Pumpkin Pie

Since this was my first time making a Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie EVER, I really wanted it to be great. So I turned to my go-to mentors: Tyler, Bobby, Ina, Paula, etc. for inspiration. I found a Bobby Flay recipe that sounded pretty good: ‘Throwdown Pumpkin Pie’ It was complicated enough to be impressive, yet came with enough explanation that it still seemed doable.

I wanted to go all out for this, so I did everything from scratch including crushing my own graham crackers, to scraping the seeds out of vanilla beans, to making my own bourbon-maple whipped cream. I believe it was quite a success!

Throwdown Pumpkin Pie

Recipe from Bobby Flay’s ‘Throwdown with Bobby Flay’

Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly warm
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Pumpkin Filling:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Bourbon-Maple Whipped Cream:

  • 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 2 tbsp good maple syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp bourbon (to your taste)

For the Crust:


(Yes, I’m old-school and grind my own grahams)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add all the ingredients for the crust to a food processor and pulse until combined; it should feel like wet sand, and just come together.

Spread the mixture evenly into a 9-inch pie pan, using your finger tips or the flat bottom of a glass. Firmly press the mixture over the bottom and sides of the pan.

Put the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until the crust is light brown and firm to the touch, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

For the Filling:

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugars in a large bowl. Add the butter, pumpkin, cream, spices, salt and vanilla seeds and whisk to combine.

Strain the mixture into a bowl.

Pour the strained mixture into the baked pie crust and bake until almost set, about 1 1/2 hours.

Remove and let come to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled, if preferred.

Cook’s Note: The filling makes more than what is needed to fill the pie shell. You are able to freeze the excess. I made another half-pie (taste tester for the cook.. you know, to make sure it wasn’t poison..)

For the Whipped Cream:

Combine the cream, vanilla seeds, syrup and bourbon in a large chilled bowl and whip until soft peaks form.

Garnish each piece of pie with a dollop of the whipped cream before serving.

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