Air Fry a Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving

The air fryer is an indispensable part of many cooking arsenals these days, and some people plan on using it to take the pressure off their oven on Thanksgiving. While it makes quick work of things like peppers and salmon, there’s one thing you may have overlooked: pumpkin pie. Cooking a pumpkin pie in the air fryer can be easy to manage if you keep a couple of things in mind. Eggs are an important ingredient in pumpkin pie, but they need to be cooked gently. When custards, such as pumpkin pie, are heated, the milk and egg proteins unfurl and bond with each other. If, however, they are overheated, too many bonds form and the proteins clump. If you’ve ever had a gritty or watery pumpkin pie, that’s why. To prepare a pumpkin pie in the air fryer, line a pie pan with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights — dried beans, popcorn kernels, rice, etc. Place the crust in the air fryer heated to 350ºF on the “bake” setting and bake it for 10 minutes or until the edges are taking on color. When finished, the crust should be dry on the bottom. Use a fork and prick the bottom crust 5-6 times. Cook it for another 2 minutes so the bottom can cook through. Fill the baked crust with pumpkin pie filling and return it to the fryer for 5 minutes at 325ºF, then reduce the temperature to 300ºF and cook for another 10-20 minutes. The pie is done when the edges of the filling are just beginning to take on color and the center is set with the slightest hint of a jiggle. Cool the pie on a wire rack. Enjoy it warm, or chill it in the refrigerator if you prefer.