November 21, 2011

Honorable Mention: Pumpkin Praline Pie

Thanksgiving is all about traditions, and I can't imagine turkey day without pumpkin praline pie. I always refer to my mom as my entertaining mentor, but it was really my great grandmother Francis who set the tone for gardening, canning, cooking & baking in our family. She wallpapered the walls of her kitchen with old covers of Gourmet magazine and coined the phrase, "Always make enough for the uninvited guest." I guess it's in the genes. This pumpkin praline pie is her creation and it won honorable mention at the first annual Pillsbury Bake-Off at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Grand Ballroom, in 1933. A pretty big deal, and our family's culinary claim to fame!! This pie kills two birds with one stone. You have a creamy spiced pumpkin pie, with a thin layer of chewy pecan crunch between the custard and the crust. My great grandma lived on her own until she was 97 and continued to 'learn something new every day,' --a real inspiration. I miss her and each year this pie is a reminder of her graceful, stubborn spirit.
Pumpkin Praline Pie: The Recipe

One prepared pie crust in a 10'' pie pan. Prepare your own or frozen works like a charm, since it's the filling that is incredible. If using frozen, thaw first for a half hour, and then proceed.

Preheat oven @ 450 degrees.


3 T. butter, soft
1/3 C. pecans, finely chopped
1/3 C. brown sugar, packed

Combine and press gently into the bottom of the pie shell. Prick sides of crust with a fork. Bake Shell @ 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool at least 2 minutes.

Once you remove prepared shell from oven, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, prepare the Pumpkin-Custard Filling:

3 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 T. flour
3/4 t. salt
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger, ground
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 t. mace (originally recipe calls for mace, but I skip it)

Combine all of the above, and then add:

1 1/2 C. pureed pumpkin, and then:
1 1/2 C. hot half and half cream

Pour into prepared pie shell, bake @ 350 degrees, for 50-60 minutes, until set. Bake pie on a cookie sheet to avoid oven spills. Cool and serve with whipped cream.


*Note the filling Pumpkin-Custard filling is enough to fill two pies. I always make two crusts (or use two frozen, as they always come in packs of two!) and then double the pecan-praline mixture for the two shells. Make the filling in one bowl and then divide between the two prepared pie shells.


Anonymous said...

Your Grandmother sounds wonderful!!! I miss her too!

Suzanne B. Webb said...

that's a great pic Annie, I love the story and the fact that she wall-papered her kitchen with covers from Gourmet...a bit of her trickled down to each of us, didn't it?

sarahyoga said...

Great Grandmother Francis' pie is in the oven, it was so fun to make, I felt part of such a rich history.

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