Friday, December 5, 2008

Praline Pumpkin Pie

Adapted from Charlotte Observer Wednesday, November 26

Dough for a single-crust 9-inch pie (homemade or purchased)

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

few dashes of ground cloves

1 (15-ounce) can plain pumpkin puree

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Praline topping:

1 cup pecans, chopped coarsely

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons brown sugar corn syrup

ADJUST rack to middle and heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough, if necessary, and it fit it into a pie pan. Line the pan with foil, cover with pie weights or dried beans to hold the dough in place and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust beneath the foil dries out and sets.

BEAT the sugar into the eggs with an electric mixer until it dissolves. Beat in cornstarch, salt and spices. Stir in pumpkin puree, evaporated milk and vanilla by hand until thoroughly blended.

TAKE the pie shell out of the oven, remove foil and weights, poke dough with a fork in several places to vent steam and bake about 10 minutes longer, until lightly browned.

HEAT the pumpkin mixture in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, just until it is steaming hot; do not boil. Pour hot filling into hot pie shell and return it to the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 25 minutes.

TOSS pecans, brown sugar in a bowl. Add corn syrup and blend well with a rubber spatula. Remove pie from oven, scatter topping evenly over pie. Bake until topping is bubbling around the edges, about 10 minutes.

COOL pie completely on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature.