I should have posted this before Thanksgiving, but apparently I’m bad at planning ahead for the blog since I made this pie the night before Thanksgiving. Oh well.
I wanted something that was kind of “pumpkin pie lite” and I also wanted a nutty element. But I didn’t want to be super crazy and do like a “combination” pie. Instead what I came up with is a pecan pie-like crust on the bottom with a pumpkin pudding on top. You get the crunchy pecans on the bottom with a light and not too overwhelming pumpkin pudding on top. You only have to bake the crust and then it chills out in the fridge overnight.
After! It’s not gooey like pecan pie, but rather gives a nice crunchy base to the pie.
NestFresh Eggs provided the brown eggs for the “pudding” part of my pie. The NestFresh eggs have a harder shell than other eggs I’ve tried as it took a few cracks to get those eggies open. I actually prefer getting brown eggs for my recipes when I can and NestFresh is an excellent option. In California, uou can pick up NestFresh eggs at Albertson’s, Whole Foods, Bristol Farms, or Walmart.
You can see the bits of spices in the pie and the thin layer of pecan crust. Oh pecan crust bottom…. I kind of want to put it as the bottom for all future pies.
Here’s a better shot of the pecan crust. I used raw pecans and they managed to toast in the pan and create a wonderfully crunchy bottom. The sugar caramelized around the pecans and almost makes like a pecan brittle. Paired with the flaky, buttery pie crust makes it taste like pecan shortbread on the bottom.
The pumpkin pudding takes a little while to set up (it seems too runny at first) and it’s quite light. There’s a nice bit of spice going on and you can taste that little hint of maple from the maple syrup. It’s much, much lighter than pumpkin pie and has a smooth, creamy consistency. Jake liked how light the pumpkin flavor was and he was a fan of the crust as well. I’m definitely using that nutty crust idea for other pies (banana cream… coconut cream… apple… maybe something with peanut for a peanut butter pie… oh, the possibilities).
- For the crust
- 1 unbaked pie crust (I use Trader Joe's because I'm lazy)
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- For the filling
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 cups milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Arrange pie crust into your pie pan. Mix together the pecans, brown sugar and softened butter until crumbly. Press pecan mixture into the bottom of the pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust edges are golden brown and the pecan mixture is bubbly and set. Let cool.
- In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cornstarch until well blended. Place into a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together milk and egg yolks and add to the sauce pot with the sugar/corn starch mixture. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Cook for one minute at a boil and then remove from heat.
- In another bowl, blend and mix together the pumpkin, vanilla, maple syrup, spices and salt. Add this mixture slowly to your hot pudding mix. Place over low heat and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not boil.
- Take pudding off the heat and place it on top of the pecan crust. Let cool overnight until set.
- You'll probably have a little leftover pudding. I made little mini tarts with the leftover pie crust and pudding, or you can cool it separately for a little extra pudding.
- The consistency of the pudding is good but if you want it a little thicker, I recommend adding additional cornstarch for a thicker pudding base.
- You can substitute the pumpkin pie spice for your favorite blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. I kind of wish I only used cinnamon and nutmeg for this pie!
In addition to sharing dessert love with you guys today I’m also hosting a giveaway thanks to NestFresh Eggs! I’m pulling TWO winners who will each receive 2 coupons for a dozen eggs. That 24 luscious brown eggs to play around with! What would you do if you won the prize? Comment below in the PromoSimple Box to enter. Additional entries available. Contest only open to US Residents. Giveaway runs from now until December 8th, 2014 at 8PM PST.
Disclaimer: I received coupons for complimentary eggs from NestFresh Eggs. I was not further paid or compensated for this post. This giveaway is sponsored by NestFresh Eggs. All opinions and recipes contained in this post are my own.