Pumpkin Pecan Pie
Have you ever had to deal with the dilemma of deciding between Pumpkin Pie or Pecan Pie at Thanksgiving? Wanting to take a slice of both, but knowing you shouldn't because 1.) You just ate so much food you don't think you could even finish one piece without bursting out of your pants, and 2.) You might get some questioning looks from your family as you carry two plates to your seat. But why choose? Have both! Pumpkin Pecan Pie.
Are you imagining it yet? And yes, it is as good as you think. This is essentially a pecan pie, with a little added pumpkin. The added pumpkin brings down the sweetness a notch so it isn't too sweet as most pecan pies can be. Trust me on this one, it will be a hit!
Pumpkin Pecan Pie Recipe:
3 Tablespoons butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2/3 cup dark brown corn syrup
2 cups pecans (toasted and finely chopped if you desire)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree**
**You can use pumpkin pie mix instead of plain pumpkin puree. Some find the plain puree too "unsweetened" for their liking, as it settles a little to the bottom of the pie.
Now what I like to do is first toast the pecans. If you've never done this, do yourself a favor and do it! All you need to do is spread the pecans out in a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Once you start smelling them they should be about done. And you WILL smell them. It's such a wonderful smokey warm scent it's hard not to want to gobble them all up when they're cooling. And the taste is even better. In fact, I suggest throwing an extra handful on the cookie sheet to toast because it's inevitable that you will sneak a few. You don't want to short your pie though, so play it safe and give yourself a few to munch on.
Now you can begin the pie making! First, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, dark brown sugar, and dark corn syrup. Heat until it starts boiling, then remove from the heat and set it aside to cool. You can skip this step if you'd like, I like to do it to make the filling thicker, which creates a more dense pie.
Another thing I suggest to do is to "blind bake" your crust while the pie mixture is cooling. This only applies if you have an unbaked, homemade crust. If you have a store bought crust you should be fine. But for the homemade crusts, you don't want the bottom of the pie to be soggy for the finished product. The gooey moist tendency of pecan pie tends to make the bottom crust a bit mushy. To prevent this, you can "blind bake" your crust by baking it by itself, no filling inside. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the crust and fill it with dry beans, so it stays weighted down. This keeps the crust from rising while you're baking it. Blind bake it for 10 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees. Then set it out to cool. Leave the oven on if you're making the pie soon, so it will stay preheated.
Once your brown sugar mixture is lukewarm, whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Then mix in the cream. Next, add in the salt, and then the apple cider vinegar. Lastly, you can stir in your pumpkin puree.
Evenly spread the chopped pecans inside your pie crust. Then pour your pie mixture in over the pecans. Now your pie is ready to go in the oven! Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, until the mixture has set and a toothpick comes cleanly out of the center. If you have a pie shield, use it for the first 25 minutes. If you don't have a pie shield and you want to keep the crust from getting too crispy, cover the outer crust with foil for the first 25 minutes of baking, then remove it.
Let the pie cool for at least one hour before digging in.