The Pantry: Pecan Crunch Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

I found this recipe in an old back issue of Country Home magazine (Nov 2006), and I was intrigued.  The name is a mouthful (so much so that I don’t think I’ve called it by the same name more than twice in the last month and a half!), and oh, is this pie a divinely spicy, creamy, delicious mouthful.  Cream cheese, vanilla, pumpkin, and pecans are all housed in a thin, crispy, buttery crust.  It’s difficult to ask for more in a pie.

Be brave.  Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients or the multi-step directions.  You want to make this pie.  You really, really want to make this pie.

I must say that the major portion of this pie was taken from the original recipe in the magazine, but like any and all recipes in my repertoire, I added, substituted–made it my own.  Instead of using pumpkin pie spice, I used my combination of spices, and instead of going with their from-scratch crust, I went with the pre-made stuff.  I’m just not good at pastry–yet.

Like I said, though, you want to make this pie.  You really, really, really do.

*Just a note: I was baking this at 10:30 the night before Thanksgiving, so the picture quality–yeah, it’s meh.  I’m hoping to make this again during the day sometime, so hopefully, I’ll eventually be able to change out my pictures, or at least get some to supplement those that I’m missing.

Pecan Crunch Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Ingredients:

Cream Cheese Filling-

8 oz. cream cheese softened

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp vanilla

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ tsp finely shredded lemon peel (no pith!)

Pumpkin Filling-

1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (I used fresh, but I’m sure canned would work)

1 cup cream

½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp ginger

¼ tsp cloves

¼ tsp salt

Pecan Crunch Topping-

3 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp flour

2 tbsp butter softened

¾ cup pecans, chopped

Crust-

1-9 inch premade refrigerated pie crust

½ tbsp butter, melted

½ tsp sugar

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Roll out the refrigerated pie crust to approximately 1/4-1/6  inch thickness.   Drape the crust over a 9-inch deep dish pie pan.  Gently press dough into pie pan. As you can see, my crust is really thin.

At first, I thought this might be a problem, but in the end, it turned out to be a wonderful choice.  The crust was wonderfully crisp and flaky, and as someone who usually leaves the crust on her plate, that’s saying something. Cover the crust with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

3.  To make the cream cheese filling, beat together the cream cheese and sugar

until smooth and creamy.  Mix in vanilla, 1 beaten egg, and the lemon peel.  Refrigerate the cream cheese filling for a minimum of 30 minutes.

4.  Prepare the pumpkin filling by mixing together the pumpkin puree, cream, brown sugar 2 beaten eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt.

5.  Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator.  Pour cream cheese filling into prepared pie pan.  Spoon the pumpkin filling over the top of the cream cheese filling.

6.  Cover the pie with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes.

7.  Remove aluminum foil, brush edges of pastry with ½ tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle ½ teaspoon sugar on top of crust.

8.  Return pie to oven for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until the center of the pie is set.  I baked mine for about 45 minutes before it was set.  It looks odd, but the cream cheese filling starts to rise in some places, which creates a really yummy flavor combination and an interesting texture–especially with the finely sliced lemon peel.

9.  While the pie is baking, put together the pecan crunch topping.  Mix together the brown sugar, flour, butter, and pecans until crumbly.

When the center of pie is set, spoon pecan topping over the top of the pie, and return it to the oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until the topping begins to turn golden brown.  If needed, cover the crust with a strip of aluminum foil in order to keep it from over-browning.

9.  Remove the pie from the oven; allow it to cool for a minimum of 1 hour, and then chill the pie in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  I made mine late the night before and served it with cinnamon whipped cream.

As you can see above, the husband cut the pie into 8 large slices.  When I realized how rich and yummy it was, I came back and cut those slices in half.  The crust looks funny, but trust me–so good.

Yield: 8-16 slices

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2 responses to “The Pantry: Pecan Crunch Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

  1. I’m so glad that you posted this recipe! I was thumbing through an old issue of Country Home and found the picture, but I’d cut out the recipe sometime ago…..and lost it among all of those other ‘cut-out’ recipes! Now I have it again, and I’m going to bake it for Thanksgiving! Thanks much.

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