Pumpkin Pie with Sweet Pecan Crunch

posted: 06/30/10
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Pumpkin Pie with Sweet Pecan Crunch

Take Home Chef, Episode 119: Curtis's Thanksgiving Special



  • 1-1/4 cups/175 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon/12 g sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon/3 g salt
  • 1 stick/113 g cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons/45 to 75 ml ice-cold water


  • Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
  • One 2-1/2 to 3-pound/1.1- to 1.4-kg sugar pumpkin or pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 2-inch/5-cm chunks
  • 1 tablespoon/15 ml olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon/about 1 g ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon/about .5 g ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon/about .15 g ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup/110 g packed golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon/3 g salt
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup/110 g plus 2 tablespoons/25 g sugar
  • 3/4 cup/65 g pecans
  • 3/4 cup/180 ml heavy whipping cream, chilled



  1. In a food processor pulse to blend the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse to blend for about 15 seconds or until a coarse meal forms and the butter is the size of small peas.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons/45 ml of ice water and pulse to blend for about 15 seconds, adding more water as needed to form moist clumps. To check if more water is needed, squeeze a small handful of the clumps together. If they adhere to each other and form a dough without crumbling apart, then enough water has been added.
  3. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough disk on a lightly floured surface to a 13 1/2-inch/34-cm round.
  4. Transfer the dough to 10-inch-/25.5-cm-diameter tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly into the pan. Trim the dough if necessary, leaving a 3/4-inch/2-cm overhang. Press overhang in, forming double-thick sides. Set the crust aside while you prepare the filling.


  1. Position the rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350?F/180?C. Line a heavy baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Toss the pumpkin with the oil, cinnamon, ginger and cloves on the baking sheet to coat. Arrange the mixture in an even layer over the baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour or until the pulp is very soft and golden brown. Maintain the oven temperature.
  3. Blend the hot pumpkin in a food processor until a smooth puree forms. Set aside to cool completely.In a large bowl lightly whisk the eggs to blend. Whisk the brown sugar and salt into the eggs to blend.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree (you should have about 2 3/4 cups/600 g) and whisk to blend well. Reserve any remaining pumpkin puree for another use. Whisk in the cream. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared crust.
  5. Holding the sides of the pan, carefully place the pie on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for about 1 hour or until the filling is just set and the crust is pale golden brown. The center will still look wet and a knife inserted about 1 inch/2.5 cm from the sides of the pan will come out almost clean.
  6. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool completely. Be sure to hold the sides of the pan as you maneuver the pie in and out of the oven since the bottom is removable. At this point, the pie will keep for 1 day, covered and refrigerated. Bring it to room temperature before serving.


  1. Heat a heavy, large saut? pan over medium heat until it is hot. Sprinkle 1/2 cup/110 g of sugar over the hot pan and cook until it melts. Add the pecans and toss until the sugar syrup is golden brown and coats the pecans and the pecans clump together.
  2. Transfer the pecan mixture to a sheet of parchment paper and set aside until the sugar coating cools and hardens. Break up the pecan mixture into large chunks and add them to a food processor. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream and remaining 2 tablespoons/25 g of sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form.


  1. Just before serving, sprinkle the pecan topping over the pie. Cut the pie into wedges then top with the whipped cream and serve.
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