So much for the fillings. The pastry was another story. I was dissatisfied with Ms. Crocker's pastry. So I asked an elderly relative what made her pie pastry so flaky. She said she used lots of shortening. So I increased the amount of shortening in my own pastry and voila! Magic. Not only are they much better and flakier, they are also much easier to roll.
One other thing to bear in mind when making this pie: use evaporated milk. I've tried other things like Half & Half (when I found myself with no evaporated milk) and it's just not as good.
OldRoses' Pie Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
3 tablespoons cold water
1 can (1 pound) pumpkin (2 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 2/3 cups evaporated milk
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Measure flour and salt into bowl. Cut in shortening thoroughly. Sprinkle in water and mix until all flour is moistened and dough almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons water can be added if needed).
Gather dough into ball; shape into flattened round on lightly floured pastry cloth. With floured roling pin, roll dough 2 inches larger than inverted pie pan. Fold pastry into quarters; unfold and ease into pan.
Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pan. Fold and roll pastry under, even with pan; flute.
Beat eggs slightly; beat in remaining ingredients. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan. (To prevent spills, place pie pan on oven rack or on open oven door when filling with pumpkin mixture.) Cover edge of pastry with 2- to 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake 45 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. (Remove foil last 15 minutes of baking.) Cool. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.
Makes one 9" pie.
Recycle: pumpkin can, evaporated milk can