I have a confession to make: sometimes I test out a new recipe on guests or at a church pot luck. Yes, I can just see your raised eyebrows as you read this, judging my little idiosyncracy, but the fact is, my attempts are always successful. Er, well, minus the skillet cookie for my girlfriends, which I swear is because we ate it after it had cooled too much. Last night as usual, I didn't have the correct mix of ingredients, so alas, I had to put on my creative cap and science apron and get to work coming up with a new pumpkin pie recipe. I found two very different recipes in my go-to cookbooks, and still didn't have the correct ingredients. Going to the grocery store was not an option, so I had pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk and spices....onward!
See, those of us who lack proper planning skills have to compensate by being ultra creative. The two somehow work interdependantly, right? So, I thought I would share what I came up with in case YOU are looking for a twist on your old pumpkin pie recipe this Thanksgiving. Oh, and as you can tell, it turned out *deliciously.*
Praline Pecan Pumpkin Pie
1 9inch pie dough
1 can pumpkin puree
12 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (totally worth the cost of the whole nutmeg and microplane!)
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
contents of 1 vanilla bean (substite 2 tsp. good vanilla if you don't have a bean)
1 TBSP. Bourbon (optional)
1 1/2 Cups pecans (whole, half or crushed- whatever look you want for the top)
3/4 Cup brown sugar or Sucanat
2 Tbsp. Butter at room temp.
Make your favorite pie dough and bake in a 350 degree oven for 17 minutes (to avoid a soggy crust.) brush the outer edge of crust with whisked egg white or milk for a beautiful crust. Use pie weights, or lay tin foil on top of the pie dough and lay some dehydrated beans in the bottom to keep crust from puffing up while baking. Remove partially baked crust and turn oven temp to 425 degrees.
Meanwhile, lightly beat eggs, then mix in pumpkin, condensed milk, salt, cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg and contents of the vanilla bean (see description below to learn how to remove seeds from the bean). Mix thoroughly, then poor into the hot pie shell. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Remove the pie from oven. The center will still be jiggly at this point. Mix the pecans, brown sugar, and butter together and sprinkle on top of the pumpkin pie. Place back in the oven for an additional 10-20 minutes- until the topping looks slightly browned on top. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!
*Note: to remove seeds from vanilla bean, place bean on a cutting board. Using a sharp paring knife, cut down the middle of the bean. Place top side of the knife (upside down) on the bean, pushing down the sides, and lightly scrape out the inside of both halves of the beans. Don't waste the pod! Toss it into your sugar bowl or simmer in chai tea for a special treat.
So there you have it! Enjoy the twist!