Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Go Spectacular With Your Pumpkin Pie

With Halloween getting close and Thanksgiving feasting not too far behind, it's time to think about a pumpkin pie. I usually make the classic one that can be found on the Libby's Pumpkin can label, but sometimes you want to go over the top.

Time for Pumpkin Pie Spectacular, a ginger-lover's dream, with a regular crust, a gingersnap inner crust and lots of rich, delicious pumpkin filling, plus streusel. You can gild the lily, so to speak, with dollops of whipped cream, too, but it is a fine pie just as it comes out of the pie pan.

Pumpkin pie has always been a favorite and I love ginger, too, so the recipe that K brought home with her to make seemed like a winner. The recipe comes from the November issue of Southern Living magazine. A regular crust is topped with a layer of a gingersnap-based crunch...

and then baked. A filling that includes sweetened condensed milk and sour cream, along with cinnamon ... and more ginger ...

is baked a short while, then topped with a pecan and brown sugar struesel around the edges of the pie. Once the filling bakes until set the pie cools on a rack.

Right before serving it gets decorated with a cinnamon and ginger spiked topping. I used real whipping cream (although the sweetened condensed milk and sour cream were non-fat versions) because I had some and everything goes better with real whipped cream.

This pie is outrageously good! Because this is from the Southern Living magazine, you know that it is rich and decadent...and Southern.  You could almost hear my Southern accent as I served Sweetie the first piece.

The pastry crust was crisp and golden, the gingersnap crust on top of that had absorbed some of the pumpkin mixture's liquid, so it was moist and a little chewy and full of ginger flavor! The filling (which I cooked less that the recipe suggested...I only baked it for 15 minutes before adding the struesel) was creamy yet firm enough to use a fork and not a spoon. The struesel added a nutty crunch and the whipped cream tied all of the flavors and textures together luxuriously. I left out the ginger cookie half rounds that were to adorn each slice...that was too much for me, which is a funny thing to say about such an over-the-top pie. 

It's been a few years since I enjoyed this pie (haven't found a substitute for sweetened condensed milk so far), but you can enjoy it with your family and friends this year and be grateful for each other and for being lucky enough to live where we can indulge ourselves.

If you make this pie, be prepared for compliments, requests for second helpings, and the need for small pieces. It is rich and intensely flavored in the best possible way.

Pumpkin Pie Spectacular
From Southern Living magazine Nov 09

½ (15 oz) package refrigerated piecrusts or home made single crust pie dough
2 cups crushed gingersnaps (about 40 gingersnaps)
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs, beaten
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp ground ginger
Pecan Streusel
Topping: 7 thin ginger cookies, halved (optional)
Ginger-Spiced Topping & ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.

Stir together crushed gingersnaps, pecans, powdered sugar and melted butter. Press mixture on bottom and ½ inch up sides of piecrust.

Note – if pie pan is not a very deep deep-dish type, you may have some of the gingersnap mixture left over.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).

Stir together pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, sour cream, cinnamon, vanilla, and ginger. Pour into prepared, cooled crust. Place pie on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes (but if you are using a shallower pie pan, only bake for 15 minutes). Sprinkle Pecan Streusel around edge of crust. Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until set, shielding edges with aluminum foil during last 25 or so minutes of baking if necessary. If using, insert ginger cookie halves around edge of crust.
Let pie cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Dollop with Ginger-Spice Topping; dust with cinnamon.

Pecan Streusel: Stir together ¼ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar; 2 tablespoons melted butter and ¾ cup pecans, coarsely chopped.

Ginger-Spice Topping: Stir together 1 cup whipping cream which has been whipped to a soft but firm stage (or use an 8 oz container of whipped topping, thawed), ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon ground ginger.

Recipe from Vivian Chateau, Mobile, Alabama Serves 8 - total time to make: 3 hrs, 25 minutes

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