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I absolutely adore pumpkin pie, yet I eat only one slice a year. Just one. That's a lot of pressure for 1/8th of a pie.
There is plenty of space at the Thanksgiving table for the must-have dishes your family can't do without, but there is also some room to mix it up. Dessert is a convenient place to try out a new recipe that might become a tradition. Worst case scenario? It's still dessert, and dessert in general is pretty awesome.
If you are thinking about trying a new twist on an old favorite and you want YOUR pumpkin pie to be the one people spend the next year thinking about, this could be the recipe. This is a pie that lives up to the hype.
This recipe is inspired by Bobby Flay.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup oats (quick cooking, old fashioned, steel cut, whatever)
7 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups graham crackers, crushed
1 stick melted butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup brown sugar (dark or light is fine; I personally prefer light)
1/4 cup white sugar
15 oz pumpkin puree (I used canned)
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp clove
1/8 tsp mace*
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp melted butter
Maple Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
*No, not that kind of mace. While not a spice in everyone's pantry, mace is a personal favorite of mine. I like to add a dash anywhere I would use cinnamon. It has a bold, spicy flavor; I always think of it as a kind of "dessert pepper". If you aren't into it, you can omit this one.
Firing the oven: this is a pretty low temperature recipe, perfect for a day or 2 after you have fully fired your oven for pizza. You can build a small fire for the cinnamon crunch topping. If you are starting cold, fire your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. Cinnamon Crunch Topping: Combine the flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon and butter with a pastry blender or food processor until the you have a crumbly mixture. Spread the mix out on a sheet pan lined with foil. Build a small fire (or use the fire you are heating your oven with) to toast the topping, stirring occasionally, until it is brown and becoming crisp, about 5 minutes. It will further crisp as it cools, so don't worry too much if it is still a little tacky when it comes out of the oven. Set aside.
2. Pie Crust: Crush the graham crackers with your pastry blender or food processor and combine with 1 stick melted butter and cinnamon. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Try to get the sides as close to even with the rim of the plate as possible or your crust will be engulfed by custard (this was the fate of my pie and it was still delicious). Brush the surface of the crust with beaten egg and bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is set.
3. Pumpkin Custard: Whisk together all of the pumpkin custard ingredients listed, in the order in which they are listed, and periodically stir as you are adding to ensure everything is combined. Place the pie plate on a cooking sheet and pour the custard into your pie crust. The pie goes into the oven, without live fire, for 30 minutes. Check to be sure your edges aren't browning too fast (you can tent the pie with foil if it's looking a bit dark). Bake an additional 15 minutes. The edges should be set but the center should still jiggle every so slightly.
Browning at the edges good. Burning at the edges bad.
4. Cool the pie at room temperature for 2 hours.
5. Maple Whipped Cream: Whisk cold heavy cream, syrup, and vanilla together briskly until soft peaks form. If whipping by hand, use the largest whisk available. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the top of your pie and finish with crumbled cinnamon crunch topping. Reserve the extra crunch for serving.
I like this recipe because it brings textural elements of crunch and cream to plain pumpkin pie. It is rich, satisfying, and has a good balance of sweet and spicy flavors. Plus, it's pie, and on Thanksgiving it's pie for the win.
Thanks for joining us for our Thanksgiving Recipe Series. We would love to see pictures of your holiday wood-fired creations. We might even feature them on social media! Send your shots to firstname.lastname@example.org.