Pumpkin Cream Pie with Candied Walnuts
A luxurious creamy pumpkin pie that’s a bit of a change from the old standby. This spiced cream pie is brimming with autumn flavors and is sure to delight your Thanksgiving guests!
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve had a little bit of a cream pie infatuation going on this year. It started off with a banana cream pie that eliminated the need to make stove-top custard, which morphed into a coconut cream pie, then later turned into a chocolate peanut butter cream pie.
I’m seeking help… No need for alarm.
Yet before I say goodbye to my cream pie tomfoolery, I wanted to share just one more variation. The Pumpkin Cream Pie!
And just in time for Thanksgiving. Can you believe the timing?
This one started with my hohum attitude toward traditional pumpkin pie.
I love baking with pumpkin, yet something about the texture of classic pumpkin pie has never really appealed to me. Every year I look for ways to lighten or fluff it up.
So obviously, turning my pumpkin pie into a cream pie was the perfect solution.
As with all pies, the making of something spectacular starts with a great crust.
I always use super finely-ground Gold Medal Flour to make sure my pie crusts bake into flaky perfection.
Starting with my most basic pie crust recipe: Gold Medal Flour, Butter, Salt, and Booze.
I don’t use water or milk for pie crust because a little nip of your favorite libation makes the pie crust extra flaky and leaves a little note of boozy flavor behind as it evaporates in the oven.
Once the pie crust has baked and cooled, simply beat the creamy pumpkin filling and chill.
There’s no need to put this pie back in the oven, which is just another reason why you should make it on Thanksgiving. You can even make it several days ahead.
So say goodbye to plain ol’ pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving… and I’ll do my best to say goodbye to cream pies this year.
But I can’t make any promises!
Yield: 1 big pie
Prep Time: 30 minutes (active time)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Pumpkin Cream Pie
For the Crust:
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose Gold Medal Flour + extra for rolling
- 1 stick COLD unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3-5 Tb. ice cold booze (brandy, amaretto, bourbon...)
For the Pumpkin Cream Pie:
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 16 oz. pumpkin puree
- 5.1 oz. box instant vanilla pudding
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, divided
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped candied walnuts (or pecans)
- For the Crust: Cut the butter into small cubes and place in the freezer to make sure it's very cold. Add the flour and salt to the food processor and pulse. Pour a couple ounces of your favorite booze over ice to chill. Then add the cold butter to the flour mixture and pulse until it's finely chopped and mixed into the flour. It should resemble oatmeal or little pellets. One tablespoon at a time, pulse in the chilled booze (not the ice cubes) until it clumps together. It should be firm, not sticky. Mine usually takes 4 tablespoons. Dump the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Once chilled, roll the dough out on a well floured work surface, into a 14 inch circle. Hold one side of the pie crust over the rolling pin and carefully roll it over the top of the rolling pin to transfer it to the pie pan. Don't stretch the pie crust, but gently move it into the center of the pie pan. Turn the edges underneath and crimp the edges to seal. You can do this with a fork or with your fingers. Place a large piece of foil (or parchment paper) over the pie crust and gently shape it over the dough. Fill the foil with ceramic pie weights, or dried beans. Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes. Then carefully remove the foil and weights. Cool completely before filling.
- For the Filling: Using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream with 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 cup powdered sugar, until firm peaks form. Transfer to another bowl, cover and refrigerate. Then beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Slowly, beat in the pumpkin puree. Add a little at a time and scrape the bowl regularly, to ensure there are no clumps.
- Once combined beat in the pudding mix, evaporated milk, pumpkin pie spice and remaining 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar. Scrape the bowl and beat again. Fold in HALF the whipped cream. Carefully mix until smooth.
- Scoop the filling into the cooled pie crust. Top with the remaining whipped cream. Chill for at least 4 hour--overnight is even better. When ready to serve, sprinkle the top with candied nuts.
Disclosure: This post in sponsored by Gold Medal Flour. All opinions are my own.
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