1. Use freshly grated nutmeg
The little jar of "Pumpkin Pie Spice" is easy and convenient, but a few extra moments of measuring fresh spices will make all the difference. Cinnamon, all spice, ginger and cloves are all key, but the real secret is freshly grated nutmeg.
2. Make your own crust
You can't rival a homemade crust. Find a trusted recipe (like this vegan one here) and get our your pastry cutter.
3. Don't forget the egg wash
To get a golden brown shine on your pumpkin pie crust, don't forget the egg wash. Whisk an egg with a pinch of salt and lightly brush the crust with it for a perfect crust.
4. Pre-bake the crust
Before pouring in the pie filling, bake the crust for a few minutes in a pre-heated oven. This will help avoid ending up with a soggy crust.
5. Use part dark brown sugar
Brown sugar has a more intense flavor than white sugar, so if you like a richer pie try using half white and half brown sugar.
6. Roast and puree your own pumpkin
Making your own pumpkin puree is a little time consuming, but totally worth it. Some recipes call for steaming or baking the pumpkin, but we prefer roasting. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of vegetables and leaves the pumpkin with less water content - making a concentrated and flavorful puree.
7. Strain your filling
For a creamy and smooth texture, run the filling through a fine mesh strainer.
8. Don't Use Pumpkin
Let's be honest, on its own, pumpkin isn't the most flavorful vegetable out there. Try substituting a third to half of the pumpkin for candied yams, butternut squash, or sweet potato for a sweeter and more flavorful pie.
9. Always preheat the oven
For an evenly cooked pie with a flaky crust and good texture, always preheat your oven before baking!
10. Use real whipped cream
Do you know what the ingredients are in non-dairy whipped cream? Water, hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, skim milk, light cream, sodium caseinate, polysorbate 60 and sorbitan monostearate are all ingredients in store-bought whipped topping. The ingredients in homemade whipped cream? Cream, sugar.
Just do it.