Growing up, we skipped the pies and got hooked on my mom’s pumpkin cheesecake as our traditional Thanksgiving dessert. But since this blog is Haute Apple Pie and not Haute Apple Cheesecake, I wanted to come up with a version of the classic pumpkin pie that still paid homage to our family favorite. Starting with the traditional pie recipe in a charming mini size, I topped them with a pumpkin “cheesecake” mousse and Stef’s candied pecans. The little twists made them special enough to take home the grand prize at my company’s recent cook-off!
While there are several components to this, you can make nearly everything ahead of time. I made my pie crust 3-4 days in advance. The candied pecans can be made up to a week in advance and the pumpkin cheesecake 1-2 days in advance. The grand finale of assembling and baking the pie can even be done the night before, although don’t add the nuts until just before serving to ensure that they stay crunchy.
Double Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pecans
Makes about 40 mini pies or 1 9″ pie
1 can pumpkin
3/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 can evaporated milk
In a large bowl, combine ingredients in order with a whisk. Whisk well to combine. Transfer some of mixture into a glass measuring cup with a pour spout if making mini pies.
1 pkg french vanilla pudding mix
1 Tbsp milk
1/2 container Cool Whip
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 can pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
In a medium bowl, whisk together pudding mix, milk and Cool Whip. Next, whisk in pumpkin and pie spice until well combined. Gradually cut in small chunks of cream cheese, continuing to beat well to incorporate. Transfer to a piping bag during assembly.
3 C flour
3/4 – 1 C shortening
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
1 C ice water (you may not use it all)
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Separately, combine vinegar and ice water. Cut the shortening into the dry mixture in small chunks using a pastry cutter or fork. Begin adding water to the dry mixture, 1-2 Tbsp at a time as you use the pastry cutter or your hands to work the shortening into the flour. Continue adding water until all the flour is worked in and dough holds together but is not sticky (you may not use all the water). If dough gets too sticky, dust in more flour.
To freeze dough, form your dough into a 1″ thick disc and wrap it in plastic wrap and a plastic freezer bag. Move it to the fridge about 24 hours before you’ll be baking your pies to thaw. To use immediately, divide dough into 2 balls and place each ball between 2 sheets of floured waxed or parchment paper. Roll out each ball with a rolling pin until it is flat and thin. Use a large biscuit cutter to cut small circles from the dough and push each circle into a mini muffin pan with your fingers. Crimp edges if desired.
For a full size pie, cut dough ingredients in half. Form and roll out one dough ball and transfer to a 9″ pie pan.
1 egg white
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp salt
1 lb shelled, unsalted pecans
2/3 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 250. Whip egg white, salt and water until frothy. Coat pecans in mixture. In a separate bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar. Shake over pecans and mix with hands to coat. Spread on rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 250 for 1 hour, turning pecans every 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Baking & Assembly
Preheat oven to 400. Pour pumpkin pie filling mixture into crust(s) using a glass measuring cup for easier pouring. For mini pies, bake about 28 minutes. For large pie, bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes clean. Allow pie to cool completely.
Next, transfer cheesecake topping to a pastry bag. Pipe one dollop onto mini pies or any pattern you like onto a full pie. For full pie, you could also just spread on with a spatula. Top pie with candied pecans before serving.
Looking for more Thanksgiving ideas? Check out these great dishes from the Communal Table on Food Network’s The Dish!
Cocktails, Appetizers, Soups and Salads:
Sweet Life Bake: Pumpkin Margarita
Easy Peasy Organic: Thanksgiving Ginger Cocktail
Dishin and Dishes: Butternut Squash Bruschetta With Sage Pesto
Mooshu Jenne: Green Salad
Two Peas and Their Pod: Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Salad
Jones is Hungry: Roasted Vegetable Salad
Purple Cook: Pasta and Bean Stew With Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe
From My Corner of Saratoga: Curried Pumpkin Soup
Cafe Terra Blog: Cranberry Pumpkin Stuffing
Virtually Homemade: Twice-Baked Cheddar and Chive Potatoes
Easy Eats Magazine: Sausage and Dried Cranberry-Walnut Stuffing
The Sensitive Epicure: Oyster Dressing and Gravy
Daily*Dishin: Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Supreme
What’s Gaby Cooking: Rustic Herb Skillet Stuffing
Family Fresh Cooking: Coconut Brown-Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Silvana’s Kitchen: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Mushroom-Rye Stuffing
The Cultural Dish: Cranberry Sauce
I Am Baker: Pumpkin Cake
Heather Christo: Pumpkin Vanilla Ice Cream Pie
And Love It Too: Pumpkin Custard (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
Ladles and Jelly Spoons: Not Your Same Old Pumpkin Pie
Daydreamer Desserts: Cuban Diplomatic Pudding
Thursday Night Dinner: Red Wine Chocolate Cake
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Caramel Apple Pie