Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    10 to 12

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About
Oven Temperature 350°F/175°C
Baking Time 16 to 22 minutes for the pecan filling; 45 to 55 minutes for the pumpkin filling

Pumpkin and pecan is a natural flavor combination, but what makes this pie extra exciting is the interplay of textures. The silky pumpkin pie filling sits atop the happy surprise of a sticky, chewy pecan filling.

Ingredients

Perfect Flaky and Tender Cream Cheese Pie Crust

VOLUME WEIGHT
dough for a deep dish 9½ inch pie shell . 14.6 ounces 414 grams

Pecan Filling

VOLUME WEIGHT
golden syrup or corn syrup cup (79 ml) 4 ounces 113 grams
light brown Muscovado sugar, or dark brown sugar ½ cup, firmly packed 3.8 ounces 108 grams
4 (to 6) large yolks, at room temperature ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons (69 ml) 2.6 ounces 74 grams
heavy cream ¼ cup (59 ml) 2 ounces 58 grams
unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C) 4 tablespoons (½ stick) 2 ounces 57 grams
fine sea salt a pinch . .
pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon (5 ml) . .
pecans, coarsely chopped cups 6 ounces 170 grams

Pumpkin Filling

VOLUME WEIGHT
unsweetened pumpkin, preferably Libby’s 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons 10 ounces 283 grams
light brown Muscovado sugar, or dark brown sugar ½ cup, firmly packed 3.8 ounces 108 grams
ground ginger teaspoons . 1.3 grams
ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon . 2.2 grams
fine sea salt ¼ teaspoon . 1.5 grams
heavy cream ½ cup (118 ml) 4.1 ounces 116 grams
milk cup (79 ml) 2.9 ounces 81 grams
2 large eggs, at room temperature cup plus 1 tablespoon (94 ml) 3.5 ounces 100 grams
pure vanilla extract ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) . .

Pecan Décor

VOLUME WEIGHT
12 pecan halves . . .
golden syrup or corn syrup . . .

Special Equipment

One 9½ inch (7 cups) deep dish pie pan with a rim (see Note) | A 15 inch round cardboard template | A baking stone or baking sheet | A foil ring to protect the edges of the crust

Method

Roll the Dough

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If necessary, let it sit for about 10 minutes, or until it is soft enough to roll.

On a floured pastry cloth, pastry mat, or between two sheets of lightly floured plastic wrap, roll the dough into a ⅛ inch thick disc 15 inches in diameter, or large enough to line the bottom of the pie plate and extend ¾ inch past the edge of the rim. Lift the dough from time to time as you are rolling and add flour as necessary to keep it from sticking. Before measuring the dough, make sure to lift it from the surface to allow it to shrink in so that it doesn’t retract when set in the pie plate. Use a sharp knife and the template as a guide to cut a 15 inch disc of dough.

Line the Pie Plate

Transfer the dough to the pie plate, easing it into place. If necessary, trim the edge to extend ¾ to 1 inch from the edge of the plate. Fold this dough under so that it is flush with the outer edge of the pie plate. If desired, crimp the border using your forefinger and thumb or a fork.

Chill the Pie Shell

Cover the pie shell with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.

Preheat the Oven

Forty-five minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack at the lowest level and place the baking stone or baking sheet on it. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Make the Pecan Filling

Have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a 2 cup glass measure with a spout.

In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the golden syrup, brown sugar, egg yolks, cream, butter, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula, until the mixture is uniform in color and just begins to thicken slightly, without letting it boil, 7 to 10 minutes. (An instant-read thermometer should read 160°F/71°C. It will continue to thicken when baked; the initial cooking is just to cause the part of the yolk that is less smooth to set so it can be strained out.) Pour the mixture at once into the strainer and press it through. Stir in the vanilla.

Fill the Pie

Spread the pecans evenly over the bottom of the crust. Starting at the center, with the measuring cup’s spout just above the pecans, slowly pour in the filling, lightly coating the nuts and moving from the center to the edge. Once the filling is completely poured, the pecans will float. Gently shake the pie plate to distribute the pecans more evenly.

Bake the Pecan Filling

Place the pie on the baking stone and bake for 16 to 22 minutes, or until the filling is puffed and just beginning to bubble around the edges. The filling will shimmy slightly when moved and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the center should read 185° to 190°F/85° to 88°C. Check early to prevent overbaking, which would result in a dry fillling.

Cool the Pecan Filling

Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Make the pumpkin filling while the pecan filling is cooling and move the baking stone to the middle rack.

Make the Pumpkin Filling

In a small heavy saucepan, stir together the pumpkin, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and salt and bring the mixture to a sputtering simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick and shiny. (The mixture may have some small lumps, which will disappear when processed.)

Using a silicone spatula, scrape the mixture into a small food processor (or use an immersion blender) and process for 1 minute with the feed tube open. Scrape down the sides. With the motor running, add the cream and then the milk and process for several seconds, or until smoothly incorporated. Scrape down the sides. Add the eggs and vanilla, and process for 5 seconds, or just until incorporated. Scrape the filling into a medium bowl.

Gently ladle the pumpkin filling over the pecan filling, with the ladle held just above the surface, so that it does not break through the pecan layer. If necessary, smooth the surface evenly with an offset spatula.

Bake the Pumpkin Filling

Place the foil ring on top of the pie to protect the edges from overbrowning and set the pie on the baking stone. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted ½ inch between the center and the sides comes out clean. The pumpkin filling will have puffed and the surface dulled, except for the center. (The filling will shake like jelly when moved. This will happen before it has finished baking, so it cannot be used as a firm indicator of doneness; conversely, if it does not have this jellylike consistency, it is not baked adequately. An instant-read thermometer, when inserted near the center just into the pumpkin filling, should read 190° to 195°F/88° to 91°C.)

Cool the Pie

Cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours, or until cool to the touch, before topping with the pecan décor and serving.

Make the Pecan Décor

Turn each pecan rounded side up. Brush the tops with the golden syrup and then dab a little on the bottom of each one before arranging them around the outside edge of the pie.

Store

Room temperature, 2 days; refrigerated, 4 days.