Since I recently acquired individual size tart pans, individual sized pumpkin pies seemed perfect for this time of year. I didn’t go with the typical pumpkin pie recipe that usually calls for sweetened condensed milk. Instead I added cream cheese, which made the pie so deliciously creamy, almost like a cheesecake, but not. You’ll have to try it and see for yourself, but you’ll never go back to an ordinary recipe.
In order to avoid cracks, you want to bake the pie(s) low and slow, preferably in a water bath to prevent the edges from baking too quickly. I do my pies at 325 degrees for about 50 minutes. The middle should still be wiggly when you remove the pie from the oven.
For the crust, I ground up gingersnap cookies, but you can use traditional pie crust or graham crackers as well. If you go with gingersnaps or graham crackers, a good rule of thumb is to mix about 1 tbs melted butter with 1 cup ground crackers. You want the crackers to be moist, but not soaked in butter. Pre-bake the crust at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes. Make sure the crust is hot when you put the filling in. You do not need to pre-bake the crust in a water bath.
Pumpkin Pie (Oven: 325 degrees)
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups canned pumpkin
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat the oven for the pie filling to 325 degrees F. The crust should already be baked.
For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and beat until incorporated.
Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate. Pumpkin Pie is always best after it sits in the refrigerator for awhile before serving.
This makes a lot of filling. Enough for 1 pie or lots of individual pies. Leftover filling will hold in the refrigerator for about 3 days. You can also freeze the filling.
As a perfect addition, grab some heavy whipping cream and whip it up for the top of the pie. It takes 3 mins and tastes delicious!