My mom is an unbelievable baker and cook. One of her specialties is pie. Each year as we make plans to gather at my parents’ house to celebrate Thanksgiving, I offer to bring something. Year after year I am told there is no need for me to bring anything. Much to my surprise a number years ago my mom said “Sure, why don’t you bring the pumpkin pie?” I was shocked. First, that she was letting me bring something and second, that she would trust the pie, of all things, to me. I thought I was up to the challenge.
I rose early the morning of Thanksgiving to make my homemade butter recipe crust. Nothing tastes like a butter pie crust. Then I made the pumpkin filling using a home grown pumpkin from my dad’s garden. Frankly, my pie looked gorgeous. I proudly delivered the still warm pie to my mom. She was all smiles. After we enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving meal it was time for the crowning glory – my pie. We all sat down to take our first bite. I put a forkful in my mouth only to realize that I had forgotten to include any sugar! My eyes met my mother's eyes across the table as she took her first forkful. We both burst into laughter. I couldn’t believe what I had just done. How in the world did I forget to add the sugar? Soon we were all laughing.
I have never lived that incident down. Every Thanksgiving someone brings up the story and they all have a big laugh at my expense. Needless to say, I have not been asked to bring the pumpkin pie since. My dad was the only one who ate his entire piece that day and told me it was delicious. Thanks Dad – I love you too!
Here is a recipe for Maple Pecan Pumpkin Pie, a wonderful pumpkin pie with a little twist – the addition of maple syrup. Just don’t forget any of the ingredients or you will suffer the same fate I did.
The first step is to make the butter crust. Pie crust really isn’t difficult to make. There are only four ingredients – flour, salt, butter and water. Heat your oven to 375°F. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt. Add the butter by cutting it into the flour with a pastry blender (the tool you see being used in the photo) or two table knives. You want the mixture to resemble coarse crumbs.
Then gently stir in small amounts for cold water with a fork, just until the flour is moistened. Form the dough into a ball to transfer it to the surface for rolling out.
Lightly flour the surface you will use for rolling. I usually use a pastry cloth but, you can use any clean, smooth surface like your counter top or a cutting board. I also use a stockinette (a tube of stretchable cloth that fits over my rolling pin) which I generously flour. If you don’t have a stockinette, just flour the rolling pin.
Gently roll out the dough starting in the center and rolling outward. Change directions to keep the dough even.
Roll the dough to form a 12-inch circle.
Carefully fold the dough circle first in half and then into half again forming a “quarter.” Transfer the “quarter” to a 9-inch pie pan. Folding it just makes it easier to move.
Gently unfold the pie crust. Press the dough firmly against the bottom and sides of the pan. Any tears can be repaired by slightly overlapping the torn edges and pressing them together.
Trim the crust to ½-inch from edge of pan. I use my kitchen shears for this job but, a sharp knife will work too.
Now crimp or flute the edge of the crust.
It should look something like this:
Set the crust aside while you make the filling. In a large bowl combine the sugar, pumpkin and eggs.
Add the remaining filling ingredients (whipping cream, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice). Here is a substitution if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice: for 2 teaspoons use 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon cloves.
Stir until well mixed.
Pour into the pie crust and evenly spread the filling.
Cover the edge of the crust with 2-inch strips of aluminum foil to protect the crust from over-browning.
Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and continue baking another 15 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.
Cool completely. Arrange the pecans halves on top of the pie and drizzle or brush 1 tablespoon maple syrup over the pecans. You can tell the surface of my pie cracked. Don’t worry about any cracking of the filling – it’s not unusual for custard pies.
Just before serving, beat the ½ cup whipping cream until soft peaks form.
Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Spoon dollops of the whipped cream onto the pie and garnish with additional pecan halves.
The maple syrup adds a sweet touch that makes this pie extra special. Here’s what was left of the pie just a few moments after the photos were completed.
It sure didn’t take long for our Test Kitchens staff to find this treat! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Let me know what you think of the Maple Pecan Pumpkin Pie recipe. Remember, also, to rate and review the recipe!
On Thursday, Amanda shares a new idea for a fun girls' night!