Tuesday, April 14, 2015

PUMPKIN PIE WITH PECAN PRALINE TOPPING

Yes, I know talking about pumpkin pie is out of season. However, pumpkin is healthy and should be eaten year-round. If you are going to have pie, why not make one with the heathy ingredients of pumpkin and pecans?

CRUST:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (to make things healthier I always use white whole-wheat flour)
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup cold buttermilk

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers (or a potato masher - remember those?) quickly work the butter into the flour mixture until some butter pieces are the size of oat flakes, some the size of peas. Create a well in the center and pour the buttermilk into the well. Using a fork, bring dough together trying to moisten all the flour bits. Add a tiny bit more buttermilk if needed (mixture should be shaggy and moist but not outwardly wet).

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead gently into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. This will allow the dough to rest, rechill the butter and distribute the moisture.

On a well floured surface roll the crust to a 1/2-inch thick 12-inch circle. Transfer to pie pan; trim edges almost even with the edge of the pan. Fold edges under and crimp with a fork or your fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no longer than 3 hours.

Set oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees.

FILLING:
2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan cook the pumpkin, sugars, pie spice, and salt over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until mixture becomes fragrant and some of the water in the pumpkin cooks off. Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium mixing bowl.

Stir the cream into the pumpkin mixture. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the prepared crust and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and cook 40 to 50 minutes or until the pie no longer jiggles in the center.

TOPPING:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup very coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped fresh cranberries, optional (adds a holiday look for holiday meals)

While pie is baking, in a medium saucepan combine the sugar, butter, cream, and salt over medium-low heat. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, pecans, and the cranberries, if using. Set aside to rest until pie comes out of the oven.

Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes. The pie will settle and slightly deflate.

Check praline to see if it is still pourable. If not, heat over low heat just long enough to be pourable. Pour over the warm pie. Note: The topping may seem loose but it will thicken and harden as it cools.

Cool pie completely before cutting to serve.

Yield: 8 serving
Per serving: 693 calories, 48 g fat, 62 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 7 g protein


Source: This is a BH&G recipe with my additions.


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