Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crunch
FROM YANKEE MAGAZINE
While there are close to a million pumpkin-pecan pie recipes already chugging around the internet, this is the only one that allows you to take a fully functional pumpkin pie and— very briefly— blast on a layer of pecan praline under the broiler.
Until I tasted this hybrid pie myself, I assumed it would be sweet-on-sweet and over the top. But this particular mash-up brings out the best in both. There’s not much sugar in the pumpkin base, so the gooey praline topping brings out the pumpkin’s savory, spiced side, and the slick pecan crackle up top gives clarity to the extreme smoothness of the custard below. With either layer alone, it would be easy to get bored and move on, but not here.
It might sound risky to subject a custard pie to such intense heat, but its time in the danger zone is very brief, and this actually allows you more control: sizzle it exactly as long as you like, rotating and checking when you want. Want to serve it still warm and bubbling? Do it. I like giving mine enough time to cool so that a thin crystalline shell can form.
1 blind-baked and cooled 9-inch (23cm) piecrust made from 1/2 portion No-Stress Pie Dough
1 (15- ounce/425g) can pumpkin purée
1/2 cup (120g) heavy cream
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon dark rum or bourbon
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 cup (115g) pecan halves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (100g) lightly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons heavy cream Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
1 To make the pumpkin pie, heat the oven to 350°F (175°C), with a rack in the center.
2 Stir together the pumpkin purée, cream, sugar, eggs, rum, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl, then pour into the cooled piecrust and smooth the top.
3 Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 325°F (165°C) and continue to bake until the filling sets, about 40 minutes more. A knife inserted 1 1/2 inches (4cm) from the edge should come out clean. The center of the pie may still wobble gently, but shouldn’t look liquidy. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack, about 2 hours.
4 To make the pecan crunch, at least an hour before serving, position a rack about 6 inches (15cm) below the broiler flame. Heat the broiler.
5 Stir together the pecans, brown sugar, butter, and cream in a small bowl. Spread the pecan crunch on top of the filling in an even layer, all the way to the edges. Protect the crust rim from burning by covering it with a ring of aluminum foil. Place the pie in the oven. Don’t go anywhere! Broil the pie, turning frequently, until the topping is browned and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Watch closely and don’t let the nuts turn black— though if any do, you can carefully scoop off the burned bits while the topping is still warm. Remove the foil ring and let the pie cool again on a rack. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream, if you like. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator airtight.
Excerpted from Food52's Genius Desserts by Kristen Miglore. Copyright Ten Speed Press, 2018.
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