Pumpkin or pecan?  That is the question.  I adore both pies and when I can’t decide which to bake, I make one pie with a layer each of pumpkin and pecan, and a whole new taste sensation is born.  The pumpkin layer is delicately spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, while the pecan layer incorporates maple syrup, vanilla, rum, and lemon.  Both layers are poured into a pie crust that bakes up to a golden brown flaky perfection.

So, as the days get shorter, and the air get crisper and cooler and we are dazzled by nature’s stunning display of color in her final blaze of glory, dazzle your family and friends with this scrumptious autumnal pie. Happy Autumn!


Pie Pastry

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspooon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Crisco, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and well chilled
  • 4 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water

Pumpkin Layer

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or non-dairy creamer
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Pecan Layer

  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 3 tablespoons margarine, melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups pecans

Pie Pastry

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and salt.

Add the cold Crisco cubes to the flour mixture and with a pastry blender or fork, cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles course crumbs with the largest piece about the size of a small pea.

Sprinkle about 4 tablespoons of the ice cold water on the flour/shortening mixture and mix it all together with a fork, pushing the pieces of dough against the sides of the bowl.  Add more water slowly as needed.  You will know the dough is ready if it holds together firmly when you squeeze it.  Add more water if it is still crumbly.

Gather up the dough, divide it in two pieces, making sure one is about 2/3 of the total dough mixture.  Lightly flour the two pieces of dough, shape them into discs, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate or freeze for at least one hour.

When you are ready to roll the dough, make sure to have a 9-inch pie plate ready. Remove the larger disc from the freezer, and place it on a well-floured pastry board or cloth.  Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick and about 12 to 13 inches in diameter. Gently place the rolled out dough onto the pie plate.  Trim the edges leaving about a one inch overhang to fold under the outer edge of the dough.  Crimp the edge decoratively.  Chill the shell.  You can prep the dough in the pie plate and freeze it for up to one month.

Pumpkin and Pecan Layer

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, egg, cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Whisk all ingredients for about one minute until well-mixed.

In a large bowl combine well the corn syrup, maple syrup, brown sugar, eggs, margarine, vanilla, rum, lemon rind, lemon juice, salt, and pecans.

Spread the pumpkin mixture evenly in the chilled pie shell.

Carefully spoon the pecan mixture over the pumpkin layer.

Before placing the pie in the oven, place a pie crust shield over the exposed pie crust. (This will prevent the crust from burning.  You can also use heavy duty aluminum foil to cover the crust).

Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake the pie for another 30 to 40 minutes more or until the pie looks set.

Place the pie on the bottom rack of the oven for the last 20 minutes of baking to brown the bottom crust of the pie.

Pastry Leaves

On a floured surface, roll out the remaining 1/3 of the pie dough to 1/8 inch thickness.

Using leaf-shaped cookie cutters, cut out leaves and place them on a baking sheet.  You can score the leaves with a paring knife to resemble the veins on natural leaves.

Brush the pastry leaves with an egg wash (1 egg yolk beaten with one teaspoon water), then bake in the middle of a preheated 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the leaves look golden brown and shiny.

Place the cooled leaves decoratively on top of the pie.

Essex Fells Magazine

October 2011