This is a Pakaluk family favorite. Marrying into the Barrows family brought about making it with a graham cracker crust. It’s a happy marriage.
graham cracker crust
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers, about 12-14 sheets
6-8 tbs butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional — I usually omit as there are lots of spices in the filling)
Finely grind graham cracker sheets in a food processor or in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin. The crumbs should be as fine as flour.
Add sugar, salt, and cinnamon (if using) and mix well. Drizzle in 6 tbs of butter (it’s fine to eyeball it) and mix with a fork. Keep adding butter as needed to get a consistency that sticks together when you pinch it with your fingers.
Dump into a deep 9inch pie pan. Even the mixture across the bottom of the pan and press until compact, making sure to get into the edge of the pan and up the sides. The bottom of a measuring cup helps to smooth the bottom of the crust out and the side of the measuring cup helps to pack the sides of the crust.
Now you need your crust to be firm before filling. You have two options: freeze or bake. To freeze, just wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for an hour or up to 24 hours. To bake, put in a 350 oven for 8-10 minutes. (I find pumpkin pies soften the graham crust either way, but baking brings out more of the flavor.)
New england pumpkin pie
1 15oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling)
1 tbs cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 12oz can evaporated milk or 1 1/2 cups milk
2 tbs molasses
2 eggs (well beaten)
Preheat oven to 350.
Sift together cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and sugar. Add pumpkin, and mix well.
In separate bowl, mix together evaporated milk, molasses, and eggs. Add to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
Carefully pour filling through a sieve (to catch any egg lumps) into prepared pie crust. Don’t over fill or you will have spillage. Carefully carry to oven, set the pie down to open the door, then place pie onto baking sheet (to catch any drips) and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the edges set but the center still jiggles when you nudge the pan.
Cool to room temperature before enjoying.
Crust from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book and filling adapted from the One-Pie Pumpkin can.