White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pecans

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This is the pumpkin pie for those who think that they don’t like pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving calls for pumpkin pie even though there are a great number of people who don’t actually like it, right? When I first came to Canada, I had never had pumpkin pie before. And when I tried it, I wasn’t really a fan. I didn’t like the monotonous texture, and I wasn’t excited by the flavour. But I love that it’s a traditional food for this Canadian (and American) tradition, so it feels like there SHOULD be pumpkin pie on the table for thanksgiving. So I made it a mission to create a recipe that I would actually like!

Now, not only did I end up LIKING this pumpkin pie, I LOVED it. It is not like any other pumpkin pies I’ve had—it’s light and fluffy yet it’s still creamy with melty bits of white chocolate all throughout. It’s scented with citrus which brightens up the warm, sweet spices. The best part is that it is topped with candied pecans which adds a crunchy texture that I found lacking in the traditional pie. All in all, I’m a pumpkin pie convert…but only when they taste like this one!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Pumpkin pie

White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pecans

  • Author: Pailin Chongchitnant
  • Yield: One 10-inch pie

Ingredients

Easy Pie Crust – Pâte Brisée

  • 220g (1½ cup) all-purpose flour
  • 30g (¼ cup) rice flour
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 50 mL water (3 Tbsp + 1 tsp)

Candied Pecans

  • ½  Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup, honey or corn syrup
  • ½ Tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
  • A pinch of salt
  • 80 g coarsely chopped pecans, roasted

Filling

  • 170 g (6 oz) white chocolate chips or baking white chocolate chopped into small chunks
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree, canned
  • 3 large eggs, 2 separated
  •   tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  •  ½ tsp salt
  • Zest of 1 orange or 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar, preferably dark, packed
  • Maple whipped cream for serving (simply whip 1 cup of cream with 3 Tbsp maple syrup)

Instructions

For the crust: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), put one rack on the bottom rung (for the pie), and another rack in the middle (for the candied pecans). If you only have one rack, put it in the middle first as you’ll probably be baking the pecans first, then move it to the bottom for the pie.
  2. Whisk together flour, rice flour and salt and pour onto clean work surface. Place butter on top of the flour and rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it looks crumbly, with no more large pieces remaining. Make a well in the centre. Beat the egg yolk and water until combined and add to the well. Gradually stir the flour into the liquid with your fingers, then knead the dry flour into the center until it becomes a smooth dough (if it’s too dry, you can add a little bit of water.) Refrigerate for 30 mins. While the dough rests, you can  make the candied pecans (instructions below).
  3. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to 1/8” thick and place into a pie plate, making sure the crust sits right up against the plate. Trim the edges and press with a fork all around to create a design. Dock the bottom with a fork and rest in fridge for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Line the crust with parchment paper or foil and filling it with pie weights, dry beans, or uncooked rice. Bake on the bottom rack for 20 minutes. Remove the pie weight and the paper and bake again for 5 more minutes to dry off the bottom.
  5. Remove the pie crust and turn the oven up to 375°F to bake the pie with the filling.
  6. Once the crust is no longer super hot, (warm is okay), beat 1 egg and lightly brush the edges of the pie crust with it. Reserve the egg for the filling.

For the candied pecans:

  1. Make sure the oven is preheated to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a small pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup and a pinch of salt and stir just until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and add the pecans and toss to coat evenly.
  4. Spread the nuts onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in the middle rack for 7-9 minutes just until the coating is dry.

For the filling:

  1. Heat evaporated milk in the microwave just until it starts to steam (about 30-45 seconds, be careful not to let it boil over!). Add half of the white chocolate to the hot evaporated milk without stirring and let it sit for 2 minutes until the white chocolate is soft. Stir to combine
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add pumpkin purée, 2 egg yolks, the beaten egg leftover from egg wash, spices, orange zest, and salt; whisk until well combined. Add the evaporated milk mixture and whisk until combined. Stir in the remaining white chocolate.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat 2 egg whites until frothy. Gradually add brown sugar and continue to beat until glossy and soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture in 2 additions.
  4. Pour filling into the pie shell and bake at 375°F for 45-50 minutes. The filling will be puffed slightly and the edges of the filling will start to crack. When you jiggle the pie, the centre should wobble just a little.
  5. Scatter candied pecans over pie, and push them into the pie slightly to secure them. Let cool for a few hours, until it is at least lukewarm, before serving (the filling will be too soft to cut when hot).
  6. Serve with maple whipped cream!

Pumpkin pie for people who don't like pumpkin pies. Light, yet creamy filling scented with citrus and flavoured with white chocolate. The candied pecans give the crunch that's key! #pumpkinpie #thanksgiving