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We love pumpkin pie, but we don’t love how dense and cloying it can be. We wanted a lighter, fresher take on this must-have Thanksgiving dessert. We started with our simple, fuss-free pie dough, which handles any amount of abuse or misuse during mixing and rolling. It’s made effortlessly in the food processor, and it can be prepped and frozen up to a month ahead. It was designed for blind baking and resists slumping and shrinking. For our filling, canned pumpkin puree was a great place to start, but we intensified the flavor by giving it a quick sauté with dark brown sugar. This simmers off excess moisture and lends caramel flavors to the mixture. Deglazing the pan with bourbon added a complexity we loved, but an equal amount of orange juice worked well, too. Crème fraîche gave the filling tang and richness that other dairy products couldn’t match.
15-ounce can pumpkin puree
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