This pumpkin spice latte pie celebrates the perfect match that is pumpkin and espresso. To ensure the pie is equally about the coffee as it is the pumpkin and spice, I use a triple threat of coffee-infused dairy, espresso powder, and brewed coffee to inject a well-rounded and potent espresso kick into the custard. Using just espresso powder can be overly harsh and bitter; brewed espresso/coffee typically isn’t strong enough to make an impression on its own. So I prefer to steep my cream and milk with whole coffee beans to establish a solid baseline flavor, then use espresso powder and brewed espresso to adjust the strength.
But I encourage you to choose your own level of coffee forward-ness in this pie: before adding espresso powder and raw eggs, taste the custard and adjust to your liking. If you’re more of a latte drinker, you may want to not add any powder or just a touch. If you lean towards espresso shots or black coffee, add more to taste.
- The whole coffee beans will absorb some of the dairy during steeping, so I start with 15% more dairy to account for loss. Measure the amount after steeping and top up as necessary — every batch will yield a slightly different amount due to different coffee bean size/shapes, how well pans are scraped out, etc.
- To avoid cracks in your pie, use the spoon bouncing technique to rid your custard of any errant air bubbles (see an example in my Instagram reels). Note: if you’re doing this once the filling is in the crust, don’t bang the pan to avoid cracking your crust! These bubbles can rise to the surface during baking and cause little fissures. Also, don’t overbake the pie! Take the pie out when there’s still a wobble in the center — it will continue to bake and set as it cools.
- Make sure to allow time for your pie to completely cool and chill. I like baking my pumpkin pies a day ahead of serving; the spices meld a little and the custard firms to the texture I prefer.
- You can find a more classic version of pumpkin pie (along with my favorite pie crust recipe) in my cookbook!
Pumpkin Spice Latte Pie
Makes one 9″ pie | Adapted from Baked to Order
For the coffee-infused dairy (start the night before baking the pie):
- 200g heavy cream (35%), plus more as needed
- 145g whole milk
- 42g (1/2 c) whole coffee beans, preferably espresso roast
For the pumpkin spice latte pie:
- 425g pure pumpkin puree (one full 15 oz can)
- 150g (3/4 c) light brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
- 300g coffee-infused dairy, cold
- 1/2-2 tsp espresso powder (to taste)
- 15g freshly brewed strong coffee or espresso (optional, or substitute bourbon)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, cold
- 1 large egg yolk, cold
- One par-baked 9″ pie crust (regular or graham cracker; homemade or store-bought)
- Softly whipped cream, lightly sweetened
- Freshly grated nutmeg or finely ground coffee, for garnish
Make the coffee-infused dairy: In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream and milk. Heat on medium-low until steaming, then remove from heat. Stir in the whole coffee beans, cover, and refrigerate overnight (or up to 24 hours).
When done infusing, strain out the coffee beans with a fine mesh sieve. Measure out 300g infused dairy (top up with more heavy cream, if you’re a little short). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the pumpkin spice latte pie: Preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the middle. Place a baking stone or sheet pan in the oven while it preheats; baking the pie on this preheated surface helps ensure a crisp bottom crust.
In a medium saucepan, combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, spices, and salt. Bring to a sputtering simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently with a heatproof spatula to avoid scorching. Continue to simmer the pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the coffee-infused dairy until smooth. Taste and add espresso powder until you reach your desired coffee strength (2 tsp will give you an intense coffee kick; start with 1/2 tsp if you want something more subtle). Whisk in the brewed coffee, vanilla, eggs and egg yolk. Strain the mixture into a medium bowl using a spatula to press the solids through the strainer — this takes a little time and effort but ensures a silky-smooth texture.
Place the par-baked pie crust on a foil-lined sheet pan. Re-whisk the filling mixture and scrape it into the crust. Bounce a spoon across the top of the pie to encourage any air bubbles to rise to the surface and pop. Continue bouncing until no more bubbles appear.
Bake, cool, and serve the pie: Bake the pie for 35-45 minutes, or until the edges of the pie are set but the center still wobbles like set jello. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool completely to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours (I prefer my pumpkin pie cold so I like chilling at least 4 hours or overnight). Serve slices chilled or at room temperature with dollops of softly whipped cream and a grating of fresh nutmeg or some finely ground coffee, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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