My daughter Maggie has been decorating the house for Thanksgiving this last week. In fact, she went directly from Halloween to a strange mixture of Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled into one.  (Yes, our holiday tree us up and mostly decorated.) All this festiveness – along with the sound of too loud holiday music and too many left-over pumpkins – has moved us directly from unicorn costumes to Thanksgiving delights.

My friend Stacy orders tamales from Texas to celebrate the holidays. I have an uncle that believes pilgrims would have preferred steaks and potatoes so he spends the day grilling. At the farm, we eat a load of Gulf seafood in Low-Country Boil style off of a wooden board across the tailgate of the truck.  I am also somewhat of a traditionalist at heart and delight in the staples – no Thanksgiving comes without dressing.  (Gulf Shrimp + Dressing – you don’t know what you are missing until you have tried it!)   However, despite the fact that most consider it a staple, I’ve never been one to put a pumpkin pie on my holiday table. I actually have always had a strong dislike for the most revered of Thanksgiving desserts. Then I tried this recipe.

Fresh pumpkins and just the right amount of spice have made me a believer. The recipe is courtesy of our friend Connie at Jack-o-Lantern Farms, one of our local farmers markets.

Bring this to your holiday get-togethers and everyone will be thankful:


Start this recipe by baking your pumpkin.  I used a lovely 3 pound pie pumpkin from our friends at Jack-o-Lantern Farms. Quarter it, seed it, bake it on 350 for 1 hour. Scoop out the meat, puree and set aside.

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk together:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, then add:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
Mash with back of fork, then drizzle with:
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream

Stir until mixture is damp and holds together when pinched. Transfer into a 9-inch pie pan and pat evenly over bottom, side and edge. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven, brush with:

1 large egg yolk
Pinch of salt
Return to oven until egg glaze sets, 1 to 2 minutes.

For the filling:

Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees.

Whisk together:
2 large eggs

Add and whisk:

2 cups freshly cooked pumpkin puree from above
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pour pie mixture into a warm pie crust and bake until center is set but quivery, like gelatin, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack, then refrigerate.

For the stencil, combine 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon nutmeg, 1 tablespoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Apply the stencil to the pie and gently rub sugar-spice mixture into desired space with your fingers.



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2 thoughts on “GETTING IN THE MOOD

    1. Mary Simmons

      I’m gonna try it! Natalie Channin u inspire me. I am a seamstress/artist/lover/farmer/gypsy. savin muns to come to one of your workshops:}


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