But I decided to try it, mostly because my mother-in-law requested a birthday pumpkin pie on the same day this issue of Bon Appetit arrived at my door, and I took that as a sign. The Universe is trying to tell me something, I thought. Something... about pie. And so I listened, because The Universe doesn't often speak to me about pies, and it turns out the thing it was saying was Daaaaaannnnaaa [echo echo echo].... This recipeeeee.... is deeeeelicious.
In case you were wondering, The Universe also tends to echo its vowel sounds.
I did make a few changes along the way, including subbing in pecans instead of walnuts and changing a few spices to taste, but I stayed pretty faithful. Oh, and I used the Moosewood Book of Desserts pie crust recipe, as it's my Old Faithful. And I topped it all off with some awesome cinnamon whipped cream. Okay, so actually I changed a lot more than I thought I did. It was delicious, anyway.
Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar Pecan Topping adapted from Bon Appetit (serves 8-10)
1 12-inch pre-baked pie crust
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of kosher salt
2. In a medium bowl, begin preparing the filling. Whisk together brown sugar, eggs, kosher salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. When well mixed, whisk in pumpkin and cream until the ingredients are smooth. Pour into (cooled) pie crust.
3. Bake until filling is firm, but not fully set, approximately 30 minutes.
4. While filling is baking, prepare topping. Combine pecan pieces, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. The original recipe calls for this mixture to be processed into "fine crumbs," but I preferred mine more chunky.
5. After filling has firmed, pull pie out of oven and reduce temperature to 325. Sprinkle on the pecan/brown sugar topping. Return to oven and bake until filling is set and pie has puffed up, approximately 15 minutes.
6. Transfer pie to cooling rack and cool completely. And if you're feeling adventurous, top with cinnamon whipped cream.
I found the lack of evaporated milk in this recipe to be particularly refreshing, and I have to admit, dubious though I was, the topping added a lot to the pie's flavor. It was sweet, the tiniest bit salty, and a perfect compliment to the spicy pumpkin filling. In fact, it was so good that the recipe will likely be making an appearance at this year's Thanksgiving dinner.