Pumpkin pie is a fall classic that I bake on a regular basis throughout the season. As much as I enjoy my basic recipe, I still like to experiment with different twists on the traditional dessert. Fortunately, pumpkin is delicious with a wide variety of flavors. One of my favorite pumpkin pairings is caramel, and that is what led me to put together this Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Pie. This pie has a pumpkin pie base that is accented with the rich caramel sweetness of dulce de leche. It’s flavorful, easy to make and so delicious that you might not want to go back to your standard recipe.
Dulce de leche is a rich caramel sauce that is most commonly made by caramelizing sweetened condensed milk. The caramel sauce is very sweet and has a unique, caramelized milk flavor that makes it both decadent and memorable. By adding it to the filling of my pumpkin pie, I added both extra sweetness and a few additional layers of flavor to what would otherwise be a very simple filling. Along with the dulce de leche, the filling includes a dash of pumpkin pie spice and a splash of vanilla extract. The spices tie in well with the pumpkin puree, of course, and accent the caramel sauce nicely.
I recommend using store-bought dulce de leche in this recipe, rather than homemade, as they’re relatively inexpensive and widely available. Making it at home is fun, but it can be time-consuming! You’ll need 8-oz of dulce de leche and it should be at room temperature. The sauce is very thick and, when cold, is too thick to easily incorporate into the filling.
You can use any kind of pie crust for this recipe, including a homemade pastry crust. Since the filling is simple, I actually like to pair it with prebaked graham cracker or shortbread crusts to keep the recipe streamlined, with a short prep time from start to finish. The pie pictured here uses a buttery shortbread crust that holds up to the filling well and lets the flavor of the dulce de leche come through.
Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Pie
9-inch shortbread or graham cracker pie crust
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (1 15-oz. can)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
8-oz dulce de leche
1/4 cup milk (whole or lowfat)
Preheat oven to 425F.
In a large bowl, together all 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.