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Gisslen Pumpkin Pie

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Pies are my weakness, but I have high school students who are heading to a competition and we need to master this pie. The recipe comes from Gisslen's Professional Baking. The problem we've had is getting the crust to bake without overcooking the custard.


We can't blind bake. The pie bakes for 15 minutes at 450 and then 30-40 minutes at 350. Because of the volume of competitors, the students will move their pie from one oven to another. This means they go immediately from 450 to 350 (actually lower since they're convection ovens) without the gradual lowering of the heat.


This is the recipe the students are given:


Pumpkin Pie

Source:  Professional Baking, Gisslen



Raw Material



Baker’s %


Pastry Flour




Prepare by hand.

Shortening, all purpose




Rub shortening and flour until dough forms small pieces




(0.75 tsp)


Dissolve ingredients in water. Add to the above and fold over lightly until the liquid is absorbed.

Water (cold)




TOTAL         16.5



Pumpkin puree




Place the pumpkin in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whip attachment.


Sift together the flour, spices, and salt.


Add the flour mixture and sugar to the pumpkin. Mix at first speed until smooth and well blended. Avoid whipping air into the mix.


Add the eggs and mix in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.


Turn the machine to low speed. Gradually pour in the syrup, then the milk. Mix until evenly blended.


Let the filling stand for 30 – 60 minutes.


Stir the filling to remix. Fill the pie shell. Bake at 450˚F for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350˚F and bake until set, about 30 – 40 minutes more.

Pastry flour






0.06 (0.7 tsp)




0.125 tsp




0.125 tsp




0.125 tsp





(0.33 tsp)


Brown Sugar








Corn syrup




Whole milk






  1. Rest dough for half hour minimum.
  2. Prepare one 9” fluted pie shell from approximately 9 ounces of the pie dough

  3. Fill and bake as instructed above


Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



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what struck me is . . . that's a lot of water.

3.5 ounces by weight (units not shown) = 99+grams= near 100 ml = 6.7 tablespoons.

that seems a lot for a single 9" crust.

was the recipe developed for a pie dough squisher/former machine?  that would need to be a bit wetter than a manual roll out.


there is no butter - butter helps with browning the crust.


other ideas:

thin pie plate

stone/heat holding shelf

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I bake my pumpkin pies (at home) on the bottom rack on a preheated heavy aluminum griddle but it sounds as though that is not applicable to your conditions. 

I agree that the dough may be moister than necessary.  My crust has the same fat % (I use butter) but only 28% water.

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I also emailed the chef in charge of this competition. He's going to give us a little leeway as long as we follow standard baking procedures. We'll be experimenting tomorrow with using the deck oven, the convection on the lowest fan setting and on the bottom shelf, tenting with aluminum foil, and parbaking the crust. 


I also found the source recipe and rescaled it myself. I found some math errors that may account for a few of our more minor issues.

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