A classic Thanksgiving dessert in the USA, pumpkin pie is warming and perfect for a cold evening. But it is not actually the American classic we all think.
A part of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is in many ways the quintessential American holiday. Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, it has been a national holiday on and off since 1789, with Abraham Lincoln formally making it a federal holiday in 1863. But its culinary connotations are just as important as its political ones: a big turkey, roasted and stuffed, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweetcorn, and cranberry sauce for the main course, and for afters, the inimitable pumpkin pie, with its sweet pastry base and gooey, spiced pumpkin filling.
However, pumpkin pie is not actually originally American. Back in the 16th century, French explorers of North America took the pumpkin (which grows indigenously there) back to France, from which it moved across to Tudor England. And it was in England, back in 1675, that pumpkin pie first appeared as a recipe in a cookbook. It was not until the early 1800s that the recipe started appearing in US or Canadian cookbooks, with pilgrims from England that moved to the US in the late 18th century taking the recipe back with them.
Cooking up a Pumpkin Pie
Every American family probably has their own way of making pumpkin pie, but at its heart, it’s a relatively straightforward dish. A piecrust is baked out in the oven until cooked through and then a delicious filling is made. What exactly goes in the filling is contentious, but some uncontroversial ingredients are pureed pumpkin, ginger, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, cloves and evaporated milk. The filling is then poured into the crust and the whole thing baked until the filling is almost set.
Hot or cold?
Pumpkin pie can be eaten hot or cold, but if you want it warm, you’re advised to let it cool after the first baking and then it heat through again to avoid it being insufficiently set in the middle. What matters more is that you serve it with a sizeable dollop of whipped cream!
If you want to get your hands on some Pumpkin Pie in Singapore, then DK Pizza Café offers a glorious deep-fried one. Or, if you want to try some other classic American pie flavours, like Bourbon Pecan Pie or Chocolate Chess Pie, then pick some up from The Beast.