Pumpkin Cream Pie

Yum. What do you mean I have to take a bunch of pictures before I can even try it?

Finally got the cream cheese in between two snow storms. It’s sunny now, I expect by noon the snow to be completely gone and I’ll be cycling by late afternoon. So I took the morning to make this pie.

A week or so ago, a neighbor brought over a slice of store-bought pumpkin cream pie, wanting to know if I had a recipe. It was very good, creamy as opposed to custard style. I preferred that, because one of the things I’m only so-so on is the texture of standard pumpkin pie. This addressed that, while keeping all the flavor.

The slice was heavily spiced and I like that, too. So when I went searching for recipes, none of them had enough spice, so I knew I was going to have to take some risks with the spices.  I tasted in between and continued to add until I felt like I had a good ratio.  I got a good idea from several recipes what would make it creamy and then I just went and played.

The first thing, the crust. I didn’t want a traditional pastry crust because I think those get mushy when you do a custard type pie. I thought I’d do a graham cracker crust until I saw someone use a ginger snap crust in a recipe and thought that would be a great, so that’s the crust I included with this. You can use any type you like and if you want graham cracker, just substitute the same amount of graham cracker crumbs for ginger snap crumbs.

Then I saw a recipe for brown sugar whipped cream and knew that would be perfect for this pie. So when I put it all together, this is what I came up with:

Pumpkin Cream Pie

Crust:

  • 2 cups ginger snap crumbs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (more as needed, mine could have used a couple more tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Mix together in a 9-inch pie pan and press around the bottom and sides. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Cool while making pie filling.

Filling:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt (test after 1/2 and see if it needs more, pumpkin very bland without)
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

bowl, electric mixer

Combine cream cheese, pumpkin, cream, sugar and spices, mix until well combined and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well each time. Pour into cooled pie crust. Place on a baking sheet in the oven and bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes, until the pie is mostly set, you’ll want the center to still move a bit, it will set completely while cooling and you don’t want to overcook it. I put foil over the pie for the first 40 minutes so it didn’t burn and took it off for the last 10 minutes to caramelize the filling.

You wouldn’t want to do this with a pastry crust, because it needs to bake, but with the crumb crusts they don’t need that baking time. You may end up covering a pastry crust the last 10 minutes if it is browning too quickly.

Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, ice-cold
  • 3 tbsp, packed, brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice

mixing bowl, ice-cold (I also put the beaters in the freezer)

Whip cream on med to high until it forms peaks. Using your fingers, crumble the brown sugar over cream, so it’s not clumped and add spices. Fold ingredients gently until incorporated. Spread or pipe over COMPLETELY cooled pie and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 pieces

I think this pie is a great Thanksgiving idea and can be made a day or so ahead – it’s actually better the next day.