Thanksgiving week is upon us, and while for many that means a longer than usual to-do list, I am looking forward to a slow and cozy week filled with food and family and holiday activities! When it comes to Thanksgiving our family is what you could call non-traditional. When I was younger we used to do classic Thanksgiving with relatives who lived close by. However after some moves and with most of the extended family living in the Midwest, our holiday dinner became just our unit of four. Being one who never really enjoyed eating turkey year after year, I saw this as an opportunity to request we start cooking what I knew we would much rather be eating: bacon wrapped filet mignon. And so now every year, instead of a large dry turkey sitting in the middle of our dining room table, we have instead some beautiful, juicy steaks wrapped in crispy bacon. Welcome to the Elliott Thanksgiving!
The idea for this pie came about much in the same way that eating Thanksgiving steaks did. I’ve never been fond of pumpkin pie, especially those bought from a store, so I decided to start making some changes to the classic dessert. I wanted more texture and more flavor, something to break up the solid forkful of soft pumpkin you normally get. I started with the crust, swapping out a traditional flaky crust that doesn’t contrast much with the filling for a cookie crust made from rich, cinnamon speculoos cookies that give a nice crunch. Then I found a wonderful recipe for Bourbon Pumpkin Pie from Food & Wine that produces a dense, flavorful pumpkin center. Finally, this pie is topped off with a nutty pecan streusel for even more texture!
Although the name of this dessert sounds a bit intimidating, it is actually just as easy to make as a classic pumpkin pie and it has been a big hit at any event I’ve brought it to! If you’re like me and don’t normally like pumpkin pie, give this one a chance and let me know what you think!
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and set the rack in the middle of the oven.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine cookie crumbs and 6 tablespoons melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a pie deep pie dish.
- Blind bake the cookie crust for 10-15 minutes until the crust is firm and you can begin to smell the cookies toasting.
- Keep the oven preheated to 350°F.
- In a small bowl add ½ stick unsalted butter, ½ cup dark brown sugar, pecan pieces and flour. Mix together with your fingers, massaging the ingredients together until a coarse mixture forms. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer, beat together remaining 1 stick of butter and¾ cup dark brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- On low speed beat in pumpkin purée, egg yolks, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, all-spice and salt. Then beat in milk and whiskey. Set aside.
- With a clean bowl and whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture until no egg streaks remain.
- Pour the pumpkin custard into the cookie shell and top with pecan streusel. Bake for 1 hour or until the center has set and risen, the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.