Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Pie...with a twist!

My goodness, it feels like ages since I've baked a pie! Cherry pie on the 4th of July, I think, was the last, which is hard to believe. For awhile there, my goal was to try a new recipe each weekend; that clearly hasn't been happening though! Somebody needs to tell my friends to stop doing / wanting to do so many awesome and fun things so I'll have some down-pie-baking-time. Or...not.

So I finally stepped up and decided to take a friend's, yep, 25th birthday, as the perfect occasion to try a new pumpkin pie recipe. Different from the traditional recipe I've made for years, this recipe from Epicurious uses brown sugar in the filling, and a crumbly topping of chopped walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mmm. Except, I'm "allergic" to nuts, and partial to topping my one-crust pies with crust cut-out designs, so I chose to try incorporating the blend of brown sugar and cinnamon in the bottom of the crust, adding a little flour to replace the thickness of the walnuts. I thought about adding brown sugar and cinnamon to the crust...perhaps next time! I also want to try this with a pie pumpkin, but this time, I used organic canned pumpkin.

I love adding cut-outs with the extra pie crust dough to the top of my single, or even double crust pies! With double crust, they serve to hide any inperfections in your crust-laying job (I'm still practicing this skill...), and I think they're pretty! The crimped heart cookie cutter is one passed down to me from my great-grandmother.

Here's the recipe, as originally printed:

Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar-Walnut Topping, from

Yield: Makes 8 servings


1/2 Cup walnut pieces
1/4 Cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of fine sea salt

1 Cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 Cup canned pure pumpkin
1 Cup heavy whipping cream

For topping:
Combine all ingredients. Using on/ off turns, blend to fine crumbs.
Note: If you're following my lead, and melting this into the crust, you can use probably about 1/4 of these ingredients. And if you don't use the walnuts, no need for a blender!

For crust (standard crust recipe):
Position oven rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350 F. Transfer crust to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Fold edges under and crimp decoratively. Freeze crust 20 minutes.

Line crust with non-stick foil, and fill with dried beans or pie weights (I simply prick the crust all over with a fork). Bake until crust is set, about 20 minutes. Gently remove foil and beans. (At this point, add "topping" mixture, covering bottom of crust evenly). Return crust to oven and bake until partially cooked and golden brown around edges (and brown sugar blend is melted and bubbly).

Cool crust on rack. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling:
Whisk brown sugar, eggs, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in medium bowl. Add pumpkin and cream and whisk until well blended and smooth.

About to go in the oven!
Pour filling into crust. Bake pie until filling is firm, covering crust with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 30 minutes.

*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. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

There ya have it! In all our celebratory excitement, and, given the fact that it was a weeknight, we never made it back to my friend's to polish this off, so I actually haven't tried this one yet! But my apartment still smelled amazing for an entire day and a half after I baked this, so that has to count for something, right? Bon appetit! Let pumpkin season commence.


  1. Looks delicious. Started following you on twitter - @royallance. Keep up the great work!

  2. Thanks for the kind words, and the follow!