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How To Make Pumpkin Pie

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Making a homemade pumpkin pie really isn't that difficult, says Juergen Temme of The Culinary Institute of America.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe from The CIA:

He begins by mixing 3/4 cups of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of ground clove, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon each of nutmeg, ground ginger and salt in a bowl using a spatula.
Then he works in 1/4 cup of brown sugar until all dry ingredients are incorporated.

Next he beats together 3 eggs in a bowl -- they'll act as the stabilizers for the pie -- and stirs them into the sugar mixture along with a 15-ounce can of pumpkin purée.

The last step is adding 3/4 cup evaporated milk and 1/2 cup of whole milk to the bowl, and then mixing the filling together until it's uniformly orange and smooth. Pour it into a pre-baked (sometimes called blind-baked) pie shell and bake at 425F for 20 minutes, followed by 30 minutes at 375F.

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chef Jürgen Temme, from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to make pumpkin pie.

For this recipe we have the ingredients already prepared. We have three quarters of a cup of sugar, and then we have our spices: I like to add the dry ingredients with the sugar first for easier distribution. We have a quarter of a teaspoon of clove, and a teaspoon of cinnamon, and here I have my nutmeg - about half a teaspoon. Then I have my ginger, also half a teaspoon, and last but not least - it's not a spice, but will make it more tasteful - salt: again, about half a teaspoon. I'll just stir this up, and you will see the ingredients will blend nicely with the sugar.

I'll continue by adding my brown sugar; about a quarter of a cup of brown sugar. I just want to break this down a little by stirring: all right. Our next step will be adding the eggs. The eggs are our stabilizers, and that means basically they will firm our pumpkin pie up. To ensure a better distribution of the eggs, I'll just go ahead and break this down, mixing them with the help of a fork. Now I can add this to my sugar-and-spice mixture, and I can use the fork to mix this as well. I have my pumpkin puree: this is about a fifteen-ounce can, and the only thing left to do is to break it further down. Making pumpkin pie is very simple and easy; it just takes a little bit of practice and you will really get the hang of it.

We have two ingredients left. First I want to add three-quarters of a cup of evaporated milk, and last is a half cup of milk. Keep mixing, and you see how the mixture slowly but surely comes together - I have to stir it a little bit more - and then we'll add this to our pre-baked or blind-baked pie shell. Blind baking means baking without the filling. We do that to have a more stable crust, assuring that the pie crust is baked.

After the ingredients have been evenly dispersed, I can fill this into my blind baked shell. It pours out nicely - and you just want to fill this all in. Some of the spices are clinging to the bowl and we'll scrape those in, and give it a little stir. All right, we'll bake this at 425 degrees in a preheated oven for about twenty minutes, then we reduce the temperature to 375 degrees for an additional thirty minutes.

Now our pumpkin pie is ready. We know this because the outside of the filling has set; the inner part is still slightly jiggly. We have a nice crisp crust, nicely browned. Now it's ready to cut!