When I was in university, I worked as a waitress at a low-end (but good!) breakfast/brunch restaurant in Atlanta. It wasn’t in the best part of town. One evening – evenings are slow at breakfast restaurants – I told the cook that I had to make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Willie, the cook, wrote down this recipe. Willie was really nice to me – made sure I was ok getting to my car, teaching me to make pancakes, giving me advice – and he was barely literate. We made an odd team; I was a waitress going to a high end university and he was ex-convict just barely able to read and making just enough money to scrape by. I had to adapt the recipe a bit, but Willie’s additions make it the best pumpkin pie ever!
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- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 large eggs
- 15 oz Pure Pumpkin (1 can)
- 12 fl. oz. Evaporated Milk (1 can)
- 1 9-inch deep-dish pie shell unbaked
- Whipped cream flavored with a little vanilla or rum (optional)
- Leave pie crust out to defrost, if necessary. Poke a few holes in the bottom and on the sides.
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Mix sugar, honey, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl.
- Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
- Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Depending on the oven, I usually have to put foil around the edges of the pie to protect the pie crust from burning.
- Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.
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