Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Caramel-Spiked Pumpkin Pie

Here's another one of my Thanksgiving baking extravaganza desserts!  I've never actually made a pumpkin pie (weird, I know), and when I saw this recipe on Annie's Eats, I knew that this would be the one I would try.  I thought about making it for Thanksgiving, but then Maggie was assigned the pumpkin pie for our feast.  The day before Thanksgiving was Maggie's birthday, so I ventured a guess that she wouldn't feel like baking on her big day; luckily I was right and she handed over the pumpkin pie reigns to me!  I had roasted two sugar pumping the week previous and had plenty of homemade pumpkin puree, and luckily the rest of the ingredients were things I had on hand.

I made Annie's pie dough recipe, which I have made before; you make it in the stand mixer, which is nice.  Then while it was chilling and subsequently baking, I made the caramel sauce.  Something kind of weird happened to it and I ended up  with a rather thin sauce with a few hard caramel candies in it - not sure how that happened - but it was okay in the end.  The caramel sauce gets mixed in with the pumpkin along with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, and into the pie crust it all goes.

My crust ended up looking a little burned around the outside, but I think it just looked that way, because everyone who tried the pie said it was delicious.  I was assured that you could taste the caramel, and that the consistency was delicious.  I didn't try it, but I suggest that you do if you're looking for a not-your-average pumpkin pie!

caramel-spiked pumpkin pie

1 9-inch partially baked pie crust*
1 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium saucepan, spread 1/2 cup of the sugar out in an even layer over medium-high heat.  Once the sugar begins to melt and change color,g entry mix together so that the sugar is evenly melted.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has turned a deep amber color (keep a careful eye on it to be sure that it doesn't burn).  Once it has reached the desired color, remove the pan from the heat.  Add in the cream in a slow steady stream down the inside edge of the saucepan, stirring or whisking constantly to incorporate evenly.  If any lumps remain, return the pan to the burner over medium heat and cook just until melted.  Continue mixing in the cream in this manner until it has been completely incorporated.  Stir in the butter and the rum and mix just until smooth.  Set aside the caramel and let cool for 15 minutes.

2) In a bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, coves and vanilla.  Whisk to blend.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time.  Blend in the caramel.  Pour the filling into the partially baked crust.  

3) Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven.  Bake 45-50 minutes, or until the center is just set and the edges are puffed.  Transfer to a wire rack to let cool at least 30 minutes.  Serve with freshly whipped cream and caramel sauce as desired.

* To blind-bake a pie crust, preheat the overt o 400 degrees.  Roll pie dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch disc.  Place it in a 9-inch pie plate, trimming away the excess and creating decorative edges as desires.  Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with the tines of a fork.  Line the crust with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with baking beads.  Bake 25 minutes. Remove the baking beads and foil and bake about 5-10 minutes more, until light golden.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

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