Happy Thanksgiving! I hope this Thanksgiving found you surrounded with friends, family, and lots of good food. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays; in recent years, it’s been a relaxed day with my sister, mom, grandmother and I in the kitchen whipping up a variety of courses throughout the day. Everything from stuffed mushrooms, to a pumpkin-shaped cheese ball, to pumpkin martini’s graced our table. Of course, there’s always quite a selection of pies as well: apple, apple cranberry, and traditional pumpkin are the staples for our Thanksgiving dinner. As a kid, apple pie was always my favorite, but recently this pumpkin pie has been seriously stealing the show.
Call me crazy, but I actually didn’t like pumpkin pie much until I tried it with a crunchy streusel topping. I always found the texture rather boring, and sometimes too mushy. As a general rule, I try to avoid food that jiggles. Jiggling food kind of freaks me out; take Jell-O, for example, there are a few recipes that can make me enjoy it, but on the whole it’s really not my go-to. Luckily for you and me, this pie looks and acts nothing like Jell-O. The filling is perfectly smooth and creamy, with just the right amount of spice, and the walnut streusel adds a sweet and spicy crunch. The contrast in texture is what makes this pie anything but boring. Once you add streusel to your pumpkin pie, you’ll never go back!
I’m not sure if pie recipes get better with age, but I’m willing to believe it. This pie filling recipe came to me from my great, great, grandmother, but I like to think she wouldn’t mind that we updated the topping a little bit. The recipe may have lasted generations, but the pie won’t last a couple days before it’s gone! If you can, save a slice for breakfast. I can personally attest that this pie is even tastier for breakfast the next day.
As pie recipes go, this one is just about as easy as it gets. Mix together the ingredients for the filling in one bowl, streusel in another, and then gently sprinkle the topping over the pie. Protip: wait to pour the filling into your pie crust until you’ve made the streusel to a avoid a soggy crust on the bottom of the pie. Baking your pie at 400℉ for the first 15 minutes will also make sure your crust gets wonderfully flaky – just don’t forget to turn the heat down, or the pie filling might curdle after spending another hour in the oven!
The next time you need a good standby pie recipe, I suggest you try this incredibly simple, and wonderfully elevated pumpkin pie. And I promise, pumpkin pie will never be the same again without this streusel topping.
Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Streusel
Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes; Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1/2 tbsp ginger
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 and 1/2 tbsp flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, softened slightly (but not melted)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Roll out your favorite homemade or store bought pie crust and place in a 10-inch pie pan.
Preheat your oven to 400℉.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, flour, and sugar. Whisk eggs together in a separate bowl, then add to mixture and stir to combine. Slowly add milk while whisking until the pie filling is well combined.
In a separate medium bowl, combine all ingredients for the streusel. Blend with a fork, until only small crumbles of butter remain.
Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared crust.
Gently sprinkle streusel over the top of the pie. It should float on the top, but place it gently so that it doesn’t sink into the pie too much.
Bake pie at 400℉ for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden.
Reduce the heat to 350℉, and continue baking for about 1 more hour. When the pie is done, the filling will be set so that the center of the pie no longer jiggles (see! no jiggling food).