It’s not a secret that the best pumpkin to bake would be the sugar pumpkin! Traditional pumpkin pie gains depth of flavor with roasted fresh pumpkin and just the right amount of warming spices — but first you have to find the right sugar pumpkin (also known as pie pumpkins) for the season’s favorite dessert.
This fall veggie is a member of the gourd family; find one at a farmers’ market or supermarket. Choose smooth, deep-orange pumpkins that are heavy for their size, without cracks or soft spots. Store in the pantry for up to one month.
Sugar pumpkins are very versatile. Try pumpkin roasted with olive oil and herbs to serve as a side dish, or tossed with pasta and creamy cheese for a main dish. We pureed sugar pumpkin to enjoy on its own, to bake in a gratin, or to use in a traditional pie or an updated tart.
Unlike deeply ridged, hard squash such as acorn, smooth sugar pumpkins are easy to prep. Cut off the top and bottom ends, then use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. For tougher skin, make a few more passes with the peeler.
Most pumpkin pies are best served chilled, which can cause moisture to form on the surface. To remedy, gently blot with a paper towel before slicing and garnishing.
Pumpkin Pie Recipe
All-purpose flour, for surface
Pate Brisee for Traditional Pumpkin Pie
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
Whipped cream, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll pate brisee disk 1/8 inch thick, then cut into a 16-inch circle. Fit circle into a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold edges under.
2. Shape large, loose half-circles at edge of dough, then fold into a wavelike pattern to create a fluted edge. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Freeze for 15 minutes.
3. Cut a circle of parchment at least 16 inches wide, and fit into pie shell. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges of crust begin to turn gold, about 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.
4. Meanwhile, whisk pumpkin, sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla, eggs, and milk in a large bowl.
5. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into cooled crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 50 to 55 minutes. (If crust browns too quickly, tent edges with a strip of foil folded in half lengthwise.) Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours (preferably overnight). Serve chilled with whipped cream.
Deep-Dish Pumpkin-Meringue Pie
Bakers looking to deviate from the familiar will find the nuanced flavors they expect within these whimsical alternatives:
More from Martha Stewart:
Homemade DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte
Quick, One-Pot Meal Ideas To Feed the Whole Family
15 Kitchen Shortcuts That Will Change the Way You Cook
One-Pot Skillet Macaroni and Cheese
No-Mess One-Bowl Desserts: 12 Recipes for Lazy Bakers