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Pumpkin. Pie. Combine Ingredients. Enjoy.

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Halloween always means three things. Costumes, candy, and pumpkins. And what better way to enjoy a pumpkin than baked up in a delicious pie? Once you carve the guts out of those suckers, you gotta do something with 'em. And we advocate eating those guts, preferably with a big scoop of whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream. Dieting is for after the holidays, kids. As Jack Handey once said, "When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it's not, mmmmmmmm, boy."

If you don't feel like rolling up your shirtsleeves and getting your Darth Vader costume dirty this year, you can also head to one of Los Angeles' pie-tastic eateries, where you can eat your fill of pumpkin pie easily. We've cobbled together some of the best pie places in town, for your culinary pleasures.

PIE 'N BURGER
913 E. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106

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Pie 'N Burger has been serving up delicious pie to the Southland since 1963. It's tucked away in Pasadena, but it's well worth the drive. Their menu boasts a huge amount of different types of pies, and you can wash them down with a burger. Or wash a burger down with some pie. Or make a pie burger. Hey, it's your stomach.

THE APPLE PAN
10801 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Home of arguably the best hamburger west of...the Atlantic Ocean since 1947, the Apple Pan shouldn't be overlooked for their pies as well. This no nonsense counter-style eatery will definitely leave an impression on you. Take a seat, slam-bang, you've been served. Delicious pie, and even better burgers. A real slice of Los Angeles history, order up.

FOUR 'N 20 RESTURANT AND PIE
4723 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91607

They don't have a pie with four and twenty blackbirds baked in it, but they do serve up enormous slices of delicious, homemade pies. And they use enough whipped cream on these things to make a Rose Bowl Parade float out of, but we're not complaining. Come for the pie, stay for the hot chocolate, and leave before you get locked in.

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If you're feeling adventurous and want to be a do-it-yourselfer, then read on and try out one of these three spooktacular pumpkin pie recipes.

THE GOOD

KAE'S SOUTHERN PUMPKIN PIE

1 can of pumpkin
1 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten slightly
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or good Kentucky bourbon (like Maker's Mark)
Cut a thin slice of "real butter" and cut into little pieces

Kae's Dairy Pie Shell:

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1 stick of real butter
1 cup of unbleached flour
6 tablespoons of ice water or more if needed
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Filling: Combine pumpkin, sugar, beaten eggs, butter, spices, etc. in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. Pour into pie shell bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit approximately 45 - 50 minutes or until pie is firmly set.

Shell: Use a pastry cutter to cut butter into flour, added ice water etc. and use hands to work into a soft ball. Use flour to assist in making your ball, go lightly on the flour. Roll out and place in your pie pan. Use a fork to prick holes in the bottom so your pie shell will cook evenly. The cinnamon really adds flavor to this pie recipe.

Also you can cook this recipe by doubling the pie portion and pouring into a glass casserole pan, (do not use a crust). Butter the bottom of the glass pan before pouring in pie mixture and cover top with brown sugar, broken pecans, and then take a stick of butter cutting into little tiny pieces and placing on the top of the brown sugar. Bake until set about 50 minutes at 350 degrees F. The top will be a brown sugar crunchy top and a pumpkin pie bottom. Sooooo gooood!!!! Cut into squares, serve with Cool Whip or whipped cream. It's a pie without a crust. I suppose you could use a crust for the bottom if you wanted to. This is always a hit for my family.

HINT: You want the pan to be wide and your pie filling to be about 3/4 of an inch thick. Not too thick so it will cook thoroughly.

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From: Kae Morrison (skmorr1@pop.uky.edu)

THE BAD (for your waistline)

PECAN PUMPKIN PIE

1 (9 inch) pie shell
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup solid pack pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 egg white
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Add pumpkin, then blend in milk.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the 2 whole eggs and separated egg yolk until light. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Beat the remaining egg white until soft peaks form, then fold into pumpkin mixture.
4. Sprinkle 1/2 of the pecans onto the unbaked pie shell. Pour pumpkin mixture over these, then sprinkle remaining pecans on top. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake 20 more minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. The filling will be slightly puffed, but will fall evenly upon cooling.

AND THE UGLY (sour cream in a pumpkin pie? Now THAT is frightening. Although in the spirit of Halloween, we'll try anything once)

SOUR CREAM PUMPKIN PIE

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Total time: 4 to 6 hours (including chilling)
8 servings

9-inch Double Pie Crust
2 eggs
2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 -1/2 cups sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Heat oven to 425ºF. Place cooling rack on countertop.
Prepare recipe for single pie crust.

Bake at 425ºF for 8 minutes. Reduce heat to 350ºF. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove crust from oven. Cool on cooling rack.

Combine eggs, pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add sour cream. Beat at low speed of electric mixer until well blended.

Pour filling into partially baked crust. Bake at 350ºF for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Remove pie from oven. Cool on cooling rack until room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Combine cream and confectioners' sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until thickened. Increase mixer speed to high. Beat at high speed of electric mixer until stiff peaks form. To serve, place mounds of whipped cream on top of cold pie.

And there you have it, folks. Have a Pumpkin Pie-rific Halloween! These pies can be made for any of the upcoming holidays, so get baking, and don't forget to invite LAist over when these babies are ready for eating.