Make Ahead

New World PumpkinĀ Pie

November  5, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Pumpkin pie is definitely in my top 10 favorite pies (why, yes, I do have a list!) and of course it's already beloved as a Thanksgiving Day pie. But I was thinking about how to make a pumpkin pie that emphasizes the holiday and pays homage to the flavors from the Americas, the pumpkin's homeland. This ingredients in this pie are like a greatest hits of indigenous American flavors: the toothsome crunch of cornmeal in the crust, a zippy burst of American corn-mash bourbon in the Latin American dulce de leche, pepitas dusted with Caribbean allspice and cayenne -- and, of course, a rich, soft pumpkin custard in the middle. —vrunka

What You'll Need
  • Cornmeal Pie Crust
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup medium or fine grind cornmeal
  • 8 tablespoons butter, ice cold and cut into chunks
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4-6 tablespoons ice cold milk
  • Pie Filling and Topping
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup dulce de leche (see note at end)
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  1. For the crust: Using a pastry blender or food processor, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, and butter until the butter is broken down into pea-sized lumps. Add the milk one tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough and place in a 9-inch pie pan. Make sure the crust overhangs the edge just a bit. This is a fairly crumbly crust so if it breaks, just push it back together with your fingers.
  3. For the pumpkin pie filling, combine pumpkin puree and spices in a mixing bowl. Add condensed milk and eggs and stir carefully (be careful not to splash!) until well combined. Pour into the pie crust.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes at 400, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for 40 minutes more. It's done when a toothpick comes out clean (or clean-ish) from the center of the pie. Allow pie to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  5. While the pie is baking, make the crispy pepita topping. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine granulated sugar and water. Heat for one minute to dissolve the sugar. Add the pepitas and spices. Heat for one minute at a time, stirring after each minute until the sugar and pepitas start to turn dark brown (but not black!). Watch out: the bowl will be very hot! Pour the pepitas out on a cookie sheet covered with a SIlpat or parchment . Allow to cool completely.
  6. Heat up the dulce de leche in a small sauce pan over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Once it's warm and liquidy, add the bourbon. (if you are averse to using bourbon, you can add some maple syrup or a scraped vanilla bean for equally unique flavors from the Americas).
  7. Once the pie has cooled, top the pie with dulce de leche. Right before serving, sprinkle the candied pepitas on top.
  8. NOTE: You can purchase canned dulce de leche, but it's also easy to make yourself. Search the Food52 website or Google for recipes -- there are many! Basically all you do is simmer sweetened condensed milk until it is a deep golden brown. I made mine from scratch starting with regular milk -- which takes much longer and as you can see from the picture, I got impatient and pulled it before it was quite caramelized enough!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • gingerroot
  • hardlikearmour
  • Midge
  • vrunka
I love experimenting in the kitchen and learning new techniques.

6 Reviews

LeBec F. November 22, 2013
vrunka, you continue to earn my admiration. I love the food history element you have brought in- it just adds layers of knowledge and flavor!
I do have some suggestions:
I have a thing about raw pie dough under a filling. why not blind bake the crust? also, the dulce de leche is a fun idea but it is soooo sweet; is the 1/4 c sugar less than in a regular pumpkin pie?(i bet it is; i bet you already thought of that.)

Instead of sub'ing maple syrup for the bourbon, you might suggest maple extract (sold at Whole Foods, Frontier brand)which has no sugar and will help cut the sweetness of the dulce de leche.

Thx, v. You are so inspiring!
gingerroot November 8, 2013
This sounds pretty amazing, vrunka!
hardlikearmour November 5, 2013
Yum! I'd love to hear what makes the rest of your top ten pies list :-)
vrunka November 5, 2013
well, I have to try your new pie recipe -- I may have to update the list!
Midge November 5, 2013
Love your idea and the more toothsome texture.
vrunka November 5, 2013
Thanks -- it is a pretty sturdy crust, but tasty!