For me personally, Thanksgiving is simply not Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie, so I couldn’t not share one with you this year. And while there is absolutely nothing (in my book anyway) wrong with a classic pumpkin pie piled high with whipped cream, I wanted to do something a little more unique this year.
Enter a pecan praline topping! I’d actually tasted such a pumpkin pie a couple years ago, when my sister made one for us. We all raved, and even strongly considered stealing my brother-in-law’s slice when he left the house on some errands, as it was the last piece. Integrity got the better of us.
Needless to say, this pie is delicious and will be a huge hit at your dessert spread, oh, two weeks from this past Thursday.
A few recipe notes:
1) Make sure your pie is completely cooled before you add the praline topping.
2) The praline topping doesn’t spread like frosting or glaze. Wherever you put it, that’s where it immediately starts to set up. So plan accordingly.
3) You can serve this as soon as the praline sets up (which only takes a few minutes), but for best results, let the pie chill in the refrigerator for several hours or up to overnight.
Enjoy this beautiful pie! I think it’s sort of a mish-mash between my Southern-ish roots (the praline) and my northern surroundings (pumpkin pie is more common up here, whereas sweet potato pie is more common down South). The praline topping would also be delicious on sweet potato pie, I should note. I hope you love it!
Pie dough for 1 (9-inch) pie
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree, not pie filling
3 large eggs
¾ cup brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tbs heavy cream
1 ½ cups pecan halves
2 ½ tbs unsalted butter
First, make the PIE. Preheat your oven to 425 F. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the pie dough to about a 12” circle. Grease a 9” pie plate, and carefully transfer the pie dough to the prepared plate. Use your hands to work the pie shell into place and then turn the edges under and crimp them decoratively. Set the pie shell in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the remaining ingredients.
Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell. Set the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and carefully transfer to the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 F. Bake an additional 35-40 minutes, until the filling is set around the edges, but still jiggly in the center. Always remember, the center of the pie should be jiggly like Jello but not liquidy.
Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool completely on a cooling rack.
Now make the PRALINE TOPPING: place a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add both sugars, salt, and cream. Heat to boiling, turn the heat to low and continue cooking until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth and bubbling. Add the pecans and butter to the mixture and cook, stirring, until butter is melted. Let the mixture cook at a rolling simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit until the bubbling has stopped.
Quickly pour the hot praline over the top of the pie. Let the praline harden into place, then for best results, let the pie chill in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, if not overnight. Slice into wedges and serve.