In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar and ground ginger with a fork. Stir in crystallized ginger and make sure each little piece gets coated with flour so they don't stick together. Mix in Crisco shortening with a fork or your fingers, then cut cold butter into ¼ pieces and sprinkle them into the flour mixture. Mix with your fingers some more – until mixture resembles very coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle vinegar over mixture and toss to combine. (The theory is that a bit of acid helps relax the gluten formation that would otherwise toughen the pastry.)
Sprinkle ice water over the top and stir with a wooden spoon until a ball forms. Press into a ball and let rest at least 10 minutes in the refrigerator before using. (I tend to let it rest a couple of hours, but you don’t have to.)
Roll out and form your pie crust.
Prebake Pie Shell for a Crisper Crust
You can now bake your pie one of two ways - either just fill it and bake it, or prebake the pie shell. I prefer to prebake it: one of the main complaints people have about pumpkin pie is that it they get soggy, and prebaking alleviates this problem.
This is the method I use for prebaking the pie shell: Put your formed crust into the freezer for about 15 minutes. When you take it out, cover the edges with a ring of aluminum foil, snugging the foil right down onto the formed dough. Line the bottom of the pie pan with a circle of foil and then fill with beans, or use pie weights if you have them.
Bake 20-25 minutes at 325°.
Remove the beans and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let cool.
(There is a great post detailing this process here.)
Whisk eggs and egg yolks together in a large bowl.
Put minced ginger and 1/4 - 1/2 cup half & half in a small blender and blend until smooth. (Use only as much half & half as you need to.) This is way easier than grating fresh ginger. Way, way, way easier.
Mix pumpkin, spices, and pureed ginger into eggs.
When pie crust is prepared, heat remaining half & half over medium low heat until nearly boiling (do not boil it!). Remove from heat and add to the pumpkin mixture.
Baking the Pie:
Preheat oven to 350.
Fill prepared pie shell with warm pumpkin custard and bake for 30-60 minutes, depending on the size and depth of your pie. It is done when a knife inserted comes out clean.
Freeze your crystallized ginger first - this will make it much easier to mince!
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