unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch chunks and frozen
lard or vegetable shortening, frozen
8 tablespoons ice-cold water ( I remove 1 tablespoon ice water and replace that tablespoon with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar in all pie crust recipes – it tenderizes the crust)
cream cheese, softened
pure vanilla extract
unsweetened fresh or canned pumpkin puree (If using canned, strain in a cheesecloth or paper towel lined fine mesh sieve, covered, for several hours to overnight, in the fridge. Alternatively,cook it down in a saucepan on the stove top over medium -high heat for about 4 minutes until bubbling, then let cool before continuing)
+ 2 tablespoons heavy cream (you can use evaporated milk, if you prefer)
firmly packed brown sugar
mix of whole and coarsely chopped pecans
cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
cup light or dark corn syrup
pecans, chopped fine
firmly packed light brown sugar
firmly packed dark brown sugar
light or dark corn syrup
melted butterPlace the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade and pulse on and off until combined. Scatter the butter pieces and the shortening, in large chunks, over the flour mixture. Pulse the machine on and off until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 6 tablespoons of the ice water and process until the mixture just starts to come together. If the dough seems dry, add the remaining 2 tablespoons water as necessary. Do not allow the dough to form a ball on the blade, or the resulting crust will be tough! You want a raggedy mess of crumbly dough, with lumps of butter showing.
the dough out onto a work surface, divide it in half, and shape each half into a disk – gently pressing each raggedy mess together, (DO NOT press into each disk or try to squeeze it together so the dough is uniform – it will come together in the refrigerator). Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. You will only need one disk for this recipe, so you can freeze the other disk for later use.
flour a large work surface. Allow the dough to soften at room temperature just until it is pliable (about 10 minutes). Place 1 disk on the floured surface and sprinkle some flour over it. Roll the dough from the center out in every direction, flouring the work surface as necessary to prevent sticking. You want a round of dough that’s about ¼ to ⅛ inch and about 3 inches greater in diameter than the pie pan/plate you are using.
the crust to a 9½ to 10-inch deep-dish pie pan (if you don’t use a deep-dish pan, there will be pumpkin filling left over, not to mention you run the risk of overflow) by rolling it loosely around the rolling pin and unrolling it carefully over the pan. Press the dough first into the bottom of the pan and then against the sides. Patch any holes or cracks with dough scraps. Trim the edges of the dough with scissors, leaving about ¾ inch of overhang. Fold overhang over and crimp as you please. Place shell in the freezer and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
oven temperature is at 400 F, remove the pie shell from the freezer and line the pie crust with a large sheet of lightly buttered aluminum foil, buttered side down, covering the edge of the crust so that it doesn’t get too brown. Fill the lined crust with pie weights, dried beans, or raw rice. Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Prick the bottom of the crust well with a fork and bake the crust for another 7 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden, but the crust is not fully baked. Cool the pie crust on a wire rack while you make the fillings.
a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in ¼ cup sugar, then add vanilla and egg. Beat mixture until smooth.
the cream cheese mixture into the bottom of the par baked pie shell, spread evenly, then freeze for about 15 -20 minutes. You don't want it frozen solid, just very firm, like a block of chilled cream cheese.
the mean time, in a large bowl, combine strained (and/or cooked down) pumpkin puree, heavy cream, the lightly beaten egg, vanilla extract, sugar, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and salt. Mix thoroughly until uniform.
another bowl (or 2 to 4 cup measuring cup), combine the eggs, sugars, melted butter, corn syrup, vanilla extract and salt for the gooey pecan pie topping, in a bowl. Do NOT stir in pecans, keep them in a separate bowl for now and set both the pecan pie goo and pecans aside. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
the pie shell with cream cheese from the freezer and pour the pumpkin mixture on top - If it seems like it will overflow, stop pouring about ½-inch to 1-inch from the top of the crust edge. Place in the 425 F preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 F and bake 20 to 25 minutes more. You want the pumpkin layer firm enough to hold the gooey pecan topping (you will see some cracks on the surface of the pumpkin, and the middle will be slightly jiggly, when it's ready to be topped). When it looks ready, gently scatter the 1½ cups chopped and whole pecans evenly over the pumpkin layer. Now carefully spoon the pecan pie goo over the pecans. It's okay if it doesn't cover fully as it will all melt together in the oven. Another way to add the pecan goo is to mix it up in a 4 cup glass measure so when it's time to add the pecan goo after scattering the pecans on the pumpkin layer, you pour the goo around the pie in circles from high up so it hits the pie in a thin stream, which will minimize sinkage.
for 30-45 minutes longer. Cover the edges of crust with aluminum foil or a pie crust shield if browning too quickly, but you will eventually have to cover it to prevent excess browning some time toward the end. Keep checking every 20 minutes.
the pie is done, it should be sturdy, but still jiggly in the middle. The pecan pie topping should be dark and bubbling.
oven to 425 F. Stir together the all the pecan praline crunch ingredients. Cover and set aside.
you freeze the cheesecake layer ( You don't want it frozen solid, just firm, like a block of chilled cream cheese), pour on the pumpkin layer (If it seems like it will overflow, stop pouring about ½-inch to 1-inch from the top of the crust edge) and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 F; and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the pumpkin layer is firm enough to hold pecan praline crunch layer without too much 'sinkage'.( You want to see a few cracks on the top of the pie).. Remove the pie from the oven and gently sprinkle or spoon pecan praline crunch topping evenly over the top. The pumpkin pie layer will sink a bit because the pecan crunch is heavy, but do not worry!
back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 to 20 minutes (keep checking), until the pecan praline crunch topping is bubbling.
with the gooey pecan topping method above, during the whole baking time, check every 15 to 20 minutes to see if the crust is browning too quick. If it is, cover with aluminum foil or a pie crust shield to prevent excess browning.
the end, no matter which pecan topping you used, when it looks to be done, remove from oven and let cool at room temperature, then place in the fridge and chill for several hours to overnight (overnight is recommended).
We definitely don’t want any of those threethings to happen. Ok, I know I just posted a recipe for a Perfect New York Cheesecake, but today I’m sharing a fall version of it- PumpkinPieCheesecake with Gingersnap Crust