (I like it sweet!)

1 tsp vanilla extract or clear imitation vanilla

2 tsp sour cream (This will help stabilize the cream and keep it from weeping.)

Whip all ingredients together until soft peaks form.  If you accidentally over-whip the cream and it looks broken and curdled, simply splash another bit of cream in and re-whip until smooth soft peaks form.

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  • Reply Heidie Makes November 18, 2014 at 9:25 am

    This looks super yummy! :-)

    • Reply Cristen November 18, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Thank you Heidie! Heading over to check your blog soon!

  • Reply Julie | Farm Eats, City Streets November 18, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Just when I had my pumpkin pie recipe ready to go, you throw one on your blog that puts mine to shame! Can’t wait to try this one. I’m sure my whole family will be singing your praises! :)

  • Reply Farm Eats, City Streets November 18, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Just when I had my pumpkin pie recipe ready for Thanksgiving, you come along with a recipe that blows that one out of the water! Can’t wait to try this one. I’m sure my family will be singing your praises! :)

  • Reply Dana Clark November 19, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Again! Your blog on pie much better than the $69 pie class at Sur La Table. ;) and after my recent lard experience, I will never go back to all butter/ crisco.

  • Reply marylovstad November 23, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Thanks Cristen for a recipe that was easy to adapt for my dairy-free daughter! I wasn’t sure how to handle the evaporated milk in most recipes, but it was easy to exchange a non-dairy creamer for the cream and milk in this one. Also was interested to see you pre-baked the crust which most don’t do either — giving it a try cause I don’t like a soggy crust!

  • Reply Cristen December 20, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Hi Mary! Thank you for the tips on making this friendly to those with dairy allergies! Have a Merry Christmas!

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