With its beautiful color and creamy-smooth filling, fragrant with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, this pie is the perfect answer to “What’s for Thanksgiving dessert?” While you can certainly use canned pumpkin puree, it’s quite simple to make your own using a fresh sugar pumpkin. Sugar pumpkins are the smaller, smoother skinned, deep orange cousins of the variety used for jack-o-lanterns.
Check the dates on your ground spices, replacing any that are more than a year old. Buying small quantities creates less waste.
1 9-inch chocolate crumb crust, store bought or homemade
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese (not low fat or whipped), at room temperature
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 C pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the center position. Place the cream cheese and sugar in a medium mixing bowl and beat by hand or with an electric mixer set at medium speed until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Pour and scrape the mixture into the pie shell and bake for 30 minutes or until the top looks dry except for a quarter-size spot in the very center. Cool on a rack at room temperature for 30 minutes. You can leave it at room temperature for up to six hours before serving; cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to three days; or wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap and then foil and freeze it for up to two months. Defrost at room temperature, still wrapped.