Pumpkin Pie is probably one of the easiest pies you can bake. However, like so many other things that seem so easy...like cornbread, sweet tea, meatloaf, to name a few, things can go so wrong with it along the way! I think this is the "Absolutely Perfect Pumpkin Pie" because it just has the right amount of spice, the right texture and the correct degree of sweetness. Of course, everyone has their own preference for such things. I was going to call this just the perfect pumpkin pie, but when I looked at other pumpkin pie recipes, everyone else already called their pumpkin pie that...imagine that!
I think the reason so many don't eat pumpkin pie is because the pumpkin pie they have tried in the past was not good. This is usually because the spices were either way too overwhelming or way too underwhelming (is that a word?). Pumpkin pie recipes usually call for a myriad of spices...nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom (huh, really?) and to varying degrees. So here is what happens, some folks go to make the pumpkin pie, they make one time a year and they get in the kitchen and don't have some of these spices, so they just put in a little extra of what they do have and depending on which one that was, the results can be less than tasty. If you add extra cinnamon, not so bad, if you add too much of the ground cloves, very bad.
I solve that problem by just using pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. I use pumpkin pie spice in a lot recipes that call for nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and such. As I have said before, I just don't care a great deal for the taste of nutmeg, but pumpkin pie spice blends all of these spices in correct proportions that just really makes them all taste better and less overwhelming.
So my point is, invest in a brand new little container of pumpkin pie spice, especially if yours has been in the cabinet since last Thanksgiving. Spices lose there freshness and potency as they sit, once opened, especially if near your oven area, where the heat will affect them. If you open a spice and cannot tell immediately what it is just from smelling it, throw it out and buy a new one, because it has lost its potency. When you use stale spices, you get the 'underwhelming' or what I call 'one note' flavor in your pumpkin pie. A good pumpkin pie has cinnamon with hints of other spices to make it not so one dimensional. Pumpkin is bland by nature and needs a bit of spicing up to be good and tasty!
Here is what you will need for "The Absolutely Perfect Pumpkin Pie":
1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin or about 2 cups of cooked mashed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 (14 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk (like Eagle Brand)
2 large eggs
2 Tbs. light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Deep Dish Pie shell, unbaked
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt until well blended and smooth.
Place the pie shell on a cookie sheet and fill with the pumpkin mixture. It will be full and the cookie sheet aids in moving it to the oven without spilling and also helps the pie bake more evenly.
Place in the oven and bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 350 and bake for about 40 - 45 minutes.
Don't over bake, it's done when the crust is just browning and a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The top will still look a little wet and glossy. Remove and allow to cool before slicing.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream!