1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon milk for brushing on pie crust

1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Heat the milk just until hot but not simmering. Remove from heat and add the butter. Set aside.

2. Lightly beat the eggs. Add the pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices. Stir until completely blended. Stir in the hot milk mixture.

3. Brush the fluted edge of the pie crust with milk. Pour the filling into the pie shell.

4. Bake 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with whipped cream.

Each serving: 326 calories; 6 grams protein; 43 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 15 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 113 mg. cholesterol; 222 mg. sodium.

Variations

Pumpkin-ginger pie: Reduce the cinnamon and nutmeg to one-fourth teaspoon each. Omit the ground ginger and stir in 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger root. Serve with ginger whipped cream made by whipping 1 cup heavy cream to form soft peaks and adding 1 tablespoon sifted powdered sugar and one-fourth teaspoon vanilla. Grate a 2-inch piece of ginger onto a piece of cheesecloth. Twist the cloth and squeeze out 2 teaspoons ginger juice (obtained when grating fresh ginger). Just before serving, stir the juice into the whipped cream.

Pumpkin-hazelnut pie: Make the classic pie. Cool to room temperature. Toss together one-half cup toasted chopped hazelnuts, 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle the mixture evenly on the top of the pie. Put the pie on a baking tray and cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil. Place it under the broiler until the nuts begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.