While trying out a new pumpkin pie recipe for a cookbook I was writing, I was suddenly struck by a feeling of betrayal. For the recipe I was using was not my mother's masterfully prepared pie that I always loved and anticipated at Thanksgiving. Even though she encouraged culinary exploration of a sort, certain recipes were deemed unchangeable in her kitchen. Pumpkin pie is one of them. Yet, here I was making a "spicy" pumpkin pie with brown sugar, molasses, and half-and-half, ingredients she would not recognize as part of the recipe pantheon. The spicy pumpkin pie gave me pause. What is it about my mother's pumpkin pie that I hold so dear?
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