Detroit-Inspired Pumpkin Pie


Eric Hood

The best pie I ever tasted in my life was at Eastern Market in Detroit. The stall was called Love’s Pies and the family that staffed the counter sold their mom’s chess pie, blueberry pie, pumpkin pie, custard pie, sweet potato pie and bean pie. I humbly offer my best pie for your consideration. It’s nowhere near as good as Momma Love’s, but then again what is.

Makes 8 servings. One recipe pate brisée. See below pie recipe.

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tbs. Bourbon

2 tsps. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. salt

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons molasses 15 ounces cooked, cooled and riced fresh pumpkin or 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

Heat oven to 400°F. Roll out dough to 12-inch circle. Line a 9-inch pie pan with dough. Crimp the edges in a decorative pattern. Line the dough with parchment. Weight with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until crust is set. Remove weights and bake an additional 4 to 6 minutes or until crust is dry. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Meanwhile, combine sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt in large mixing bowl. Add eggs, egg yolks and molasses. Stir to mix well. Then stir in pumpkin then half-and-half. As soon as the partially baked pie shell is removed from the oven, pour filling into hot crust. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until edges are slightly puffed and the center is set. Let it cool on wire rack. Serve with whipped cream.


1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

7 tbs. chilled unsalted butter

1 egg yolk

3 to 4 tbs. ice water

Mix flour and salt together in mixing bowl. Cut butter into 1/2 inch cubes. Press butter chunks between fingertips and drop into the center of bowl. Toss to coat. With your fingertips, gradually work flour and butter together until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg yolk and 3 tablespoons of water together in small bowl to blend. Drizzle egg yolk mixture over flour mixture, tossing it with fork. Stir dough until mixture begins to come together. Press together with hands to form a rough dough. Turn out onto cool counter and press together into mound. Dough will not come together completely. Sprinkle with enough remaining water to reach this consistency if dough is very crumbly at this point.

With heel of hand, smear a small amount of dough away from you on counter. Scrape up and continue with remaining dough, mounding smeared dough together on counter. Press mound into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

This should be enough for 10-inch tart or six 4 1/2-inch tarts.

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