Gooey caramel, creamy pumpkin, savory crust… what could be better in a pie! I’ve actually made this twice in the last week – once for our Coop Thanksgiving potluck, and then since it was so good – I added it to my family’s Thanksgiving menu! I changed a few things when I made it the second time, a few things for the better and a few things that were better the first time! So hopefully, I’ve got the recipe nailed perfectly here and you can enjoy it just as much as we did!
I will warn you, this is a complicated recipe! There are many steps and it can take a long time. The steps themselves aren’t difficult or time-consuming, there’s just a lot of chilling, cooling, cooking and baking time so you’ll have to make sure you give yourself enough time. I think the best way to split it up is to make the candied pumpkin seeds and do both parts of making and chilling the crust (see below) on the night before, and then bake the crust, make the caramel, make the filling and bake it the day of.
I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family and friends! I am so thankful for my family and the blessing of being able to come home for this holiday. Enjoy this holiday season!
Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie, serving ~10
Recipe adapted slightly from FineCooking
1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons fine cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bourbon
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup half-and-half
Candy the pumpkin seeds:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in bottom third of oven. Line a small baking sheet with wax paper.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup, sugar, and salt. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir until evenly coated (add more maple syrup if needed). Spread them out in a single layer on prepared baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes to let them harden and then break them up into small pieces and set aside. (Can make up to 24 hours ahead – store in an air-tight container at room temperature.)
1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until mixture looks like coarse meal.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk and one tablespoon of ice water. Add egg mixture to food processor and pulse until mixture begins to come together, adding another tablespoon or two of ice water if needed. Gather dough into a ball and press slightly to form a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. After dough disk has chilled, lightly flour a work surface and roll dough out on it, into a 13-inch circle. Transfer to springform pan. I like to carefully begin to roll the dough back onto the rolling and then slide the springform pan under it and unroll dough into the pan. Press gently into bottom rim and up the sides, tearing off any pieces so that the height is about 1/2-inch below the rim of the pan. The edge should look ragged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
4. After dough in pie pan has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in bottom third of oven. Prick bottom of crust with a fork at 1-inch intervals, line it with foil and fill it to the top with dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and return pan to oven to bake for 10 more minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and keep the oven on.
1. While pie is cooling, make the caramel. Combine the brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar melts and begins to darken around the edges, about 7 minutes. (Use the time I give as a general reference but caramel is finicky so pay attention to what it should look like before moving on, instead of following the time strictly.) Slowly whisk in the cream and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the caramel has thickened, so that the whisk leaves the bottom of the pan visible when pulled through, about 15 minutes. Whisk in the bourbon and simmer again until caramel has thickened and the whisk leaves the bottom of the pan visible again, 2-5 minutes.
2. Pour 1/3 cup of the caramel over the bottom of the cooled crust and tilt the pan around to spread it evenly. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to set the caramel while leaving the remaining caramel at room temperature.
Make Filling and Bake:
1. In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 1-1/2 minutes. Add the egg and egg yolk, beating well until combined. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt and mix until thoroughly combined. Finally, slowly mix in the half-and-half.
2. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 40 minutes, or until the surface no longer appears wet. Cool on a rack for about 20 minutes.
1. Warm remaining caramel so it is pourable. Drizzle caramel over cooled pumpkin and spread evenly. Carefully arrange pumpkin seeds around edge of pie. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow caramel to set and then remove springform ring to serve. Alternatively, you can chill it for 4-24 hours before serving (and serve cold) but I enjoyed it best when it was warm and gooey.