I used to have a really hard time choosing which dessert(s) to eat at Thanksgiving. No, this isn’t an issue of moderation: it’s an issue of how uncomfortably full I’m willing to feel! There’s pumpkin pie, pecan pie, chocolate pecan pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin custard, ice cream, more turkey, rolls with butter and jam, sweet potatoes … I mean, really: how do you choose?
The main battle always came down between pumpkin and pecan. For years I though “Oh, it’s Thanksgiving: that means pumpkin pie!” but then I realized: “OMG I really LOVE pecan pie!” And thus, the dilemma was born. A few years ago I decided, since everyone knows good + good = fantastic, to mash them together. Pumpkin + Pecan. In one pie.
No, this is not revolutionary. People have done it before. People will do it again. Hopefully with this recipe, since I’ve now deemed it perfect. After many rounds of trying to make it perfect, I really think this one succeeds! My objective was to have a pie with the taste of pumpkin, but the texture of pecan (and some pecan flavor, duh, since it’s amazing), AND NO GOO. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: I cannot stand a gooey pecan pie. I much prefer pecans to be present throughout the entire pie, giving it structure, texture, and so much more flavor.
Seriously, put this on your “must make for Thanksgiving” list this year! It’s a crowd-pleaser, and will let you put an end to your Thanksgiving dessert debate.
Pumpkin pecan pie
1 pie shell
3 large eggs
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
1/2 cup half-and-half
3+ cups pecan halves
1. Prepare a pie pan with the crust, and place it in the refrigerator. Or use a ready-made crust.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
3. Combine all ingredients except for pecans, stirring until completely incorporated. Chop 2 to 2 1/2 cups pecans, and mix into the batter. Pour the mixture into the (chilled) pie crust, and top with a layer of whole pecans. Bake for 45-55 minutes. The center should be mildly jiggly, but not very, when you take it out of the oven.
4. Let cool before you cut, unless you want a runny pie! Serve with whipped cream.
Related post on The Kitchen Paper: Pie crust