So, my husband loves Thanksgiving at my parents’ house- mainly, I think, because he doesn’t have to do any dishes when we go there, but also in part because my mother always makes a pumpkin pie. I don’t love pumpkin pie- I like it, but if I am baking a pie, there are about 37 other pies I’d prefer- so I refuse to make it on Thanksgiving, because I am making pecan pie, and a chocolate chocolate chip bundt cake, and sometimes a pumpkin cheesecake, and that’s already too much dessert, so why make an extra pie I don’t like?
But taking the boys to the pumpkin patch this year, I got all excited and picked out some sugar pumpkins and thought, well, I will just roast them and puree them and use them for lasagne. Nathan, however, knows what pumpkin pie is, so he kept asking for it. So I tried the Caramel Pumpkin Pie from Gourmet Today and have completely changed my opinion of pumpkin pie. For one, the caramelized sugar makes a much less sickly sweet pie. For two, I subbed in a graham cracker crust because I am a genius. For three, Nathan decided the pumpkin pie was “too squishy” which is not really a third reason to like it but meant more pie for me.
2 sugar pumpkins
Cut open pumpkins and remove seeds. Cut into wedges. Roast at 350 for 1-2 hours (depending on the size of the wedges. Until fork-tender.) Remove peels and puree in the food processor. Depending on the size of your pumpkins, this will yield about enough puree for three pies. I divided it up and froze the extra for use in lasagna or another pie.
Caramel Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
For the crust:
- 1 1/c graham crackers, pulverized
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/3 cup melted butter.
Combine all ingredients. Parbake at 375 for 8-10 minutes, until just lightly browned.
For the pie:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups pureed pumpkin
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil until mixture is a deep golden caramel, about 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to moderate and carefully add 1 cup cream (mixture will bubble vigorously), stirring until caramel is dissolved. Stir in remaining cup cream and bring just to a simmer.
Whisk together pumpkin purée, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in hot cream mixture, then add eggs, whisking until combined well. Pour filling into cooled crust and bake until puffed 1 1/2 inches from edge and center is just set, 55 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. (Pie will continue to set as it cools.)