Let the holiday games officially begin! Now that Halloween has passed the race to the end of the year is here with shopping, holidays, parties, cooking and more! I try to take it one day at a time though and focus just on one thing if I can to keep my sanity in check.
This year my focus is all on Thanksgiving. It’s always a big to-do with my family, our immediate family alone ranges from 16-18 people depending on who’s making it to dinner but we’ve got milestone birthdays and a family event that weekend so for the first time in years the entire extended family is in town.
This means, aunts, uncles, cousins and more will be squeezing into my brother’s Manhattan apartment to chow down. I’m not mentally prepared to think about how much food we need to cook or how long it’s even going to take.
The bird might take center stage on Thanksgiving but I still think dessert needs to shine just as strongly. After all it is the last bite of the night and the one that will linger far longer than the same turkey recipe year after year.
I always feel like you can experiment a little more when it comes to the dessert table versus family favorites. Case in point, the failed apple strudel my brother tried to make last year. This time around I’m sticking with tried and true flavors but put together in a new light. Come on over and meet your new favorite pie of the season — Bourbon Brownie Pumpkin Pie.
This pie has everything you are looking for in a holiday dessert. It has chocolate, it has pumpkin, it has an ooey gooey saucey topping and just a little bit of booze to get through family drama. I’ve personally always found pies to be too fussy to make, you have to make the dough, then chill it, shape it, chill it, bake it and that’s all before the filling.
This pie has none of it! The brownie is the crust here and the only fuss is having to take the pie out halfway through in order to add in the pumpkin pie filling. We have no dicing and all the mixing is done by hand. Really? What’s not to love about this pie?
My only word of caution is to please, please use a deep dish pie plate, there’s a lot of pie to go around and you most certainly don’t want to make my mistake of overfilling your pie. Only have standard pie plates around? Well that’s okay, just make two pies!
For the Brownie Layer:
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Pumpkin Layer:
- 1 cup pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Pecan Topping:
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 ounce bourbon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat your oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (for spill overs).
Melt the chocolate and butter either in a double boiler or in 30-second increments in your microwave, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, eggs, flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
Grease a 9-inch deep dish pie pan or two standard size pie pans and pour 3/4 of the brownie in the pie pan (if using two, divide accordingly). Bake the brownie for 20 minutes in the pre-heated oven placed on top of the baking sheet.
While the brownie is baking prepare the pumpkin pie filling. In a medium bowl whisk together the pumpkin, heavy cream, egg, brown sugar, pumpkin spice and salt. Remove the brownie from the oven and carefully pour in the filling making sure not to overfill the pie. Take the remaining brownie and drop spoonfulls on the top of the pie, then swirl with a butter knife. Place the pie on the baking sheet back in the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes or until completely set in the center.
Let the pie cool completely before preparing the topping. At this point the pie can be made ahead of time and kept at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for a longer duration.
When ready to serve make the pecan topping by adding the brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, and pecans to a sauté pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved completely and the mixture has come to a boil. Stir in the heavy cream, bourbon, vanilla extract, and salt and bring back up to a boil. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the sauce is nice and thick. Turn off the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes before spooning on top of the pie or serving on the side.