Monday, November 26, 2012

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pie

Image courtesy of Bon Appetit

If you read our blog with any regularity, or ever talk to me during the fall season, you know that I absolutely love pumpkin. I generally use it in dessert applications, but I hope to do a little experimenting with savory meals as well. I think we're finally slowing down and settling in for the winter season, so we should be cooking a lot more, which means experimenting a lot more. 

I made this Pumpkin Butterscotch Pie in the form of cups, just like last year's Pumpkin Pie Cups and my Toasted Pecan Pie Cups. I realize this blog is just after Thanksgiving, but fall and winter is the season of the pie (at least in my world), so you can make it any time! 

As with the Toasted Pecan cups, I prepared these for our fall home-brew tasting party. Also like the Toasted Pecan cups, I forgot to take an after picture. I was in a hurry, bear with me. The original recipe is also from Bon Appetit, and turned out pretty great. The only thing I changed was replacing the clove with nutmeg. I hate the taste of clove, so I don't really use it.If you don't mind clove, feel free to use that instead!

Here's what you need:
1 package pre-made pie crust (2 crusts)
3/4 cups light brown sugar, divided
2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup Scotch (we actually used Bourbon, because I didn't want to use my good scotch)
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup canned pumpkin (no seasoning)
3 large eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (or clove if you prefer)
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Here's what you do:
I'm not going to walk through making the mini cups again. It's the same as the Toasted Pecan Pie Cups, so refer to that recipe on how to roll them out. 

I attacked the recipe slightly different than the original suggested. I started by getting my spices together in a prep bowl.

I then moved on to prepare the pumpkin portion, combining 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar with 1 cup of pure pumpkin.

Whisk that together a bit, and add the eggs.

Next, sprinkle the spices in and whisk it all together to combine.

Put that mixture in the fridge while you work on the rest of the pie filling.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Now, let's make some butterscotch. Combine 1/2 cup of tightly packed brown sugar with the butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Be sure to rinse your whisk off before doing this. 

Let that boil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. It will turn a deep brown color.

There, you just made caramel. Now, remove it from the heat and add the scotch (or bourbon). It will steam and bubble a lot when you do this.

Next, whisk in the heavy cream.

Return to the heat and whisk until smooth and most of the caramel bits are dissolved.

Strain the mixture into a medium sized bowl. This is just to remove any stray pieces of caramel that didn't get fully dissolved into the cream. There shouldn't be much left behind.

Let the butterscotch cool to room temperature. When it's cool, combine with the pumpkin mixture.

And, being the distracted person that I am, I also don't have any pictures of pouring this mixture into the pie cups, or the baking process. 

So, if you're making a traditional pie, pour it into the prepared pie crust. If you're making cups, use a small measuring cup to pour the mixture into the cups.

For a full pie, place your pie onto a cookie sheet, just in case it spills over. You can ask my mom how much fun it is to clean pumpkin pie off the bottom of your oven. The pie cups don't really go too crazy while they bake, but if you want to put them on a cookie sheet just in case, feel free.

A full pie will need to bake for about 50 minutes, or until the pie just sets. I generally start checking it at 40 minutes. For the cups, they should bake for about 20 minutes, but I start checking at 15. 


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