Today is all about pumpkin, because it’s the 2017 Virtual Pumpkin Party! If you’re not a pumpkin fan or totally over pumpkin spice, hopefully this recipe (and the ton of other creative pumpkin-y recipes hitting the interwebs today) will inspire you to give pumpkin another chance.
When it comes to pie, are you Team Apple or Team Pumpkin? I quick-polled this question on Instagram Stories a couple weeks ago, and it seems that most of my followers are apple pie devotees. I, personally, am a proud member of Team Both. I also believe that a slice of cold pumpkin pie the day after Thanksgiving is one of life’s simple pleasures.
But as a nod to all you apple lovers out there (well, that and the several jars of apple butter in my fridge…), I’ve included apple butter in today’s pumpkin pie recipe. While you could go equal parts pumpkin and apple butter, I prefer a little heavier on the pumpkin, with the apple butter adding a subtle fruity sweetness and another layer of flavor.
Pumpkin pie is pretty easy to make, but here are a few tips to getting it just right:
- Don’t overbake! Seriously, turn off the oven when the middle is still a little wobbly. Otherwise it’ll be tough and probably crack when it cools.
- Speaking of cracks, the best way to avoid them is to cool it gradually (like you would a cheesecake). I had the best results when I left mine in the turned off oven for a few minutes before cooling at room temperature. That being said, a few cracks aren’t the end of the world and that’s why whipped cream (or, even better, homemade marshmallows or marshmallow meringue) exists.
- Use butternut squash instead of pumpkin. Maybe this is a little sacrilegious considering this recipe is for a Virtual Pumpkin Party…but I think butternut squash (or other flavorful winter squashes) taste better than pumpkin in pie. I definitely prefer the texture and color of butternut as well. And hey — if you’re using the canned stuff (which totally works), chances are it’s got some non-pumpkiny squash in there too.
- I prefer a cookie crust to a traditional all-butter crust with pumpkin pie because I like the contrast of textures. (However, according to another of my Insta-quick polls, I’m in the minority, heh.) Whichever you prefer, I definitely recommend taking the extra step of pre-baking the crust to prevent sogginess.
Pumpkin Apple Butter Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie
- 1 9-inch pie crust (either all-butter or cookie-based), pre-baked (optional but recommended)
- 280g pumpkin (or butternut squash) puree
- 200g apple butter
- 130g light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- A few gratings of fresh nutmeg
- A few turns of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 c heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine all the ingredients from pumpkin through salt in a food processor and process until smooth (you can also use an immersion blender). Add the cream and eggs and process until just combined.
- Scrape the filling into a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until just warm. You don’t want to cook the filling — just heat it through so the custard bakes more quickly and smoothly.
- When the filling is warm, pour it into the prepared pie shell. Bake until the edges are set but the middle still wobbles, about 30-40 minutes.
- Turn off the oven, crack open the oven door, and let the pie cool for 10 minutes; then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. For the cleanest cuts, refrigerate uncovered before serving. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
This recipe was created as part of the 2017 Virtual Pumpkin Party. Don’t forget to check out the many other fantastic pumpkin recipes created by food bloggers around the world!