Pumpkin Pie with Buttermilk Crust and Candied Pecans

Adapted via Sally’s Baking Addiction and Joy the Baker
Serves: 8 to 10

For the Crust:
♦ 2 sticks (8 oz) cold unsalted butter
♦ 2 1/2 (12 oz) cups all purpose flour
♦ 1 tbsp sugar
♦ 1 tsp salt
♦ 1/2 cup (5 to 6 oz) buttermilk

For the Filling:
♦ 2 cups (15oz can; 450g) pumpkin puree
♦ 3 large eggs
♦ 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed dark brown sugar
♦ 1 tbsp (15g) cornstarch
♦ 1/2 tsp salt
♦ 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
♦ 1/2 tsp ground ginger
♦ 1/4 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
♦ 1/8 tsp ground cloves
♦ 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
♦ 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
♦ 1/4 cup (60ml) milk (any variety is fine)
♦ 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon milk, for brushing

For the Candied Pecans:
♦ 1 cup pecans
♦ 1/3 cup sugar
♦1/3 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon

Prepare the crust: Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. Measure out the buttermilk and store in the refrigerator to keep it cold. Sift together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Take the cold butter from the freezer and toss it with the flour mixture.

Dump the cold butter cubes and flour mixture onto a large work area for rolling. With a rolling pin, roll the mixture, flattening the butter cubes with the flour into long, thin, floured butter sheets. Work quickly to ensure that the butter stays cold.

Place the flour and flattened butter back in the large bowl and chill for 10 minutes. When the butter is cold, remove the bowl from the refrigerator, make a small well in the center of the flour and butter mixture. Add the cold buttermilk to the bowl all at once. Begin to bring the dough together, moistening all of the flour with the milk and using your hand to break up large clumps of milk and flour. The dough will look shaggy – add another tablespoon of buttermilk if all your flour isn’t moistened. Form the dough into two separate disks, wrap in plastic wrap (or parchment), and shill the dough for at least an hour in the refrigerator (will keep in the fridge for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to three weeks). This recipe produces twice the amount of dough you will need, so save the second disc for patching the crust or creating leaf/cutout decorations.

Roll out one of the discs, and carefully set into the pie pan – you will have more than you need! Crimp the edges to create a fluted look, and set the pie pan in the fridge will you prepare the filling.

Make the filling: Whisk the pumpkin, 3 eggs, and brown sugar together until combined. Add the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, cream, and milk. Vigorously whisk until everything is combined. Filling will be a little thick.

Bake the pie: Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Brush edges of the pie crust lightly with beaten egg/milk mixture. Poke small holes in the bottom of the crust (using a fork) and pre-bake for 10 minutes.

Pour pumpkin pie filling into the pre-baked crust. If you did not use a deep dish pie pan, you will have too much filling. Only fill the crust about 3/4 of the way up. Bake the pie until the center is almost set, about 55-60 minutes give or take. A small part of the center will be wobbly, which is ok. After 25 minutes of baking, be sure to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or use a piecrust shield to prevent the edges from getting too brown. Check for doneness periodically, starting at about 50 minutes into baking.

Make the candied pecans: while the pie is baking, prepare the pecans by combined the nuts with the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, until the syrup starts to reduce – don’t let it burn! It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, and pour the nuts into a small baking pan. Place the pan into the oven (with the pie) and allow to bake for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan, allow the nuts to cool completely.

Once the pie is cooled, arrange the candied pecans around the edges. Serve with whipped cream.

To read more about this dish and my musical pairing, click HERE.

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