The key to this recipe is timing. Start preparing the filling when you put the pie shell in the oven. The pie may be served slightly warm, chilled, or at room temperature. It can be served with a dollop of the brandied whipped cream.
Adjust oven rack to lower and middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Partially bake the pie shell on middle rack as directed in step 5 of American Pie Dough recipe. Meanwhile process the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a food processor fitted with steel blade for 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring it to a sputtering simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes.
As soon as pie shell comes out of oven, increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Whisk the heavy cream and milk into the pumpkin mixture and bring to a bare simmer. Process the eggs in food processor until whites and yolks are mixed, about 5 seconds. With the motor running, slowly pour about half of the hot pumpkin mixture through feed tube. Stop the machine and scrape in the remaining pumpkin mixture. Process 30 seconds longer.
Pour the warm filling into hot pie shell. (Ladle any excess filling into pie after it has baked for 5 minutes or so–by this time filling will have settled.) Bake until the filling is puffed, dry looking, and lightly cracked around edges, and the center wiggles like gelatin when it is gently shaken, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour.
When ready to serve the pie, beat the cream and sugar in electric mixer at medium speed to soft peaks; add the brandy. Beat to stiff peaks. Accompany each wedge of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.
Makes 8 servings