Notes: Carolyn Weil of the Bakeshop in Berkeley makes her pumpkin pies from scratch, using Sugar Pie pumpkin. It has a dense, sweet consistency when cooked. Sugar Pie pumpkins are sold in farmers' markets, specialty produce stores, and some supermarkets, especially near Halloween. The squash keeps well for weeks if stored in a cool, dry place. Or you can freeze the cooked purée. The crust must be at least 1 1/2 inches deep. Most purchased pie crusts in pans are too shallow.
1 Sugar Pie pumpkin (about 3 lb.)
4 large eggs
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 cups dark corn syrup
1 3/4 cups half-and-half (light cream) or whipping cream
2 baked 9-inch pie crusts
How to Make It
Cut pumpkin in half crosswise and set cut side down in a 10- by 15-inch pan. Bake in a 350° oven until very soft when pressed, about 1 hour.
When cool enough to touch, scoop out and discard pumpkin seeds. Scoop pumpkin flesh from rind and discard rind. Smoothly purée flesh in a blender; you need 2 cups. Seal any extra purée in plastic freezer bags and freeze up to 6 months.
In a bowl, beat to blend the 2 cups pumpkin purée, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves. Stir in corn syrup and cream.
Set pie crusts in pans on a foil-lined baking sheet. Set baking sheet on the bottom rack of a 350° oven. Pour half the pumpkin mixture into each crust.
Bake until pie centers barely jiggle when gently shaken, 50 to 55 minutes. If crust rims start to get too dark, drape affected areas with foil.
Cool pies on racks. Serve warm or cool. If making ahead, cover and chill up to 1 day.