I’m back… and with PIE!
A lot has happened around here in the last couple of months, and I struggled a little with how I wanted to come back, and what I wanted to say. In the wake of so much sadness (my dad passing) and so much joy (my wedding), I just couldn’t seem to put pen to paper (or…fingers to keyboard) about food.
Also…grief and stress can do weird things to you, appetite wise. For weeks I was sick to my stomach and couldn’t eat, then I had a few weeks of eating all the chocolate and donuts in the land, followed by a brief stint just before the wedding where I seriously forgot how to cook.
I didn’t know if I should talk to you about my dad, because sometimes he’s all I can think about…but ultimately, I decided that should wait—I’m not really ready for that here. And then, my wedding! And honeymoon! I have so much to share with you, but I’m waiting until we have all the photos back from our (amazing) wedding photographer. That will come soon enough. Here's a sneak peek.
So, in the meantime, I knew I needed a conversation starter… but I just felt… lost. And then, I saw this pie. Now THAT is a conversation starter! I knew immediately that I wanted to adapt it for Thanksgiving, and for a few days, it was all I could think about. I seriously stared at pictures of this pie for a week. This pie reminded me why I love cooking and blogging. It inspired me to get in the kitchen and create something. To wipe the dust off my camera. Oh, and also… it’s really good.
The original pie is a peanut butter cream pie, but the moment I saw it, pumpkin cream pie was all I could think about. I’m not the biggest fan of standard pumpkin pie, but fluffy, creamy, cool, whipped pumpkin pie, with a cream cheese base!? Yeah, that I can get behind! And let’s not forget the chocolate crust (with chocolate shell layer!) and bourbon maple whipped cream topping! It’s not overly pumpkiny and texturally, it’s pretty fun. You have the contrast of the looser bourbon maple whip, the creamy, tangy pumpkin filling, and then the crunchy chocolate crust. I think your Thanksgiving dessert table could use one more addition, don’t you?
PS. I missed you guys!
Pumpkin Cream Pie with Chocolate Crust and Bourbon-Maple Whipped Cream
Adapted from this recipe
1 cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (I used half a sleeve of the Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer cookies, in crumb form)
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Just under 1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces (chunks, chips, etc)
1.5 cups heavy cream
1 package cream cheese (8oz), at room temp
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling—the only ingredient should be pumpkin)
Bourbon-Maple Whipped Cream
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon bourbon
1.5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350.
Make the crust: Combine the cookie crumbs, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add butter, and stir until combined. Pour into 9-inch pie dish, and press tightly into bottom and sides with your hands. Bake 13 to 15 minutes—it might be puffed up right when you take it out, but it will fall a little when it cools. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Melt chocolate pieces (in double boiler or microwave) and pour into cooled crust. gently spread evenly on bottom of crust. Let cool completely before filling (helps harden chocolate shell if you put in fridge to cool, but wait until pie dish is no longer warm to refrigerate).
Make the filling: With a stand mixer, hand mixer, or if you’re really buff, a whisk, beat the cream until it holds medium-hard peaks. If using a stand mixer, transfer to a separate medium-sized bowl.
In the same stand mixer bowl (with the paddle attachment) beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add the brown sugar, salt, vanilla extract, spices, and mix well. Beat in the pumpkin puree until smooth. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the whipped cream, a quarter at a time, until mixture is well combined but still light and fluffy.
Spoon the filling into the fully cooled, prepared crust, and smooth top. Loosely cover and chill up to 4 hours or overnight.
Bourbon-Maple Whipped Cream: Beat the cream, bourbon, and maple syrup until it holds soft peaks.
Just before serving, top pie with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and serve each piece with a heavy dollop of bourbon-maple whipped cream. Let the pie sit at room temp for a minute, to make cutting through the chocolate shell a bit easier.