This is one of my very favorite desserts. It doesn't even have to be Thanksgiving for you try this recipe; it's an amazing, sweet conclusion to any dinner. This pie is delightfully smooth, incredibly rich and the flavor is beyond belief! When salty caramel unites with creamy pumpkin and flavorful spices, the result is a delicious Thanksgiving dish your guests won't soon forget!
For the Pumpkin Filling:
- ¾ cup plus 1/8 cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup plus 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 2 eggs
For the Caramel Filling:
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
For the Crust:
- 2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (use a food processor to grind about 12 whole graham crackers)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) melted, unsalted butter
Make the Pumpkin Filling:
Step 1: Combine the pumpkin with the sugar, honey, vanilla, and spices in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Step 2: In a small bowl, use a teaspoon or small whisk to blend the cornstarch with the milk (this is called a slurry). Once the slurry is smooth, add it to the pumpkin mixture.
Step 3: Add the eggs to the pumpkin mixture. Mix until smooth and set aside.
Make the Caramel Filling:
Step 1: In a small saucepan, add the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Cook the mixture over medium heat, occasionally swirling the pan, until you have a dark amber caramel (about 15 minutes).
Step 2: Turn off the heat and carefully mix in the butter, half and half, and yogurt. (The mixture should hiss and bubble up—stand back!) Once the mixture settles down, add the salt and set aside to cool.
Make the Crust:
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2: Pour the graham cracker crumbs into a medium mixing bowl and combine with the sugar, salt, and melted butter.
Step 3: Gently press the mixture into a 9 ½ inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes and then set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.
Put it Together:
Step 1: Once the caramel has cooled (it can be warm, but not hot), very gradually mix it into pumpkin mixture, bit by bit.
Step 2: Pour the into the cooled crust and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Remove from the oven, cover with foil, and bake for another 10 minutes. Let the pie set for at least an hour before slicing.
- You can make both the pumpkin and caramel fillings the night before. It's a great idea, as this will not only save time the next day, making these ahead brings out even more of the flavors.
- If you need to save time, pre-made graham cracker crusts are available in most markets, as are traditional pastry crusts, which are great, too. A great pre-made pie crust is 365 Organic Everyday Value, a Whole Foods brand.
- Need a gluten-free pie crust option? Try gluten-free graham crackers to make the crumbs. I like Kinninnick's Smoreables. I fyou use these, keep in mind they are about half the size of regular graham crackers, so double the amount.
- For even more intense flavor, substitute the sea salt for Fleur de Sel, even better! (Fleur de Sel is brilliant, hand-harvested sea salt from France.)
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