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The best tools for making pumpkin pie

Few things scream fall like the taste of fresh pumpkin pie. With its signature orange glow and warming combination of spices, this pie deftly walks the line between savory and sweet in the same way summer crosses into autumn. Making the perfect pumpkin pie is easy to master, but there are a few critical tools that make the process simpler and virtually guarantee your success. 

Steps for making the perfect pumpkin pie

Make the crust

Crust is arguably the most important part of the pie. Without a flaky, buttery base, all you’d have is custard. While this is not a terrible thing, a crust really makes the pie something special. Keep in mind:

  • A combination of butter and shortening produces the flakiest crust.
  • Ingredients should be very cold.
  • Handle the crust as little as possible.
  • Chill the crust before rolling it out.
  • Parbake — which means bake the crust before filling it — to ensure it’s crispy.

Mix the filling

Everyone has their own family recipe for pumpkin pie, but the basic ingredients are the same. They include:

  • Pumpkin puree
  • Milk, cream or condensed milk
  • Spices
  • Egg

There are vegan options for filling that can be made to satisfy this dietary restriction. These use egg substitutes and non-dairy milks. When making these types of pies, it’s important to follow the baking instructions exactly. This helps the filling set up properly.

Bake the pie

The best pie pans hold heat evenly for a golden brown glow. If you have parbaked your pie crust, you’ll just need to ensure the filling is fully cooked. Pies should be baked until there is a slight wobble in the center. The baking time for pumpkin pie is fairly long, so if the crust edge begins to burn at the edges, cover it with aluminum foil.

Cool and enjoy

Let your pie cool before serving. It’s OK if it’s slightly warm, but too warm and it won’t set properly. You can also cool the pie completely to set it and then warm it before serving. Let it rest on the counter for 10 to 20 minutes, and then move it to the fridge to set completely.

When you’re ready to serve, pop individual slices in the microwave, or warm the entire pie in a low-heat oven.

Fresh vs. canned pumpkin

A debate rages on about which is better, fresh or canned pumpkin. 

  • Fresh: Fresh pumpkin has no added preservatives or flavor. It’s best for savory dishes, but it requires additional steps for preparation.
  • Canned: Canned pumpkin is more convenient and velvety smooth.  It’s the preferred option for desserts when the texture needs to be like silk.

Everything you need to make pumpkin pie

Best KitchenAid Classic Measuring Cups

KitchenAid Classic Measuring Cups

These sturdy plastic cups come in 1-cup, half-cup, third-cup and quarter-cup sizes. They are available in a variety of colors. The plastic is free from harmful chemicals, and the rubber-tipped handles make for a firm grip. They are connected with a plastic ring.

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Best Farberware Color Measuring Spoons

Farberware Color Measuring Spoons

Linked by a sturdy plastic ring, these colorful plastic measuring spoons come in 1-tablespoon, half-tablespoon, 1-teaspoon, half-teaspoon and quarter-teaspoon measures. They have clear, easy-to-read numbers and are dishwasher-safe. 

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Best Spring Chef Professional Pastry Cutter

Spring Chef Professional Pastry Cutter

The handle is thick rubber for a firm grip and stainless blades for easily cutting through frozen butter and stiff dough. Professional chefs prefer the large size, but it’s available in a smaller size. Choose from handles in seven colors.

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Best Old Dutch Solid Copper Stone Hammered Bowls

Old Dutch Solid Copper Stone Hammered Bowls

These gloriously luxe hammered copper bowls bring a touch of elegance to your baking. The bottom is flat for stability, and the copper material works for beating perfect whipped cream and egg whites.

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Best Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin

Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin 

This pin is made of sturdy beechwood. It comes with colorful removable rings that indicate the thickness of the dough you’re rolling. Measurements on the pin indicate the size of the dough you’re rolling, too.

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Best Ateco Stainless Steel Bench Scraper

Ateco Stainless Steel Bench Scraper

The scraper has measurements on the blade that are clear and easy to read. The handle is either molded as part of the scraper or firmly attached to pick up thick, heavy doughs — choose from a steel, plastic or wooden handle.

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Best Pyrex Easy Grab Glass Pie Plate

Pyrex Easy Grab Glass Pie Plate

This set of two pie plates are fluted for a beautifully decorative crust. The sturdy tempered glass lets you see when your crust is golden brown. They are dishwasher-, freezer- and microwave-safe and come with a two-year limited warranty.

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Best KitchenCraft Tub Of Ceramic Baking Beans

KitchenCraft Tub of Ceramic Baking Beans

Use the ceramic baking beans for parbaking crust. Line your unbaked pie crust with parchment paper and add the entire tub of beans to prevent crust bubbles and evenly bake the crust. These come with a 12-month warranty. 

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Best Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil

Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil

Reynolds is a trusted brand for kitchen tools. This 200-square-foot roll of foil is 12 inches wide and tears easily for use. It’s also available as recycled foil.

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Best All-Clad Cook And Serve Stainless Steel Pie Server

All-Clad Cook and Serve Stainless Steel Pie Server

It’s made of beautifully polished stainless steel for an elegant and durable finish. The handle is ergonomic and comfortable to hold. It’s 10 inches long and easily serves pies of the same size. The solid edges can also be used to slice pie, and it’s dishwasher-safe.

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Best Silpat Half-Size Nonstick Baking Mat

Silpat Half-Size Nonstick Baking Mat

This is a set of two dishwasher-safe mats. Each measures 11.6 inches by 16.5 inches and fits a half-sheet pan. The surface is nonstick and perfect for rolling out pie crust, and the fiberglass core is coated with silicone. 

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Best iboodi Cream White Porcelain Dessert Plates

iboodi Cream White Porcelain Dessert Plates

Let your pie be the star of the show with these simple white porcelain plates. Each measures 6.5 inches. This set of six is safe in the microwave, freezer and dishwasher.

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