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Cooking with Fire

Cooking With Fire: Pumpkin Pie


Of all the classic Thanksgiving dishes, pumpkin pie may just be my favorite. Maybe it’s because when I was younger I convinced myself that I was really eating vegetables when consuming large quantities of pumpkin pie topped with extra whipped cream. 

But there is something about the smell combined with that nutmeg and ginger spice that just makes pumpkin pie seem right not only on Thanksgiving, but all throughout the fall.

These days, of course, pumpkin spice is all the rage; from lattes to candles to candy bars, it has invaded every pocket of fall food. But I don’t blame people: Pumpkin pie is delicious, and if we feel we can’t have our pumpkin pie every day of the fall, well, we’ll fake it with our morning coffee.

But we’re not talking every day. We’re talking one day: Thanksgiving. And I don’t want to alarm anyone, but Thanksgiving is less than a week away.

If you are in charge of bringing pie to your family’s gathering, then you may you may be wondering if you can sneak a store-bought pie into one of your baking dishes and pass it off as homemade. And I won’t lie; you might be able to, but you shouldn’t. 

No, pumpkin pie should be made from scratch, and since it is one of the simplest recipes, you really have no excuse. So this year, pull up your sleeves, tie your apron tight and fire up the grill, because we’re going to make a smoke-roasted pumpkin pie that will bring your friends and family to tears.

Smoke Roasted Pumpkin Pie


For the Pie Dough:

  • 18 oz (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed, frozen
  • 28 oz pastry flour
  • 4 1/2 oz sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 oz (3 tbsp) cold water
  • 1 egg white, beaten

 For the Pumpkin Pie Filling:

  • 1 sugar/pie pumpkin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger


  1. To make the pie dough, combine the dry ingredients in a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter. Mix on low until the butter is broken down into pea-sized pieces. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each egg is incorporated before adding the next. After the eggs are incorporated, add the cold water. Mix just until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured work surface. Press into a one-inch thick rectangle, without working the dough much. Wrap in plastic. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Divide in half. Freeze half for later use. Roll out the other half to 12” diameter. Place in a greased pie dish. Place in the refrigerator to chill.
  2. Preheat your grill pellet grill to 425ºF.
  3. Halve the pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a parchment lined sheet pan. Roast until fork tender, about 1 hour. Turn the grill down to 375ºF. Remove the skin. Place the flesh in a food processor. Process until smooth. Chill.
  4. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the pie dough, in the pie dish. Fill with dry beans to weigh down the dough. Bake at 375ºF until light gold in color, about 30 minutes. Remove from the grill. Turn the grill down to 325ºF. Remove the parchment and beans. Immediately brush with bottom and sides with the beaten egg white. Set aside.
  5. Combine all pumpkin pie filling ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk to incorporate. Pour the filling into the blind baked pie shell. Bake at 325ºF until the center jiggles, but is not liquid, and has reached an internal temperature of 175ºF, about 90-120 minutes. Remove from the grill. Cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator. Serve with whipped cream.