12 November 2020

Pumpkin Pie - Tips for a Crisper Crust

Pumpkin Pie - Tips for a Crisper Crust - another solution to the soggy bottom problem / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pumpkin Pie is a year-round favorite of mine that tastes especially good at this time of year. But you're probably thinking, Oh my, not another pumpkin pie recipe—boring! More than a recipe, this post is about something that just might solve a problem for you as it did for me. 

Many pumpkin pies have problems, including the "soggy bottom" problem. I know a well-spiced pumpkin pie tastes pretty good even with a soggy bottom. I've conquered the problem in the past by prebaking the pie shell. But some days I just don't feel like prebaking and cooling a crust before filling and baking the pie. How about you?

Pyrex glass pie plates have been my go-to pie pans for decades and will, I'm sure, continue to be most of the time. But I was on a quest to see if there was a way to make a pumpkin pie with a nice crisp crust without prebaking the pie shell as I did here in my Pumpkin Pie - Gluten-Free or Regular Crust - No Soggy Bottoms post.

The only way I could think of was to bake the pie on a thoroughly preheated pizza stone/steel. And you can't set a cold Pyrex pie plate on a hot pizza stone/steel without risking disaster, so I started checking out all the possibilities and eventually decided to try Fat Daddio's 18-gauge anodized aluminum pie pans.

Pumpkin Pie - Tips for a Crisper Crust - another solution to the soggy bottom problem / www.delightfulrepast.com


I have quite a collection Fat Daddio's anodized aluminum cake and loose-bottomed cheesecake pans and love them. So when I decided it was high time I took another look at metal pie pans, they were on my list. (BTW, this post is not sponsored; I'm just telling you what's new in my kitchen this month.)

But I almost ordered the wrong size because of Fat Daddio's weird way of measuring pie pans. Unlike every other company on the planet, they don't call a pan with a 9-inch top interior diameter a 9-inch pie pan! No, they have to confuse us all by including the flat rim in the measurement, which makes it a 10-inch pie pan to their way of thinking.

Anyway ... had I ordered their 9-inch, I would have gotten an 8-inch pie pan, which would be totally useless to me because I've developed all my recipes for a standard 1.5-inch depth 9-inch top interior diameter pan. So I just wanted to warn you about that. But on to the results of my rigorous research and testing: It worked!

So even if you're happy with another recipe (such as, Perfect Pumpkin Pie - Without Canned Milk), if you're interested in a crispier crust, you'll find the method in the recipe directions below. I imagine it'll work fine with any pastry or pumpkin filling recipe.

Do let me know in the comments what type of pie plate you prefer and what methods you use to avoid soggy bottoms!

Pumpkin Pie - Tips for a Crisper Crust (without prebaking) / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Pumpkin Pie


(Makes one 9-inch pie, 8 servings)


The Pastry 


1 1/3 dip-and-sweep cups (6.67 ounces/189 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon non-GMO baking powder
1 1/4 sticks (5 ounces/142 grams) unsalted butter, well chilled

2 tablespoons beaten egg from 1 large egg (reserve the rest)
2 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Additional ice water, a teaspoon at a time, if needed

The Filling


2/3 cup (4.67 ounces/132 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon non-GMO cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
1 15-ounce (425 grams) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) or 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree

1 12-ounce (355 ml) can evaporated milk

1 In medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. With coarse grater, grate about 3/4 of the stick of butter into flour bowl. Cut the remaining butter into 1/2-inch cubes. With fingers, quickly work the grated butter into the flour until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add the cubed butter and work it into the crumbs, leaving some pieces the size of small peas.

2 In small bowl, beat together the 2 tablespoons of beaten egg, ice water, and apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle over flour mixture while stirring with large fork. Add a little more water, a teaspoon at a time, if needed.

3 Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten slightly into a 5-inch round disk with smooth edges; double wrap; refrigerate for one hour or up to four days. May be frozen for up to a month; defrost, wrapped, in the refrigerator.

4 If dough is thoroughly chilled, let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling; if it has been refrigerated for just one hour, it will likely be ready to roll. Very lightly butter a 9-inch aluminum pie pan; I usually just run the butter wrapper over it. On lightly floured surface, roll out disk to a 13-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Place pastry in pie plate, being careful to not stretch the dough. Leave a 1-inch overhang of dough. Crimp the edge. (Sometimes you need to chill the pastry a bit before crimping.) Flute the edge higher than usual to contain the filling. Using the reserved beaten egg, brush a light even coat of egg wash over the bottom and sides, but not the crimped edge, of the pastry. Save leftover beaten egg to add to the filling. Cover loosely and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

5 Meanwhile, in medium bowl (using a 2-quart glass measure makes it easy to pour the filling into the crust), whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and spices. Whisk in the eggs and any leftover beaten egg from the pastry, then the pumpkin, and then the evaporated milk. Let the filling stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or so while you preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8 after moving an oven rack to the lowest position.

Lodge Cast Iron Pizza Pan

6a If you have a metal pie pan and a pizza stone/steel (a Lodge cast iron pizza pan fills that role for me), put it on the lowest rack and start preheating the oven as soon as you put the pie shell in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Just before baking, fill the chilled pie shell. Carefully place it on the hot pizza stonePut on a pie crust shield to prevent the edge of the crust from over-browning (or have one standing by in case you see it start overbrowning). Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350F/180C/Gas4. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted midway between edge and center comes out clean or until it registers 185F/85C on an instant-read thermometer.  

6b If not using a pizza stone/steel, just before baking, set the thoroughly chilled egg-washed pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch butter drips) and pour in the filling. Put on a pie crust shield to prevent the edge of the crust from over-browning (or have one standing by in case you see it start overbrowning). Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350F/180C/Gas4. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted midway between edge and center comes out clean or until it registers 185F/85C on an instant-read thermometer.

7 Cool on wire rack for 2 hours, then lay a square of wax paper over the top and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve with softly whipped cream. I sweetened and flavored 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with 4 teaspoons of real maple syrup and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

53 comments:

Angie's Recipes said...

wow This is a perfect pumpkin pie! Love that thin crisp crust.

TONY said...

Blimey, you had a fight on your hands with those ,"Fat Daddio's 18-gauge anodized aluminum pie pans," Jean.

But,.....are you having me on Jean, "Fat Daddio?" Really!! Honestly!!

I have a vision of the sort of television commercials they would do. Us Brits would be falling off our sofas in hysterics. A name like that would come in for some lampooning to say the least. Must pull myself together. Ahem!!
That pumpkin pie looks superb. Your description is making my mouth water. I like the tips for not having, "a soggy bottom." All the best, Tony

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie. I'm all about the pastry. Make all kinds for different things, and I don't want soggy!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

"Blimey" is right, Tony! :D And, yes, that's the name of the company all right. Their cake tins are the best (AND measured as they should be!), and anyone who is into making fancy cakes for parties and weddings would really appreciate them. You should make a pie today!

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Looks and sounds yummy! Thanks so much for linking up with me at #AThemedLinkup 33 for Thanksgiving Recipes. Shared.

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Visiting again to say thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 18, open until November 26. Shared again.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Bingo! Flashing lights, penny arcade bells going off! 5 cleavers, 5 cleavers, 5 cleavers! Pumpkin pie and whipped cream garnish – 5 cleavers. Glad to see you ventured into health food in time for Thanksgiving. As for pie plates et al, I eschew aluminum and plastic as much as possible in cooking. I know, I know, lots of contradictory studies. No matter. I’ll stick with my iron supplements vis-à-vis my cast iron skillet, transfer bottled water from plastic to glass, and not leave many sweets around long enough to cross-contaminate from containers.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Dee, for sharing my post! Happy November!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sully, for the coveted Five Cleavers award! And I, too, look for non-toxic choices, avoiding plastics and aluminum in direct contact with my food. This is why I've always used glass pie plates. But unlike regular aluminum, anodized aluminum is non-reactive, meaning that it doesn’t leach heavy metals into your food. "Anodizing is not a chemical coating, but an environmentally-friendly finishing process containing no extra metals and no dyes, CFCs, PTFEs or PFOAs. It seals the porous surface of aluminum to provide a safe and non-reactive baking surface." But you nailed the key solution with "not leave many sweets around long enough to cross-contaminate from containers." :D

DUTA said...

I like both the pumpkin picture and the pumpkin pie recipe.
The slice on the beautiful plate looks very appealing!

ellen b. said...

I do like their products. I'm not a pie maker but I enjoy pie from pie bakers!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, DUTA! I love blue and white china, and it does go well with orange food.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Ellen. My mother loved baking cakes and cookies, and she left the pies and bread to me. But I love it when a friend bakes a pie and shares it with me.

Vee said...

Oh that's interesting...I will try a metal pie plate and I also thing that using leaf lard would help a lot, too. Leaf lard is really a healthful food. But you'd have to look it up. I tried picking some up today, but regular lard was all I could find. I really want the best. Here's to pumpkin pie!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Vee. Let me know how the metal pan works for you. My friend makes really good lard crusts, but I haven't used it a lot, even though I know it is a very healthful fat. I just checked the price for organic pastured leaf lard online and it was twice the price of my butter, so I'll probably stick with my organic butter. But when you get your leaf lard, let me know how you liked it.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Not sure if you're aware of this research, but it's enough reason for me to avoid anodized aluminum as well: https://www.yourcookwarehelper.com/cookware-college/healthy-cookware-safe-cookware/is-anodized-aluminum-cookware-considered-safe-cookware/ With stainless steel, you get some nickel leaching, but aluminum is the one which in studies is present in brains after alzhemimers et al.

Kitchen Riffs said...

I usually use Pyrex pie plates, and I'm usually OK with soggy pie bottoms. And when I'm picky about it, I've been prebaking the pie shell. But gotta say, the metal pan idea really does sound interesting. Gotta try that! Thanks.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sully. I'll definitely check that out!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, KR. Do let me know if you try it. It's fun to experiment!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Just in time, Jean. I just purchased my organic pumpkin for the pie. I don't have a pizza stone and I'm too lazy to get one. Love your painted pumpkin!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh, Sue, thank you! I think I like painting pumpkins! I understand if someone doesn't have a pizza stone (or steel or cast iron), but I don't understand your "I'm too lazy to get one"—just click on it and place your Amazon order. It's easy; in fact, it's TOO easy! :D

Cocoa and Lavender said...

Not surprisingly, our methods are somewhat similar - though I only use egg white to brush my crusts. I also park back for 10 minutes and then brush it. The heat makes an immediate seal. Great minds, my friend... :) Love your filling recipe, too.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, David! And I love hearing what other people do. Some people use just the yolk, some (like you) just the white. And, yes, brushing it on after 10 minutes in the oven would definitely make an immediate seal—I'm going to try that next time I do the parbake.

Tamago said...

Haha that is very confusing how the company measures the pie pan and good to know :-)
Love both your photos of pie and painting of the pumpkin!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tamago, thank you! AND for noticing my little painting!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

I can't believe that it's that time of year already! I really like your pumpkin painting. Sometimes a painting makes an ingredient seem so much more appetising than a photograph. I do appreciate the desire to avoid a soggy bottom in a pumpkin pie and your approach sounds just right to me. I don't make many pies these days but, when I do, I use either a very traditional British enamel pie plate or a heavier, French, aluminium dish. Although, for some traditional British pies, a slightly soggy bottom is no bad thing in my opinion.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Phil! I'm so glad you think my paintings add something to my posts. I've never used an enameled pie plate, but they're pretty to look at. I'd be inclined to line it with baking parchment so as not to mar it when cutting the pie. I'm very curious as to which pies you rather like with a slightly soggy bottom; do let me know.

Miz Helen said...

Your post is awesome and thanks so much for sharing it with us at Full Plate Thursday,510. Hope you are having a great week and come back soon!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Miz Helen!

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

CONGRATS! Your post is FEATURED at #AThemedLinkup 34 for All Things Christmas from my previous linkup for Thanksgiving Recipes.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Dee, thank you so much!

Victoria Zigler said...

Thanks for sharing your tips.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Happy to, Victoria! I've been cooking for many years, but I still love to experiment and try to improve.

Lowcarb team member said...

A lovely pumpkin pie, many thanks for sharing the tips.

All the best Jan

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jan. When I'm making it for just us, I only use 1/3 or even 1/4 cup of sugar.

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Wonderful tips - I love pumpkin pie! I've always used a glass pie pan, but now I think I might try the metal. Love your watercolor pumpkin! x K

Martha said...

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing your tips along with your recipe. I'm not much of a baker but I would sure prefer a nice crust to a soggy one. Thanks for stopping by today too. It's nice to "meet" you :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Karen. AND for noticing my little watercolor! If you try the metal pan, do let me know what you thought.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Martha! Let me know if you try them out or pass them along to anyone. Nice to "meet" you, too!

The Liberty Belle said...

I like a deep dish glass pie pan but might switch. I love pumpkin pie and wish I had a slice right now! Have a great day.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Liberty. I wish I had a slice right now, too! If you do try the metal pan, let me know how you like it.

Lazy Gastronome said...

Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party! Have a lovely rest of the week.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank *you*, LG!

Marilyn Miller said...

I use to bake my pies with the pizza stone underneath until it broke, but I use a pizza pan. It does work. Yummm! Pumpkin pie this week.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Marilyn. I never get tired of pumpkin pie! That's why I got the cast iron pan, I figured I'd end up with a broken pizza stone.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

My favourite pie! And a crust that doesn't get soggy makes for the perfect pie! Thank you for sharing at my party, Jean. Happy Thanksgiving!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sandi, thanks so much! I'm going to enjoy visiting all the links.

Lorrie said...

What a beautiful pumpkin pie! It's not my favourite, but I usually make one around Thanksgiving for my family. I always use glass pie plates and rectangular cake pans. I sometimes think I can taste metal when I use my metal round cake pans. Weird. A little pre-bake of the crust, and a brushing with egg are what I use to prevent soggy bottom.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Lorrie. I love my Pyrex pie plates and baking dishes, but I've never noticed a metallic taste when I use metal. But you might be extra sensitive to it. My metal pans are anodized aluminum, and I usually line them with parchment paper on the bottom. But the prebaking works really well in the glass pie plate because you can see the color.

Margie said...

Hi Jean,

I must confess that I'm not a big fan of pumpkin pie (I prefer other pumpkin desserts). But I'm willing to try yours!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Aaw, thanks, Margie. Not a pie fan in general, or what is it about pumpkin?

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Thank you for all your tips, Jean, for getting a crispier crust. Soggy pumpkin pie crust is not a good thing. You always provide us with your tried and true methods! Thank you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kitty, you are too kind! Thank you so much! I'm happy to share anything I know or learn.

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