No Thanksgiving table is complete without pumpkin pie. Many places sell them but they are very easy to make and cost a fraction of what fancy bakeries will charge. My version features a basic pumpkin custard that has been dressed up with a crunchy maple-walnut praline and cut out pastry ‘leaves’. Of course, if you’re in a hurry, you can just make the basic pie without the additions – it will still be delicious.
Pumpkin Pie with Maple Walnut Praline
Makes one 9″ pie
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup neutral oil such as canola or safflower
- 2 cups plain pumpkin puree (not spiced pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed milk)
- ¾ cups sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Uncooked pie crust for two 9″ pies (see Basic Pastry Crust for a good recipe)
- 1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water
- ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar
To Make Praline:
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium bowl, combine walnuts with maple syrup and oil. Toss to coat.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spread walnut mixture so it’s in an even layer. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, making sure the walnuts do not burn.
- Remove nuts from the oven and let cool. Gently break up any pieces that have stuck together with your fingers. Praline may be made in advance and kept covered in the fridge until use.
Preparing the Pastry:
- Roll out one portion of pastry dough (enough to fit a 9″ pie plate). Place pastry in pie plate and crimp edges.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prick a few small holes in the bottom of the pastry and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Roll out second portion of pastry dough. Cut out leaf shapes using a cookie cutter or knife. Use knife tip to score leaf ‘veins’ into the pastry.
- Brush pastry leaves with beaten egg mixture. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Set aside to decorate finished pie.
To Make Pie Filling:
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs, cream, sugar, spices, salt and vanilla. Stir until thoroughly mixed and spices are evenly distributed. Set aside. Filling may be mixed in advance and refrigerated until use.
To Assemble Pie:
- Pour pie filling into pastry crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until the centre has set.
- Remove pie from oven and let it cool completely. Sprinkle praline along edge of crust. Arrange pastry leaves decoratively in the centre of the pie. Serve pie with whipped cream.
Bon Appétit and Enjoy!
This article first appeared on Suite 101.com.