Pumpkin pecan pie a tasty twist

Posted Nov. 16, 2010, at 5:45 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:52 p.m.

This pie recipe sent to me by Alice Elliott of Richmond is a charmer and blends a Yankee dish, pumpkin pie, with a Southern one, pecan pie. If you really like a good old pumpkiny mouthful, this pie won’t do it, but, as Ali wrote, she likes this recipe because she thinks “pecan pie is too sweet and corn syrupy.” In fact, there is no corn syrup anywhere near this pie. Maple syrup takes its place in the pecan topping.

For a holiday meal, this pie is a wonderful variation on the traditional Thanksgiving dessert. You might want to make this one and an old-fashioned pumpkin pie, too.
Pumpkin pie is actually more American than apple pie. Apple pie was English, came to America along with colonists and their apple trees. Pumpkins, on the other hand, were New World plants, and Native Americans introduced settlers to them.

The idea for making them into pie came from a group of custard puddings introduced to colonial America from England, particularly the one made from sweet potatoes. Lacking sweet potatoes, New Englanders substituted the mushy orange stuff from pumpkins, and there you have it: pumpkin pie, a truly native, invented-in-America pie. Tell your friends.

One surprise with this pie is the relatively low oven temperature and the relatively long time it takes to bake it. You will bake this pie for 1¾ hours, so, unlike me, who dawdled around the day I tried it and had to rush to assemble it, make sure you plan ahead to give yourself plenty of time. Assembly is very easy, and even though the list of ingredients looks long, it goes together quickly. Ali reserved pecan halves to lay around the perimeter of the pie, which looks very dressy.

On her blog Ali has other nice recipes that you might like to see. Visit Yankee Pantry http://yankeepantry.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/maple-pumpkin-pecan-pie/. Her other inspiring blog, Henbogle, tells all about growing vegetables and making compost and raising chickens.

And yes, it calls for a lot of eggs, and it is rich, and that is why it is perfect for a holiday meal. I hope you have a splendid Thanksgiving.

Maple Pecan Pumpkin Pie
Yields one 9- to 10-inch pie
Pumpkin filling
2 cups cooked pumpkin puree
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg, beaten well
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch allspice
Pinch nutmeg

Combine ingredients in a medium-size bowl and set aside.

Pecan syrup
½ cup sugar
¾ cup maple syrup (darker is better here)
2 large eggs
1½ tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pinch salt
Pinch cinnamon
¾ cup pecan pieces

Combine ingredients in a medium-size bowl and set aside.

Sufficient pastry for 9- to 10-inch pie plate

To assemble pie:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 9- or 10-inch pie plate with pastry. Spoon pumpkin filling into plate, spreading it evenly to distribute. Gently pour pecan syrup on top. Bake until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 1¾ hours. Cool and serve.

Looking for … I sure could use a good date nut bread recipe.

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