I had to laugh because's he's right, but I assure you it's 100% pumpkin pie! And it may look a little fancier than its classic counterpart, but it's no more difficult to make. Essentially, it's buttery crust and pumpkin custard like any normal pumpkin pie, but I've added walnut streusel and a generous drizzle of dulce de leche on top.
It certainly seems like all that caramelized goodness on top would steal the show, but with one bite you'll know pumpkin is the true star. There's miles of it in this pie!
I guess you could say this recipe is my love letter to pumpkin.
I love you.
Although this pie isn't difficult to assemble, it does take a while to bake - mine took about 1 hour 50 minutes total. And since it's in the oven for a long time it needs a bit of babysitting to make sure it's behaving well. I say this only because some ovens run hot, and burned streusel is crying shame. An extra peek through the oven window and some aluminum foil will prevent such an awful thing from happening.
Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie
with Dulce de Leche Walnut Streusel
Yield: one 9-inch pie [click for printable version]
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
- Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.
1 cup unsalted butter
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add flour, 1/4 cup of sugar and salt. Mix until a soft dough forms.
- Turn dough onto a well-floured surface and knead together until smooth. Roll dough with a floured rolling pin to ¼-inch thickness. Gently lay dough inside spring-form pan and press up the sides. Allow a little of the crust to overhang the edges of the pan. Place dough-lined pan in the freezer and freeze until dough is stiff.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
Pumpkin pie filling:
1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
4 eggs, lightly beaten
29 ounces (one large can) pure pumpkin puree
12 ounces (one can) evaporated milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk in eggs, then pumpkin; beat until smooth. Slowly whisk in milk, cream, and vanilla. Pour filling into frozen pie crust. Cover edges of pie crust with aluminum foil or a pie crust shield if you have one.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake pie for 1 hour, then top with walnut streusel. Bake for 25 minutes more, then tent a piece of aluminum foil over the pie so the streusel does not over-brown. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the pie is set but still slightly wobbly in the center. Cut away overhand crust if desired. Allow pie to cool completely then thoroughly chill in the refrigerator overnight.
16 oz. prepared dulce de leche
- Just before serving, warm dulce de leche in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop until loosened. Drizzle about ½ cup over the top of the pumpkin pie. Transfer the remaining dulce de leche to a gravy boat and serve alongside pie.
Note: The leaves were cut from a ready-made refrigerated pie crust I had languishing in my refrigerator. I baked them separately (400F for 12 minutes) and lay them on top of the pie for decoration.