Finishing out the Pumpkin sprint this fall, I give you a spin on the classic pumpkin pie, my Pumpkin Caramel Crunch Pie. Growing up this was a favorite with the kids and my grandma always made an extra one without crust for my brother. This spin ads some wonderfully creamy icing and caramel pumpkin seed crunch on top. It’s elegant, sophisticated, and perfect for the Thanksgiving table.
When it comes to baking, I have to admit that often I want to take the easier route with certain steps. On occasion I’ll make my own pie dough, but seriously, in a New York apartment and a tiny kitchen, there just isn’t space or time for that. For this reason I LOVE ready made pie dough at the store, in fact my love of store bought pastry dough doesn’t stop there. I’ve used the ready made puff pastry, crescent dough, and pizza dough to make cooking and baking just a little easier.
This recipe combines a few of my favorite elements from my bakes. The classic pumpkin pie is pretty straight forward, however I season it with my own custom Crumble Spice blend. On top I piped a cream cheese icing again with Crumble Spice and then topped it all off with a crunchy caramel coated pumpkin seeds that give the dish a nice bit of crunch.
So here’s the recipe! I hope you give it a try this holiday season.
Pumpkin Caramel Crunch Pie
For the Pie:
1 Ready Made Pie Dough
2 Extra Large Eggs
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
2 tsp Crumble Spice
1 can (15 ounces) Pumpkin Puree
1 can (12 ounces) Evaporated Milk
For the Icing:
3 oz. package Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1/4 pound butter (room temperature)
1 tspn pure vanilla extract
1/4 tspn Crumble Spice
2 cups confectioners sugar
For the Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds:
1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Butter
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place pie dough in a deep pie dish, crimp the edges, and poke the bottom several times with a fork. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and then add sugar and Crumble Spice and whisk until well combined. Then add Pumpkin Puree and again whisk until well combined, followed by the evaporated milk for a final mix to fully combine the mixture. Place the pie tin onto a baking sheet (it makes getting it into and out of the oven easier) and pour the mixture into the crust within the pie pan.
Place in the oven and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 20-30 minutes or until the pie has set (it should have just a slight wobble, but be fairly firm). Once baking is done, remove to a wire rack to cool for 2 hours.
Once the pie has fully cooled, make the butter cream icing by mixing together cream cheese, butter, vanilla and confectioners sugar. You can either pipe on the icing or spread the icing with a spatula. Dust with Crumble Spice and place in the refrigerator to firm up the icing.
Finally, prepare the caramelized pumpkin seeds. In a small saucepan over medium heat, caramelize a tablespoon of sugar until it is a rich reddish-brown color. Stir the melted parts of the sugar towards the middle while avoiding over-stirring, which can turn the mixture dry and crumbly. Once the sugar is dark and fragrant, add the last tablespoon of butter and stir quickly until it has melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir until they’re evenly coated in sauce. Transfer the seeds to a plate lined with parchment paper so that they cool and harden.
Sprinkle the caramelized seeds over the icing and serve. It’s just one elegant Thanksgiving treat.