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brown sugar pumpkin pie

November 30, 2009
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So, the full name is something like Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar-Walnut Topping, but that doesn’t exactly roll off one’s tongue, so I lopped off most of the name and made this my brown sugar pumpkin pie.

If given the choice, I would never choose pumpkin pie out of a line-up as my favorite pie, but this one really was very nice.  The topping really adds a nice, crunchy, slightly salty layer to the pumpkin pie, which in my book bumps it up a few notches.  Instead of walnut, I substituted pecans because well, I think pecans kick walnut butt.  I was very pleased with the results.

Brown Sugar Pumpkin Pie
adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

Topping
1/2 cup pecan (original recipe calls for walnuts) pieces
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of fine sea salt

Crust
1 12-inch round pie crust

Filling
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 cup cream (recipe calls for whipping cream, but I just used medium cream and found the results just as good)

Directions

  1. Combine all topping ingredients in a food processor. Using on/off turns, blend to fine crumbs. Can be made 1 day ahead if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
  2. Position oven rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Transfer crust to 9-inch-diameter pie dish. Fold edges under and crimp decoratively. Freeze crust 20 minutes.  (I skipped this step and feel pretty good about life)
  3. Line crust with nonstick foil or parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is set, about 20 minutes. Gently remove foil and beans. Return crust to oven and bake until partially cooked and golden brown around edges, pressing down on crust with back of spoon if bubbles form, about 15 minutes. Cool crust on rack. Maintain oven temperature.
  4. Whisk brown sugar, eggs, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in medium bowl. Add pumpkin and cream and whisk until well blended and smooth.
  5. Pour filling into crust. Bake pie until filling is firm, covering crust with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 30 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle topping evenly over top of pie. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F; continue to bake pie until filling is set and slightly puffed in center, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.
  7. Serve with fresh whipped cream (I added cinnamon to my whipped cream which really complemented the dessert well).
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