Three Pies in One – Cheesecake Pumpkin Pecan PieNovember 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Dessert, Giveaway, Pies/Tarts, Puddings, Vegetables, Vegetarian | 165 Comments
Tags: Cheesecake, Communal Table, cream cheese, Cyber Monday, Cyber Monday Deals, Food Network Virtual Thanksgiving, Pecan Pie, Pecans, pie, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Thanksgiving
Whenever I think of Thanksgiving, I think of pie. Bulging golden apple pie, deep orange, custardy pumpkin pie, gooey sweet, toasty pecan pie, luscious, rich…well, you get the picture. Don’t get me wrong, visions of stuffing and candied sweet potatoes dance through my head too, but for some reason, since I started food blogging – PIE is the Footloose Kevin Bacon doing handsprings on the dance floor of my cerebral cortex.
Pumpkin pie has always been a favorite of mine, a pie I crave when the weather starts to cool and the leaves start turning color then falling. The reason it became a favorite might have been because it was the bad boy pie, the elusive pie, the pie I wasn’t allowed to date or hang out with because my parents didn’t approve.
My family hated pumpkin pie.
As a child and young teen, OH how I craved a taste of those smooth, burnt orange, shiny surfaced pies, beckoning me with a whiff of pumpkinny goodness every time I saw one, whether it be at the supermarket, when I tried to sneak one into my Mother’s shopping cart, or the Fall bake sale at school.
I’ll never forget the day I got to finally sink my teeth into the creamy, spiced custard in a buttery, flaky crust that is pumpkin pie. I was about 15, and the Fall bake sale at my HS was in full bloom, packed with kids and teachers vying for that last rice krispie treat, almost stampeding over each other to grab a bunch of the ‘good’chocolate chip cookies that one Mom was known for (I always felt sorry for the other chocolate chip cookie Moms whose plates of cookies remained untouched). I took baby steps toward one pumpkin pie, cut into slices, at the edge of the table. I had spent the little money I had that day on a few bottles of nail polish being sold by an upperclassmen, forgetting about the bake sale.
Hmmm..I couldn’t just steal a slice – I needed to do this in a somewhat civilized manner, as in errr…
“I’m doing a report on pumpkin pie, and I’ve never tasted one. I wish I could buy a slice, but I don’t have enough money.” I said to one sweet-faced PTA mom. A report on pumpkin pie? What was I thinking??
I immediately wished I could take it back, mentally punching myself in the mouth.
Then lo and behold – a miracle. The PTA Mom winked at me and slyly slid a slice my way, ignoring the my ridiculous lie. I thanked her profusely..maybe a little too much, but no time for regrets, I needed to finally dig into years of wonder.
One bite and I was in heaven. I knew we were meant to be. From that day forward, even though pumpkin pie was still met with grimaces come Thanksgiving, my parents were nice enough to buy me one each and every last Thursday in November. Of course, I couldn’t eat it all, and had to endure the “Yuck, how can you eat that?” barbs and jokes, but it was well worth every bite.
To this day, my family still hates pumpkin pie or anything pumpkin in general. To quote my father – from a very recent conversation we had about Thanksgiving this year;
“I just hate the smell of raw pumpkins.”
“Have you ever tried it cooked?” I always ask.
“NO, and I don’t want to, so don’t try to push pumpkin pie on me, my stance hasn’t and never will change.” He always answers.
Oh, wow..all these years, and no pumpkin gene has kicked in – no glorious moment of discovery in finding out that something he ate contained pumpkn, and it was good!
Does that mean I’m not bringing one to Thanksgiving dinner? A big HECK no. For years, coconut custard pie was the ‘pumpkin pie’ at our Thanksgiving dessert table, and I do love me a nice slice of coconut custard pie, but once adulthood set in, no one could stop me from placing a gorgeous, homemade pumpkin pie right beside it. Someone always found a way to push it to the side, the dark corner of the gymnasium during the HS dance – a total dessert outcast – shunned, blackballed, a scarlet P on its shiny surface. I was the ‘friend’ who stood by it, the one who would never leave it to stand alone. In other words, I slid it back into the rotation every time I passed the dessert table, IN FRONT of the coconut custard pie. Ha ha.
Once I learned to bake pies, I tried many variations of pumpkin pie, from pumpkin cheese pie, to pumpkin pie with pecan streusel, to a recipe an ex BF’s Mom gave me where the cream cheese layer was beneath the pumpkin filling. I LOVED that idea, and the pie itself, so that was my go to for many Thanksgivings to come.
Present day – as in today..well, last night. I decided I needed to get at least one Thanksgiving pie favorite of mine up on this blog. At first it was going to be the old pumpkin ‘cheese layer’ pie, but then I had this hankering for pecan pie too, and couldn’t decide which direction I wanted to take. Then it hit me…why not combine all three, as in turning the pecan streusel from one pumpkin pie recipe into a more pecan pie like topping? Into the lab I went, three days of testing.
It worked – two ways, crunchy or gooey. Three pies in one. No choosing, no juggling a slice of cheesecake, pecan pie and pumpkin pie on one plate, trying not to look silly as you take bites of each at once.
I almost added caramel apples to the cheesecake layer to make it a Pumpkin Apple Cheesecake Pecan Pie, but decided that was overkill. What do you think?
The cheesecake layer is your standard formula for swirling into brownies, filling cupcakes or muffins , marbling into cake batters and sweet breads etc, prior to baking. It’s a formula that I’ve had memorized for years, and it always works. No specific place where it comes from – it’s all over the net. 1 bar of cream cheese cheesecake creator – do you exist?
UPDATE- Some readers have used store-bought 9-inch deep dish pie crusts in the foil pans and have experienced an overflow of the pumpkin layer. If you want to use one of them to make thing easier, or just use a 9-inch deep dish pie pan, cut the pumpkin layer ingredients by half and continue as directed, but start checking it at 50 minutes.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, chilled
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch chunks and frozen
- ¼ cup lard or vegetable shortening, frozen
- 6 to 8 tablespoons ice-cold water ( I remove 1 tablespoon ice water and replace that tablespoon with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar in all pie crust recipes – it tenderizes the crust)
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1⅓ cups unsweetened fresh or canned pumpkin puree (If using canned, strain in a cheesecloth or paper towel lined fine mesh sieve, covered, for several hours to overnight, in the fridge)
- 1 cup heavy cream (you can use evaporated milk, if you prefer)
- ⅓ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup mix of whole and coarsely chopped pecans
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup light or dark corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs beaten
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1¼ cup mix of whole and coarsely chopped pecans
- ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light or dark corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade and pulse on and off until combined. Scatter the butter pieces and the shortening, in large chunks, over the flour mixture. Pulse the machine on and off until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 6 tablespoons of the ice water and process until the mixture just starts to come together. If the dough seems dry, add the remaining 2 tablespoons water as necessary. Do not allow the dough to form a ball on the blade, or the resulting crust will be tough! You want a raggedy mess of crumbly dough, with lumps of butter showing.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it in half, and shape each half into a disk – gently pressing each raggedy mess together, (DO NOT press into each disk or try to squeeze it together so the dough is uniform – it will come together in the refrigerator). Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. You will only need one disk for this recipe, so you can freeze the other disk for later use.
- Lightly flour a large work surface. Allow the dough to soften at room temperature just until it is pliable (about 10 minutes). Place 1 disk on the floured surface and sprinkle some flour over it. Roll the dough from the center out in every direction, flouring the work surface as necessary to prevent sticking. You want a round of dough that’s about ¼ to ⅛ inch and about 3 inches greater in diameter than the pie pan/plate you are using.
- Transfer the crust to a 9½ to 10-inch deep-dish pie pan (if you don’t use a deep-dish pan, there will be pumpkin filling left over, not to mention you run the risk of overflow) by rolling it loosely around the rolling pin and unrolling it carefully over the pan. Press the dough first into the bottom of the pan and then against the sides. Patch any holes or cracks with dough scraps. Trim the edges of the dough with scissors, leaving about ¾ inch of overhang. Fold overhang over and crimp as you please. Place shell in the freezer and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- When oven temperature is at 400 F, remove the pie shell from the freezer and line the pie crust with a large sheet of lightly buttered aluminum foil, buttered side down, covering the edge of the crust so that it doesn’t get too brown. Fill the lined crust with pie weights, dried beans, or raw rice. Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Prick the bottom of the crust well with a fork and bake the crust for another 7 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden, but the crust is not fully baked. Cool the pie crust on a wire rack while you make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in ¼ cup sugar, then add vanilla and egg. Beat mixture until smooth.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture into the bottom of the par baked pie shell, spread evenly, then freeze for about 15 -20 minutes.
- In the mean time, in a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, heavy cream, the 2 lightly beaten eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and salt. Mix thoroughly until uniform.
- Remove the pie shell with cream cheese from the freezer and pour the pumpkin mixture on top of it. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Combine the eggs, sugars, melted butter, corn syrup, vanilla extract and salt in a bowl. Stir in pecans. Remove pie from freezer and carefully spoon the pecan layer over the pumpkin layer.
- Place pie on the middle rack of your preheated oven. Cover edges of crust with aluminum foil or a pie crust shield if browning too quickly, but you will eventually have to cover it to prevent excess browning some time toward the end. Keep checking every 20 minutes.
- Bake in 350 degree F oven for about 60 to 75 minutes (It really depends on your oven. In one oven I used, it took 75 minutes, in another, 60 – so keep checking for it to be sturdy, but still jiggly in the middle). The pecan pie topping should be dark and bubbling.
- After you freeze the cheesecake layer, pour on the pumpkin layer and place in the oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the pumpkin layer is firm enough to hold pecan crunch layer without too much 'sinkage'.
- After pie has been in oven for 50 to 60 minutes, remove from the oven and gently sprinkle or spoon pecan pie crunch topping evenly over the top. The pumpkin pie layer will sink a bit because the pecan crunch is heavy, but do not worry! Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the pecan pie topping is bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature.
-Some have mentioned that they didn't have enough pecan pie topping to cover. It truly depends on your pie dish, so if it looks like you might not have enough, or simply want more since it's a thin layer, double or add another half of either pecan pie topping and bake an extra 5 to 10 minutes.
-If you don't have or can't find a 10-inch deep pie dish and want to use a 9-inch deep dish, cut the pumpkin layer ingredients in half. The reason for this is that a 10-inch deep dish is wider and deeper, and that extra inch in width makes a big difference. Start checking the pie at 50 minutes rather 60 minutes.
-Drizzle pie with melted chocolate or chocolate ganache for extra decadence!
1. “There’s too much pumpkin filling, it overflowed when I poured it on top of the cheesecake, and I still had pumpkin filling left over!”
I have been using a 10-inch deep dish pie dish, like THIS one, for this pie for years, and everything fits perfectly. But, if you use a 9-inch deep pie dish or your pie dish isn’t holding all the filling once you’ve already mixed all the pumpkin filling and started to pour it on; stop pouring when the pumpkin filling reaches about 1/2 to 1-inch below the crimped edge. Make mini pumpkin pies with any leftover pumpkin filling. Line a standard cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners and place a gingersnap or vanilla wafer at the bottom of each lined cup (or spray cupcake wells with oil, then line wells with pie dough circles). Pour pumpkin filling over the cookies and bake at 375 F for 25 – 30 minutes. You probably won’t fill all 12 pan wells, so pour water into any empty, unlined wells so the cheesecakes bake evenly.
2. “My pie has been in the oven for over 75 minutes and it still doesn’t seem done! What should I do?”
The pie will not look done when it’s ready to come out. It will be jiggly in the middle, almost like it’s raw, but the sides will be somewhat set, just like a cheesecake. Some ovens run hotter or cooler than others, so an oven thermometer is an ideal tool to have to make sure your oven is at the right temperature. Regardless, do not keep the pie in the oven more than 90 minutes. Once you take it out, let it come to room temperature, then into the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours. I promise you it will set up perfectly!
3. “The pecan topping seems sparse!”, or “…it isn’t fully covering the top of the pie!”
The pecan pie layer is supposed to be thin (since it’s so sweet), but, if you want more gooey pecan pie topping, make another half of the recipe and add another 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time. If you decided to use the crunchy pecan topping, it may seem like it won’t cover the top of the pie, but however you spoon it on, it will all melt together and cover the top of the pie in the end. But, you can also double or make another half of the crunchy pecan pie topping, if you’d like.
4. “Do I really have to strain the canned pumpkin?”
No, you don’t. It’s just something I’ve been doing for years with any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin. Removing the extra water intensifies the pumpkin flavor, and in this recipe, aids in the reduction of pumpkin overflow. Sometimes I even strain and cook down the canned pumpkin!
In conclusion, everyone ate and loved this pie – even my father, although he scraped off the pumpkin layer. Oh, well, it’s something, right? Regardless, it’s now in demand for every Thanksgiving forward.
On another note, I submitted this Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake Pie to the Food Network’s Virtual Thanksgiving – A Communal Table. The hashtag on Twitter is #pullupachair. Below is the virtual Thanksgiving menu created by all of us. What a feast, huh? Click on the links and be prepared to drool.
The Food Network Communal Table Thanksgiving Feast
Cocktails, Appetizers, Soups and Salads:
Eat Be Mary: She’s Mulling It Over Wine
Cookistry: Bread With Ancient Grains
Celebrity Chefs and Their Gardens: The American Hotel Peconic Clam Chowder
Picky Eater Blog: Butternut Squash Soup With Thyme and Parmesan
Good Food Good Friends: Mushroom Soup
Examiner.com: Grilled Quail with a Warm Beet, Frisée, and Pistachio Salad
She Wears Many Hats: Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey
Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole
Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie
The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes
Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry Studded Stuffing
Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat: Blue Cheese and Rosemary Celebration Potatoes
Burnt Lumpia: Turkey, Sweet Potato and Cranberry Empanadas
Panfusine: Pan Fried Polenta Seasoned With Cumin, Ginger & Black Pepper
Homemade Cravings: Warm Brussels Sprouts and Cranberry Slaw
Bakeaholic Mama: Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Crispy Prosciutto
Show Food Chef: Beer-Braised Brussels Sprouts
T’s Tasty Bits: Sweet Empanadas with Pumpkin and Lupini Beans Filling
The Amused Bouche Blog: Braised Kale
The Little Kitchen: How to Make the Perfect Mashed Potatoes
The Macaron Queen: Macaron Tower
Poet In The Pantry: Amaretto Apple Crisp
Farm Girl Gourmet: Pumpkin Coconut Panna Cotta
That’s Forking Good: Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Blondies
Out of the Box Food: Out of the Box Food Maple Pumpkin Pie
Cake Baker 35: Orange Spiced Pumpkin Pie
Lisa Michele: Pumpkin, Pecan, Cheesecake Pie
Food For My Family: Buttermilk Custard Pear Pie
Simple Bites: Black-Bottom Maple Pumpkin Pie
A Cooks Nook: Swedish Apple Pie
Yakima Herald: Pretzel Jell-O Salad
How Does She: Three of Our Favorite Desserts
Dollhouse Bake Shoppe: Thanksgiving Candy Bar Name Plates
Sweet Fry: Pumpkin Latte
Tasty Trials: Spiced Apple Panna Cotta With Caramelized Apples and Caramel Sauce
An Uneducated Palate: Puff Pastry Apple Tart
Frugal Front Porch: Mini Cheaty Cheesecakes
Time for the winner of the Cuisinart DLC-2 Mini Prep Plus Food Processor. After I generated the number via random.org, and counted over and over, skipping over a few of my own replies, I wasn’t shocked to see where it landed. There were several entries from people who battled and survived breast cancer, people who’s loved ones battled and survived breast cancer, and sadly, some who lost loved ones to it. Well…random.org chose one of those people, or maybe something/someone else did.
ongratulations, Stephanie! I hope your Mom chops, grinds and purees her heart out Sending you an email to get your mailing info, right now.