As much as I love a classic pumpkin pie, I am always on the lookout for ways to spice it up. Pumpkin pie can get boring after a while, particularly if you have a dozen of them in just a couple of weeks during the fall pie season between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Fortunately, pumpkin goes with all kinds of different flavors and just by tweaking the spices here and there – adding cardamom along with pumpkin pie spice, for instance – you can have a whole new pie experience. Here, I was inspired by the Salted Caramel Sauce from Trader Joe’s and incorporated it into a Salted Caramel Pumpkin Pie.
This pie uses salted caramel sauce as both a sweetener and a flavoring for the pie filling. The salted caramel adds a lot of flavor but, unlike simply adding more sugar, the fact that it has salt in it keeps the pie from seeming too sweet. The pumpkin flavor comes through very well and the pie tastes slightly more complex than your standard pumpkin pie. I used a homemade pie crust and added a touch of cinnamon to highlight some of the spices in the pie. Some salted caramel drizzled on top of some lightly sweetened whipped cream finished off this pie perfectly.
If you can find salted caramel sauce in a grocery store in your neighborhood, feel free to use it in this recipe. If not (which is more likely), you can use homemade caramel sauce or regular store-bought caramel sauce and add a generous pinch of salt to it to get that mouthwatering sweet-savory flavor.
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Pie
dough for 9-inch pie crust, recipe below
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (1 15-oz. can)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8-oz salted caramel sauce*
1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425F.
Roll out pie dough until it is slightly larger than a 9-inch pie plate. Transfer crust to plate and gently press into place. Trim excess dough off of the edges and crimp crust, if desired. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree and all remaining ingredients until mixture is very smooth. Pour into prepared pie crust.
Bake for 15 minutes at 425F, then lower oven temperature to 350F and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes, until pie is set and a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool completely before serving.
Pie can be refrigerated or served at room temperature.
Garnish with whipped cream and additional caramel sauce.
Note: If you cannot find salted caramel sauce, use regular caramel sauce (homemade or store bought) and add in a very generous pinch of salt
Single Crust All-Butter Pie Dough
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into chunks
6-8 tbsp cold water
Whisk together flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Rub in butter with your fingertips until mixture is very coarse, but no pieces bigger than a large pea remain. Using a fork, gradually stir in cold water until dough almost comes together into a ball (you might not need to use all the water, so add it in as you go). This process may be done in the food processor, as well.
Gather the dough together, press into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30-60 minutes before using.