This pie is an ode to two of my favorite things.
Like many Americans, I can appreciate a good decorative gourd. And even better than a decorative gourd is an edible one. I baked this pie at Thanksgiving. Months later, my mouth is still watering thinking about the winning combination of silky pumpkin and the creamy salty sweetness of caramel. I realize we’re less in decorative gourd season and more into rotting decorative gourd season (don’t tell that to the mini pumpkin I’ve had perched on my desk at work since last October) but there’s certainly no need to wait till next Thanksgiving to bake this delicious treat.
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Pie
Recipe from Epicurious
Half portion of your favorite pie crust recipe. Here’s mine.
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 cups heavy cream
1 (15-oz) can solid-pack pumpkin (not pie filling; a scant 2 cups) OR if you’re feeling adventurous, use fresh pumpkin instead (cut 1 medium size sugar pie pumpkin in half, bake skin side up in the oven until soft, then scoop into a bowl, mash vigorously, and strain through a wire mesh strainer to get 2 cups of puree).
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Bake pie shell:
Line your pie dish with the crust. Lightly prick bottom of shell all over with a fork, then line with foil and fill with pie weights (uncooked beans or rice will work too). Place pan on a baking sheet and bake pie shell until side is set and edge is pale golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove weights and foil and bake shell until bottom is golden, about 10 minutes more. Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 30 minutes.
Make filling while shell cools:
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a 3- to 3 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil syrup, washing down side of pan occasionally with a pastry brush dipped in cold water and gently swirling pan (do not stir), until mixture is a deep golden caramel, about 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to moderate and carefully add 1 cup cream (mixture will bubble vigorously), stirring until caramel is dissolved. Stir in remaining cup cream and bring just to a simmer.
Whisk together pumpkin purée, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in hot cream mixture, then add eggs, whisking until combined well. Pour filling into cooled crust and bake until puffed 1 1/2 inches from edge and center is just set, 55 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. (Pie will continue to set as it cools.)