Really—if you want the single most perfect food—I think pumpkin pie is it. Eggs for protein, milk for dairy, pumpkin for vegetable, and sugar for dessert. What more do we need? A meal in a slice.
Eating pumpkin pie leftovers for lunch the day after Thanksgiving, and I mean ONLY pumpkin pie for lunch, we dubbed it the perfect food.
It’s too bad pumpkin pie is mentally reserved for Thanksgiving. I say I’ll make it at other times, but then I forget.
Pumpkin pie is a big hit with my family; I do make an exceptionally good one, if I do say so myself.
Here are my secrets:
Secret #1—Double the spices, and make the ginger a generous double portion. Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, but easy on the nutmeg (it’s gritty).
Secret #2—Add an extra egg, which makes three eggs per pie. Pumpkin pie is, after all, a custard pie, so why not load it up with eggs to make sure it sets nicely.
Secret #3— Use only the best shortening for the pie crust. (My husband says, “Use lard.”) And don’t overwork the crust; it gets tough. But then, your mother probably told you about pie crusts.
Aside from forgetting the sugar one year, here’s my most memorable pumpkin pie memory.
Living in England as a twenty-something, I at least had enough sense not to run up the American flag on the Fourth of July, unlike the Americans across the street—but I did invite my English neighbors over for Thanksgiving dinner. They were very gracious and indulged me.
Sally, however, wasn’t known for her tact. When I proudly brought out my beautiful pumpkin pies over which I had slaved—making the puree from scratch, since there was no canned puree to be had—Sally screwed up her nose and said, “Squash pie? That’s not a dessert.”
I wanted to laugh—and upend the pie on her head for a hat.