Brûléed Pumpkin Pie
There is little one can do to improve a classic pumpkin pie. Sometimes I want to cry out in protest when I see the things people do to pumpkin pie to try to drum up a new twist on it. I just want to scream “STOP THE MADNESS!” because there are JUST some things you don’t mess with.
I’ve changed my mind a bit with this recipe because it just makes sense.
Bruleeing the top of a pumpkin pie custard makes just as much sense as bruleeing the top of my Pumpkin Maple Crème Brulee recipe sans the butter flaky crust so why NOT do it? And while I’m at it, why not add in a touch of maple flavoring as well? That’s not straying too far off the wonderfully delicious beaten path right?
I am not going to get into making pie crust. PLEASE feel free to do what many do and buy one of those store-bought roll out ones if you’re short on time this Thanksgiving. They really are fairly good. Do NOT skimp and buy a tub of whipped cream oil though. Buy a carton of heavy whipping cream and do things up right for gosh sakes!
Once you get the crust rolled out and arranged in the pie pan, making the filling for a pumpkin pie couldn’t be easier. Dump everything into your mixing bowl and whip away.
Start out with your eggs and your sugar. Crack 3 eggs into your mixing bowl and add one-fourth cup each of brown sugar and white sugar. Beat this up until it gets light tan and no longer looks “gritty” from the sugar, about a minute or two.
Add in a cup of heavy cream, a 15 ounce can of PURE pumpkin puree, the pure maple syrup, a teaspoon and one-half of pumpkin pie spice, and pinch of salt. Beat for about another minute or until it looks very smooth. Then pour it right into your pie crust.
Gently shake the pie pan to make sure it evens out.
Then pop it into the oven.
If your crust gets too brown cover it with a pie crust shield or roll up a one inch long strip of tin foil and wrap it around the crust.
Bake it at 350º for 45-50 minutes and then remove and let cool to room temperature for at least an hour or two.
Then sprinkle some sugar over top of it. I like to use Sugar in the Raw or turbinado sugar for a good thick crackly brulee.
And now for the fun part.
You don’t have to have a special torch for this. You can actually use that old powertool your husband has laying around out in the garage, but I would recommend asking him for help to figure it out. If you don’t have a fancy torch, feel free to crank your broiler up to high heat and pop the pie onto the top rack of your oven and watch is closely, until the sugar bubbles and melts. But make sure you watch it super closely for it will happen FAST!!
If you do decide to buy a brulee torch, I must tell you, they are SO much fun.
You just turn it on and get the blue flame really close to the sugar and watch it as it begins to bubble up and melt and turn to caramel.
When the melted sugar cools, it hardens and forms the crackly crisp sugar crust over the top of the pie.
Whichever step you decide to use, whether it be the oven or the torch, however, don’t do it until shortly before you’re ready to serve the pie. Leaving it too long will allow the custard’s moisture to make the hardened sugar sticky and soft.
Tonight I’d like to confess, I messed with tradition here. I also learned that my husband can crimp pie better than me any day. French manicures do not lend well to pie crimping…or anything else for that matter.
Something as sacred as pumpkin pie should only be messed with if it’s really good.
And I have to say…
Tonight I’d like to confess
- 1 pie crust
- 3 eggs
- ¼ c. brown sugar
- ¼ c. sugar
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin puree
- ¼ c. pure maple syrup
- 1½ t. pumpkin pie spice
- pinch of salt
- 2 T. turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Press pie crust into pie dish, trim and flute. Place in refrigerator to keep cold.
- Add eggs and both sugars to bowl
- Whisk or beat with mixer until light and fluffy
- Add remaining ingredients (except Turbinado sugar0
- Whisk or beat another minute until creamy and smooth
- Pour into pie crust
- Bake for 45-50 minutes
- Remove pie and let cool at least an hour
- Sprinkle Turbinado sugar over top until all custard is covered
- Use brulee torch and torch all sugar until it bubbles and melts and turns darker brown or..
- Broil on top rack of oven just until sugar melts (watch closely!)