Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust and Oatmeal Crumble

Pumpkin pie... the most traditional Thanksgiving dessert ever.

I won't lie. I don't love it.

Weird, right? First, because I love all food. Second, because I love pumpkin. I buy some every time I go to the store so I can hoard it away and pull it out when it's no longer in season. Trust me, you'll see pumpkin recipes on here in the middle of summer. My taste buds don't care about seasons.

Anyway, I think it's a texture thing. And it's just kind of boring, you know? There's no wow factor. That and by the time I get around to the dessert, I don't even want to look at food. For an average sized girl, I can eat an absolutely disgusting amount of mashed potatoes and stuffing. No really... it's gross and unnatural.

Well, I set out to find a recipe with some pizazz and that would amend the texture issue.  I found this. The cinnamon crunch is delicious and makes the pie feel less like custard. And it's just different enough to grab my attention. Granted, I only had a tiny piece because I couldn't stop eating all the Thanksgiving carbs, but I thought it was good! Definitely much better than the ones you can buy at the store that, for some reason, can sit out on the shelves for weeks. So give this a try if you're sort of impartial to pumpkin pie and want to spice it up!

 Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Crunch (adapted from Bobby Flay's Throwdown recipe)
  • Cinnamon Crunch
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, cold
  • Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Filling
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
11/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
11/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for the top
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved, or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1.       To make the cinnamon crunch, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2.       Combine the flour, oats, muscovado sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor, and process a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until combined. Pat the mixture evenly into a 4-inch square on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into small pieces. Keep the oven on.
3.       To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix until combined. Press evenly onto the bottom and sides of a 10-inch pie plate. Brush with the beaten egg. Bake until light golden brown and firm, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
4.       Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
5.       To make the filling, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, both sugars, and the molasses together in a medium bowl. Mix in the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Whisk in the heavy cream, milk, and vanilla seeds or extract. Whisk in the butter.
6.       Place the pie plate on a baking sheet, pour the pumpkin mixture into the shell, and sprinkle additional cinnamon over the top. Bake until the filling is set around edges but the center still jiggles slightly when shaken, 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
7.       Cut the pie into slices and top each with a large dollop of whipped cream and some of the cinnamon crunch.

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