Pecan Pumpkin Pie

Just in time for the holidays, I present to you the Pecan Pumpkin Pie. This is a pie for those who want to bake something for their holiday dinner and can’t decide which one to concoct. And this is also a pie for those of you that can’t decide which slice you want for dessert. This tasty pie comes courtesy of The Gourmet Cookbook, edited for the maximum delicious by Ruth Reichl.

The crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 stick (8 tbsp) cold, unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch squares

1/4 tsp salt

3-4 tbsp ice water

Blend together flour, butter, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips, or pastry blender (or do what I did and pulse in a food processor) until mixture resembles a course meal with pea-size lumps of butter. Evenly add 3 tablespoons of ice water in mix and mix (or pulse) until combined. Squeeze a small handful of dough: if it doesn’t hold together add ice water a half tablespoon at a time, mixing or pulsing until incorporated. Don’t overwork the dough or pastry can become tough, which is great for street fighting but not pie making.

Turn dough onto work surface and split into 4 portions. With the palm of your hand, smear the portions in a forward motion to help distribute the butter. Gather the dough together into a ball. Place dough on plastic wrap. Press it into 5 inch disk. Wrap and place in refrigerator until firm, at least an hour. The dough can be kept for up to 1 day, just so you know…

While you’re waiting for the dough to firm up, make your fillings.

The pumpkin filling:

3/4 cup canned, solid pack pumpkin

2 tbsp packed light brown sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tbsp sour cream

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth. Set aside.

The pecan layer:

3/4 cup light brown syrup

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/3 cups (5.5 oz.) pecans, chopped if you need to do such a silly thing

In a large bowl, mix corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla , zest, and lemon juice until well combined. Stir in pecans. Set aside.

Yay! now you just have to assemble everything…

Place oven rack in center position. Pre-heat your oven to 375F. It’ll take about 8 minutes to heat up. that will provide you the time to get your pie shell ready.

Pecan Pumpkin Pie

Pecan Pumpkin Pie


Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface, using a rolling-pin to make a 13 inch circle. Transfer to a 9 inch pie plate and trim excess to leave a 1/2 inch overhang. fold it under and crimp the edge as desired. Lightly poke the crust in several places along bottom with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes if desired  (I didn’t put it in the fridge). Line with foil and place pie weights, rice or dried beans onto foil. Place on center rack and bake for 20 minutes. carefully remove foil and weights and bake pie shell until lightly golden, 6-10 minutes more. Remove from oven (leave oven on) and allow shell to cool.

Once shell is cool, evenly spread pumpkin filling over bottom of shell.

Carefully spoon pecan filling over pumpkin layer.

Bake the pie until crust is golden and filling is puffed, about 35 minutes (center should still be slightly jiggly). Cool completely on a rack.

The flavor of this pie really pops. It gives both the smooth spiciness of the pumpkin layer and the sweet caramelized pecan layer.  It’s like a festive holiday in your mouth! The interesting thing about the flavor is that it’s so sweet, even with less-than-usual sugar fixing. I really enjoyed baking this because it was pretty easy. And the wait is worth the effort. My wife liked it too and suggested this be a tester for Thanksgiving. This pie will be one of the few (I’m not sure how many I’ll make, maybe 3) I end up making for the holiday. Have a great Thanksgiving and if I don’t add to the blog during this most wonderful time of the year, have a great holiday:)










Pie #51 – Home Made Pumpkin Pie

This has been a pretty lazy weekend. The only item of note is that myself and my wife are now volunteers with Austin Pets Alive! We have the t-shirts to prove it:) We’re looking at a couple of different areas to help out, but we’re pretty interested in fostering some cats. She would also like to do

It’s homemade. So much better.

the kitten bottle feeding thing with the kids. They will probably love that. Onward toward something new…

We’re pretty close to Thanksgiving so I decided this would be a good weekend to make pie number 51, homemade pumpkin pie. I made the pumpkin purée from scratch. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and, besides some minor spillage drama, it went well. If you are so inclined, I highly recommend this one…

The crust!:

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

10 tbsp. (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

3 tbsp. cold water

In a food processor, mix the flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and blend using on/off turns. Process until coarse meal forms. Add water and blend using on/off turns. Add water by teaspoon if dough seems dry. Gather dough into a ball, flatten and chill for at least one hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 13 inch diameter circle. Transfer to a 9 inch pie dish. Trim the edges to 1/2 inch off side. Fold the extra dough under the edge and flute or crimp your edge. Chill at least an hour.

Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Line the crust with foil and place dried beans or pie weights. Bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the crust is a light brown. Set aside to cool.

While the crust cools its jets, you can make your pie filling.

The filling!:

1 medium size pumpkin that should yield one cup of purée

2 tbsp. corn syrup

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1-1/2  tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour

2 eggs, separated

1 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup milk (1%, 2%, or whole, your choice)

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. Captain Morgan Coconut Rum, pouring liberally (because I’m liberal, if you’re conservative, you can pour conservatively)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

To make the purée, Cut your pumpkin in half.  Clean seeds and string at core. Fill microwave safe dish with 1/2 to 1 cup water and place your halved pumpkins in the dish, with core facing up. Cover in plastic wrap and microwave on “Vegetable” setting. Approximately 7 minutes or until very tender. Remove from microwave and, using a spoon, separate the meat from the rind. Put immediately into a large bowl and using a mixer, blend until smooth.

In a small bowl, beat egg whites until foamy.

In the mixing bowl with the purée, combine all ingredients except the egg whites.

Blend mixture for one minute.  Fold in the egg whites and pour into the pie shell.  Bake for 10 minutes then  reduce heat to 350 degrees.  Bake an extra 30 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

This pie is so good. Fresh pumpkin is so much better than canned. It also got a big thumbs up from the kids. A friend was here to sample the pie as well. He wants to make it for the Thanksgiving dinner we’ll be hosting here at the house. I’m more than happy to have someone else carry that torch:) I still need to make one more. One more!!! And that one will be a simpler version of something that my friend over at Summer of Pie has done. You’ll have to guess which one.

To the finish line…

Pie #49 – Halloween Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Our annual Halloween party is happening Friday. Each year, the Agency has a party with pumpkin carving, a bake-off, and costume contest. I’ve been a purple monster, a bunny with a black eye, a cow, and this year, my favorite animated character, Snoopy. I also baked a pie for the bake-off. Pie 49 is a Halloween Pumpkin Cheesecake pie. This recipe comes courtesy of You Want Pies With That? on blogspot. The creator of this recipe is Branny of Branny Boils Over. She won a pie contest with this recipe and I’m hoping to win as well. I’m hearing there’s nifty prizes:)

The crust!:

And the holiday season is here...

8 oz. Chocolate Teddy Grahams

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Blend the Teddy Grahams in a food processor until fine. Add the butter and blend until joined. Pour into a 9.5 inch pie pan and, working from the center out, press along bottom and up sides of pan. Refrigerate until you’re ready to add the filling and cheesecake.
The filling!:

1 15oz. can packed pumpkin puree (I ended up using about 2 cans as there wasn’t enough for a 9.5 in. dish)

1/2 cup evaporated milk

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. salt

4 eggs

For the cheesecake (you’re going to have some leftover):

8 oz. cream cheese

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup white sugar

To make the pumpkin filling, beat the eggs and sugar. Add the spices, puree pumpkin, and evaporated milk. Whisk to combine.

To make the cheesecake filling, beat cream cheese with a mixer until softened. Add sugar and blend in egg. Add vanilla. Blend until smooth.

To assemble the pie: pour pumpkin filling into graham cracker crust. Pour cheesecake filling into a zip top bag and snip off end. Or if you have a piping kit, you can use that as well. To make the spider web design, lightly pipe concentric circles of cheesecake into the pumpkin filling. Using a clean knife, drag the blade of a knife from the outer edge of the pie towards the center, wiping the knife between drags.

Bake in a 300 degree oven for 60 minutes.

The pie looks good but I won’t be tasting this tonight.  It will wait unti the  finished product is presented at the bake-off. It’s a gamble. I’ll let you know if it worked out.

Until number 50…

Pie #5 – Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

First off, Happy Holidays! I hope that whoever reads this had a lovely holiday with family and friends. On Christmas Eve, our house hosted a small group of friends and neighbors and an abundance of munchies was shared. Aside from seafood linguini, crabcakes, crab legs, and shrimp, there was pie:)

Pumpkin Chiffon is nothing more than whipped cream and pumpkin butter pie. But man is it yummy!

To put this one together you need:

1 jar (11 oz.) of New Canaan Farms pumpkin butter

1 5.8 oz. box of Instant vanilla pudding ( i didn’t have enough so I added a couple of tblsp of vanilla yogurt too)

1 pt. heavy whipping cream

graham cracker pie crust

nutmeg and chopped pecans

Mix the pumpkin butter and vanilla pudding mix into a 2 qt. bowl. Using an electric mixer, add the whipping cream into the mixture until it forms stiff peaks. Pour into the pie crust and chill for at least an hour before serving. Garnish with nutmeg and pecans. Voila! Christmas Eve desert for friends! And now 365 days till Christmas…