The Sum Is Greater Than Its Parts

The Pumpkin-Pecan Pie with Whiskey Butter Sauce, from Epicurious, was a Thanksgiving Day hit. It richly deserves every single 4-fork rating it has received. I’m not crazy about Pumpkin Pie, nor about Pecan Pie, but this pie was fabulous –succulent, light, flavorful, warm with spices and pecan, yet not cloying. The Whiskey Butter Sauce lent a sophisticated air, a definite step up even from freshly whipped cream. I think it would be equally delicious with rum.

Of course, as per usual, we didn’t follow the recipe exactly, instead following some of the advice from Epicurious readers and doubling the amount of pumpkin. The bottle of what I thought was Karo syrup in the pantry turned out to be rice wine vinegar, so we used maple syrup instead with great success. Given the results I see no need to try the corn syrup when the maple was so splendid. The eggs from the Henbogle girls are never small, so we used two extra large eggs. We also used whipping cream rather than heavy cream in both the pie and the whiskey sauce, as that was what I had on hand. The result was divine.

The recipe that follows includes the changes Holly and I made.

Pumpkin-Pecan Pie

Pumpkin Filling
2 c cooked pumpkin purée
1/4 c firmly packed light brown sugar
2 T sugar
1 extra-large egg, beaten until frothy
1 T heavy cream
1 T unsalted butter, softened
1 T vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of nutmeg

Pecan Syrup
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c maple syrup
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/2 T unsalted butter, melted
2 t vanilla
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cinnamon
3/4 c pecan pieces

Whiskey Butter Sauce
4 T unsalted butter
1/3 c sugar
1 extra-large egg
1/2 T very hot water
1/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c bourbon whiskey

Pumpkin Filling
Combine all the ingredients thoroughly in a medium bowl; set aside.

Pecan Syrup
Combine all the ingredients thoroughly in a medium bowl; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Using my Butter Pie Crust recipe, prepare a 9 inch pie plate with an uncooked crust.

Spoon the Pumpkin Filling into the pan, spreading evenly to distribute. Gently pour the Pecan Syrup on top. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Cool and serve with Whiskey Butter Sauce.

Whiskey Butter Sauce
Melt the butter in the top of a double boiler set over gently simmering water. Beat the sugar and egg in a small bowl until blended. Stir the egg mixture into the butter. Add the hot water and stir until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes. Remove from the double boiler and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the cream and whiskey. Tastes better when made 24 hours in advance of serving.


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