Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mile High Pumpkin Pecan Pie

My reason for making this pie had nothing to do with living 37 feet above the Mile High City.  Combining the two most popular holiday pie flavors into one meant there would be only one leftover pie.  Because we all know, leftover pie is always begging to be eaten.  Just one bite here...then one more...before you know it, you've finished it off just standing at the counter.
This pie does involve a few more steps than your basic pumpkin pie.  I made the dough for the crust two days earlier.
Martha Stewart's Mile High Pumpkin Pecan Pie
For the Crust:
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
2 Tb sugar
1 tsp fine salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 - 1/2 C ice water
Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor to blend. Add butter pieces and pulse until mixture looks like coarse meal.  Add 1/4 cup of ice water in a steady stream, pulsing until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed.  Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, if needed.  Form dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour or up to 2 days. 
Preheat the oven to 400.  Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8" thick.  In a 9" spring form pan adjust the dough to fit flat against the bottom and up the sides.  Trim the dough leaving a 1 1/2" overhang, then place pan in freezer for 15 minutes.  Remove from freezer and line the dough with a double layer of parchment and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet for 30 minutes.  Carefully remove parchment and weights. Continue baking another 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cover the crust edge with foil if it is over-browning.
For the Filling:
1 1/4 C light brown sugar
3/4 tsp fine salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-29 oz can pure pumpkin puree
1-12 oz can evaporated milk 
1/2 C heavy cream 
2 tsp  pure vanilla 
2 C pecan halves
While the crust is baking, assemble the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk in eggs, then pumpkin, until smooth.  Slowly whisk in milk, cream and vanilla. After the crust is baked, reduce oven temperature to 350.  Cover crust edge with foil, pour all but 1 cup of filling into crust, return to oven and carefully add remaining cup of filling; bake 1 hour.  Remove pie from oven and top with pecans.  Bake until filling is just set but slightly wobbly in the center, 20-30 minutes more. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 3 hours. With a serrated knife, cut off the overhang and unmold. 
Adding the pecans near the end allowed them to roast nicely and give a nutty taste to every bite.  While this pie was really good, I have found another variation for both the crust and a pecan streusel topping that would greatly reduce the amount of time involved. It sounds great to me, and you can find it @ 

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