Sunday, 21 December 2014

Advent Calendar - Day 21

Merry Christmas! 

My name is Angel Nicholas and I'm behind door number 21! I write romantic suspense for Harper Impulse from my humble abode in an Idaho valley, but I also adore baking! A fairly recent favorite is this amazing pumpkin pie. I know what you’re thinking. “Pumpkin pie? That’s so…ordinary.” Trust me, there’s nothing remotely ordinary about this pie. From the buttery, bakery-worthy crust to the thick, creamy center to the dulce de leche drizzled across the top, this pie will have you and your guests reaching for seconds! Without further ado…

Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie with Dulce de Leche Walnut Streusel
Yield: one 9-inch pie

Walnut streusel:
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in nuts.  Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

1 cup unsalted butter
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add flour, 1/4 cup of sugar and salt. Mix until a soft dough forms.
  2. Turn dough onto a well-floured surface and knead together until smooth. Roll dough with a floured rolling pin to ¼-inch thickness.  Gently lay dough inside spring-form pan and press up the sides.  Allow a little of the crust to overhang the edges of the pan.  Place dough-lined pan in the freezer and freeze until dough is stiff. 
  3. Preheat oven to 400F.

Pumpkin pie filling:
1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
4 eggs, lightly beaten
29 ounces (one large can) pure pumpkin puree
12 ounces (one can) evaporated milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk in eggs, then pumpkin; beat until smooth. Slowly whisk in milk, cream, and vanilla. Pour filling into frozen pie crust.  Cover edges of pie crust with aluminum foil or a pie crust shield if you have one.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.   Bake pie for 1 hour, then top with walnut streusel. Bake for 25 minutes more, then tent a piece of aluminum foil over the pie so the streusel does not over-brown.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the pie is set but still slightly wobbly in the center.  Cut away overhand crust if desired. Allow pie to cool completely then thoroughly chill in the refrigerator overnight.

16 oz. prepared dulce de leche

  1. Just before serving, warm dulce de leche in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop until loosened.  Drizzle about ½ cup over the top of the pumpkin pie. Transfer the remaining dulce de leche to a gravy boat and serve alongside pie.

Note: The leaves were cut from a ready-made refrigerated pie crust I had languishing in  my refrigerator.  I baked them separately (400F for 12 minutes) and lay them on top of the pie for decoration.

I found the recipe about three years ago. What I’ve shared here is the current version of the recipe that’s all over the internet. I don’t do the maple leaves or the walnuts in the streusel topping—I’m allergic to walnuts—but the topping is just as delish without! Especially with all that yummy dulce de leche drizzled on it! Enjoy! J

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