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Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pecans

Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pecans
Candied pecans are used to flavor a graham cracker crumb crust in this otherwise classic pumpkin pie seasoned with clove, cinnamon and ginger. You will not need all of the candied pecans for this recipe, but the remainder are delicious chopped and sprinkled on vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients:

  • For the candied pecans:
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • For the crust:
  • 1 cup candied pecans
  • 1 cup fine cinnamon graham
     cracker crumbs
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter,
     melted
  • For the filling:
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Sweetened whipped cream for serving
  • Freshly grated nutmeg for serving

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.

To make the candied pecans, over a plate, sift together the superfine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Place the pecans in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Shake the colander to remove the excess water and toss the pecans in the sugar mixture, coating them evenly. Spread the nuts out on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer, separating any that are touching.

Bake the nuts until they are dry and the sugar has crystallized, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

To make the crust, place 1 cup of the candied pecans in a food processor and process until finely ground. Pour into a bowl and stir in the graham cracker crumbs and butter until all the ingredients are evenly moistened. Pour into a 9-inch pie dish and, using your fingers, press the mixture to cover the bottom and sides of the dish evenly. Set aside.

Preheat an oven to 325ºF.

To make the filling, in a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, cream, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and smooth the top.

Bake until a toothpick or thin skewer inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Just before serving, garnish the edge of the pie with some of the remaining candied pecan halves. Cut the pie into wedges and place a slice on each plate. Top each serving with a spoonful of whipped cream. Sprinkle the whipped cream with a little nutmeg. Serve immediately.
Serves 8 to 10.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Entertaining, by George Dolese (Oxmoor House, 2004).