Classic Pumpkin Pie

Libby’s Pumpkin Pie is … well… a classic… always perfect… easy to make… what could be better?
I do have a few tips to make your pie look picture perfect.
The crust… homemade is best but if you’re short on time.. Pillsbury will do fine. 
To crimp the crust…  
I find… laying the pie crust into the pie plate… and having a bit of over-hang helps enormously.   Leave about an inch of over-hang all the way around the edge.
An easy way to do this is lay the dough over the pie plate and measure with a ruler at different points around the pie plate… pushing the ruler in a bit to mark it.  Then use kitchen shears to cut around the dough using the marks you made with the ruler as reference points.  Save the scraps for quick fixes when crimping.
Just roll the excess dough along the edge so it is a bit higher .. the key here is a thick edge and trying to get it as even as possible all the way around.
Then use one hand on the inside and one hand on the outside.  Using the index finger on the inside to gently press the dough between the index finger and thumb on the outside to create a U shape.  Repeat the steps all around the edge, spacing them about an inch apart.
About those quick fixes when crimping… if you get to an edge that is a bit thinner than the rest… just use the scraps you saved when trimming the edge.  Just tear off a bit of dough… dip your finger in a bit of cold water and just press it into the thin area to add a bit more dough to it and patch it.. it will be seamless after baking.
More Pie Crust Tips
Make sure you pierce the dough with a fork over the bottom and sides to prevent puffing up during baking.
Refrigerating the dough about an hour before baking also helps the dough “hold up” during baking.  Chilling helps relax the gluten in the dough.
To prevent over-browning of the crust during baking… after the first 15 minutes of baking..  cover the edge with foil. 
An easy way lay foil on your pie is cut a 12 inch piece of foil and cut out a 7-inch circle in the center… lay the foil over the pie.. although Pillsbury suggests tucking the edge under.. I don’t do that.. I found the pie too hot and laying it carefully over the pie works well for me.
To prevent cracking as the pumpkin pie cools….  Cracking occurs after the pie is removed from the oven… what happens is that it still contains heat and continues to “cook”… over-cooking causes the custard to crack when the eggs in the filling “over-coagulate”…. To prevent this from happening.. be sure to remove the pie when the filling sets .. it should still jiggle a bit in the center when the pan is nudged.
Remember every oven is slightly different and practice makes perfect… so don’t be disheartened if your pie cracks… once sliced.. it is unnoticeable.. nothing a dollop of whipped cream can’t solve.
So if it happens.. the next time just shorten the time a bit… 
And finally ... if you use one of those disposable aluminum pie plates.. be warned..
This pie gets a bit heavy.. be sure to place it on a baking sheet when baking.... so you can remove it from the oven on the baking sheet... when transferring it to the cooling rack.. use wide spatulas slipped underneath the pie tin... otherwise you risk having it collapse on the floor when removing it from the oven... been there .. unfortunately done that.. lost one of the best looking pies I ever made.. splat right on my kitchen floor.
Here is Libby’s famous pumpkin pie recipe…. Now let’s get to baking!

Recipe:  Classic Pumpkin Pie
All you need:
 ¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 oz.) Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk
1 un-baked 9-inch deep dish pie shell
Whipped Cream for garnish
All you need to do:
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Prepare the pie crust in the pie plate and crimp the edge.  Pierce with a fork on the bottom and sides.  Set aside.
Mix the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in a small bowl.  Set aside.
Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the canned pumpkin and the sugar/spice mixture.  Slowly pouring the evaporated milk into the bowl, stir the mixture well.
Pour into the prepared pie shell.
Bake for 15 minutes in the pre-heated 425 degree F oven.  Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake for 40- 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  *See TIPS
After removing from the oven, cool on a rack for about 2 hours.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

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