This is a delicious spin on traditional pumpkin pie. Smooth and velvety it feels more like pumpkin flan than pie. I like to use roasted sugar pie pumpkins, but canned pumpkin (not pie filling) will work too.

The gingersnaps are optional; I love the molasses gingery bite they give to overall experience.

The pie dough recipe makes 2 discs enough for a double crust pie or 2, pumpkin or open face pies. Instead of halving the recipe, make both and keep the other disc in the freezer for another pie! 

We sell this pie at our Farm to Table Cafe in the San Francisco Ferry Building, too. So if you're not up to making pie at home, just get over to our cafe and get your hands on a slice. 

Pie dough:

2 ½ cups King Arthur white flour (red bag) or Guisto’s Baker’s Choice organic all-purpose flour

16 tablespoons (or 8 oz) unsalted European style butter such as Kerry gold or Plugra cut into small ½ dice, cold but not frozen

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

4 tablespoons ice water

9” pie pan

In a wide bowl that you can comfortably get both your hands in, mix 2 cups of the flour and the sugar and salt together. Set aside the remaining ½ cup of flour. 

Add the butter and with your hands, mix the better and flour together, massaging the butter into the flour. There should be no chunks of butter visible. It will looked overworked, don’t worry. Sprinkle the remaining flour over the butter/flour mixture and gently mix together to break up the clumps of flour/butter and the mixture looks like small peas.

Add the water and with a rubber spatula, fold the water into the dough. Do not over mix or mix vigorously or dough will be overworked and tough. Remove from the bowl, divide in half and put each disc in plastic wrap and let chill/rest for at least 2 hours before rolling out.

Roll the dough out into a disc about 13-14 inches in diameter. Brush off excess flour and lay into your pie pan. Make sure the dough is pressed against the pan so there are no gaps. Cut the overhanging dough about an inch wider than the rim. Fold the overhang back over and crimp the edges on the rim of the pan with a fork or your thumb.

Pre-heat oven to 350⁰.

Freeze the shell for about 10 minutes. (Or while oven comes to temperature)

Lay some parchment in the shell and using ceramic weights or beans fill the pie shell. Bake for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove the pie weights. This can be done a day or several hours ahead of time. If making filling right away, turn the oven up to 375⁰.

Pie filling:

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Pinch of ground cloves

½ teaspoon kosher salt (or ¼ teaspoon if sea salt)

4 large eggs

In a heavy sauce pan mix the water and sugar together until thoroughly moist. Bring to a boil. Keep boiling brushing down any sugar crystals that form around the edge with a wet pastry brush.

Have the 2 cups of cream ready.  Let sugar boil; it will start to color, when it becomes a deep golden and start to brown, take off the heat. It will continue to cook. Swirl the pan until it becomes and deep golden brown. Cover your forearm and add the cream, it will bubbly furiously, put on burner and let simmer, stirring until the caramel is dissolved. Take off heat and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the puree, spices and salt. Whisk in the cream/caramel mixture. The whisk in the eggs until combined.

If using gingersnap crumbs, spread 3 tablespoons evenly over the bottom of the pre-baked shell. Gently pour the pumpkin filling into the shell, trying not to disturb the crumbs.

Bake in a 375⁰ oven for 45-55 minutes or until pie center no longer jiggles and is just set.

Wait at least 2 hours to serve. Refrigerate when cool and serve later.

- Chef Becky Courchesne, Co-Owner, Frog Hollow Farm

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