Cream Cheese Can Take Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie To New Heights

There are few desserts more synonymous with Thanksgiving than pumpkin pie. A classic pumpkin pie recipe is pretty hard to mess up because it's so simple: Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, pour the mixture into a pie crust, and bake. Simple recipes, like the one shared above, can feature ingredient lists as minimal as five, which is enough to yield a great-tasting pie you'd be proud to serve after a Thanksgiving meal. However, the problem with simplicity sometimes lies in what you might be depriving yourself and your guests of eating. Upgrading a classic recipe to a deep-dish version with cream cheese allows everyone to enjoy a smoother, creamier, and tangier pumpkin pie. 

Why make a deep-dish pumpkin pie? Standard pie tins are usually 1 to 1¼ inches deep, while deep dishes can measure between 1½ to 2 inches. Deep dish pie crusts, which you can also find in the supermarket if you want to skip making a homemade crust, typically hold up to 7 cups of pie filling. Ultimately, what you will achieve by adding cream cheese to pumpkin pie is a finished treat akin to cheesecake, which is usually on the deeper side to let the eater enjoy a more luxurious dessert. Pumpkin pie with cream cheese might not be as rich as full-blown cheesecake, but the deeper filling height delivers the same satisfaction as sliding a fork down a perfectly set cheesecake.

What to avoid when making a deep-dish pumpkin pie

We've alluded to the overall ease of making a standard pumpkin pie, but it's important to note that adding more ingredients naturally makes the process a bit more complex. When it comes to the crust, double-check the label to see that you're buying a deep-dish size. If you're endeavoring to make a homemade pie crust, there are some pitfalls you want to avoid. First, sufficiently roll out your pie dough so you're not left with a too-thick crust after it's cooked: ¼-inch thickness should be perfect. The second is to wrap a sheet of foil around the crust's crimped edges while it bakes. This stops your crust from getting too dark in the oven since a deeper pie means a longer cooking time.

On the subject of cooking time, this could spell trouble for the pumpkin pie filling. The amount of pie filling can make it hard to gauge when it's perfectly cooked. The best way to test this is with the wobble method. If the pie is still quite liquidy when you shake the tin, it needs more time; if the filling doesn't wobble, it's overcooked. Finally, regarding the filling, it's crucial to thoroughly whisk the cream cheese to a smooth consistency at the start. Cutting corners here can result in noticeable lumps of cream cheese in the filling instead of the ideal silky smooth texture.