Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pumpkin Pie with Hazelnut Cream, Caramel & Toasted Pecans

Want to take a simple Thanksgiving pumpkin pie to a whole new (eyes rolled heavenward) level?

Try it with a generous dollop of hazelnut whipped cream, a squiggle of caramel and toasted pecans. I did just that tonight and two men returned their plates to the kitchen but said, "Don't wash this. I am just waiting for there to be more room in my stomach so I can have another piece."

My favorite fool proof, childishly easy recipe for pumpkin pie is as follows. (And I always make two; one is never enough!)

Preheat oven to 425

1 16 oz can pureed pumpkin
1 can Eagle Brand (or other) sweetened condensed milk
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. powdered ginger
1/2 t. nutmeg
2 eggs

Mix by hand until smooth with a wire whisk.

Poor into unbaked pie shell (I use Pillsbury refrigerated crusts) and bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Then lower temp to 350 and bake another 20 - 30 minutes or until pie is set in the middle. While pie is cooking, toast about 1/2 cut of broken pecan pieces on a warm skillet on top of the oven. Watch closely, they burn quickly. (Ask me how I know:)

Top each pie slice with a generous dollop of freshly whipped hazelnut flavored cream (I prefer regular whipping cream to heavy whipping cream. It takes a little longer to whip but it never gets too stiff or butter-like.)
Sweeten cream, once it is whipped, with 1 T. hazelnut flavored agave nectar and powdered sugar (add 1 T. at a time until desired sweetness). I prefer using powdered sugar to granulated sugar in whipped cream because it helps the cream "hold its shape" and doesn't break down in the fridge should you have any leftovers.

Then drizzle whipping cream a heaping Tablespoon of commercial bottled caramel sauce and finally top with toasted pecans. Don't skip the toasting of the pecans as this really makes a huge difference.

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