If you’re like me, you’ll love this pumpkin pecan pie recipe because it’s got the two best Thanksgiving pies combined into one! A moist and perfectly spiced pumpkin pie topped with a caramelized, pecan crumble, all baked inside a homemade, buttery pie crust. It doesn’t get better than this!
Pumpkin Pie vs. Pecan Pie
I typically make both types of pies during the holidays because I just adore both so much. I also make both completely from scratch, opting for fresh cream in my pumpkin pie and no corn syrup in my pecan pie.
Both pies are absolutely delicious, so you can understand how I would find it really hard to settle on one, especially when I’m attending Thanksgiving at someone else’s house and am only supposed to bring one pie to dinner! C’est pas possible!
Well, thanks to this pumpkin pecan pie recipe, it is in fact possible to settle on one Thanksgiving dessert. This pie combines the best of both pumpkin pie and pecan pie, making it my favorite type of pie to eat!
In the South, there’s this magnificent creation called praline pecans.
You get all the delicious, nutty goodness of pecans, but they’re caramelized to create a pecan candy that’s pretty much up there, high on the list of other addictive substances (i.e. cookie dough ice cream and kettle corn).
While we don’t add praline pecans to this pie, we are pretty much recreating the same effect with the pecan topping that we whip up for this pie.
It wouldn’t be wrong to also call this a pumpkin praline pecan pie in my book.
You’ve got all the lovely flavors of the praline pecans, including brown sugar and cinnamon, and the same “coated” effect of praline pecans, since the nuts become coated in this mixture and caramelize as such.
Baking Pumpkin Pecan Pie
One of the most important aspects of making this pie is baking it correctly.
I find that many recipes tend to call for pumpkin pie to be baked at 350°F. When I’ve followed this, I’ve found that the pie crust browns too quickly while the filling still needs more time to bake.
Instead, I follow a specific technique, a combination of different temperatures and durations, to get my pumpkin pecan pie recipe perfectly baked.
I also preheat a baking sheet inside the oven, and set the pie on there, to get a really nice bake all throughout the pie.
If you’re trying this recipe, it’s important that you pay attention to the baking instructions I’ve written below in the recipe card.
Following my technique for baking, you should get a perfectly golden crust, perfectly set pumpkin filling, and crunchy, toasted pecans that do not burn in the oven.
Here are some other tips to follow for this recipe:
- Use the right size pie dish (10 inches) for this recipe. If you use a smaller dish, you’ll have too much batter and topping leftover.
- Use a large pastry mat when rolling out your dough. It makes it SO much easier to create a proper work space for dough work, and it’s just so much easier to clean up.
- Rub any clumps of brown sugar (very common issue with brown sugar!) when you’re making your pumpkin filling so that you don’t end up with clumpy batter.
- Be sure to fold the cream into pumpkin batter with a rubber spatula rather than whisk it in. This will prevent the pumpkin pie from becoming too runny and not setting properly.
- Keep your butter cold before using; cold butter releases steam in the oven, making your pastry flakier.
- While baking at a lower temperature means this pie takes longer to bake, don’t make the mistake of raising the temperature to rush the process. You’ll risk over-browning the crust and pecan topping before the filling has had enough time to truly set.
- Let the pie completely cool before enjoying; this will give time for the pie to set and result in cleaner slices. Plus, it tastes better this way!
for the crust
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping and rolling
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp white sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
for the filling
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1.5 cups pumpkin purée
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
for the topping
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (purchase pecan halves and give them just a quick, rough chop so that you get big pecan chunks)
for the pie dish
- 1 (10-inch) pie dish
- baking spray, to grease
Make the crust
- Put the flour, salt, and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or a food processor. Give it a mix on low speed to just combine the dry ingredients.
- Add in the cubed butter, then either mix or pulse on medium speed until you get pea-size clumps. Add in 1 tbsp of ice cold water, and mix or pulse for 10 seconds. Stream in a teaspoon of cold water, if needed, and again mix or pulse for 10 seconds. If a dough hasn't formed, add another teaspoon of water and repeat. You should be able to form a nice dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board or counter. Form a compact ball with the dough before flattening it out into a 6 inch disc shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator.
Make the filling
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat as well.
- To a large bowl, add both types of sugar, taking care to rub any clumps of brown sugar between your thumb and index finger. It's important that there be no clumps in your sugar mixture. To the sugar, add the flour, salt, and spices. Give everything a whisk to combine.
- Add the eggs and maple syrup, and whisk until the eggs are blended in well. Now, add the pumpkin purée, and whisk that in until it's mixed in well too.
- Switch out your whisk for a rubber spatula. Stream in the heavy cream, bit by bit, using your spatula to fold the cream into the batter. Be gentle and take care not to mix too vigorously. Temporarily set the batter aside.
Prepare and bake the pie
- Take your dough out the of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured counter or board. You want to roll the dough out into a large circle, approximately 14" or so. To create an even circle, be sure to roll your dough in one direction and turn the dough after each roll, turning it a quarter way, clock-wise.
- Grease the pie dish with the baking spray, then place the dough into the dish, lining up the dough along the bottom and sides of the pan. Be sure to have enough pie dough rising up along all sides of the pie dish. If there's extra hanging over on one side, feel free to tear it off and use it to gently press into another area of the pie dough that may be lacking and in need of some extra length.
- Pour the prepared pumpkin filling batter into the crust. Gently transfer to the oven and set over the preheated baking sheet. Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 450°F.
- Lower the oven temperature to 325°F and continue baking for another 50 minutes.
Make the pecan topping
- Add the sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon to a medium bowl. Use a spoon to stir it all together and combine.
- Add the unsalted butter and use a pastry blender, or a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. You want to form pea-size clumps. You can also do this in a food processor, if desired.
- Now, add the chopped pecans and stir with your spoon to combine. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Finish baking the pie with the topping
- After your pie has been in the oven for a total of 1 hour, it should be pretty set along the edges with a bit of a wobble in the center. Take the pie out and gently add the pecan topping mixture all over the top of the pie.
- Place the pie back in the oven, on top of the baking sheet, and continue baking for another 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes, switch the oven from bake to broil, and raise the temperature to 350°F. Broil for approximately 8 minutes, or until the top has started to bubble and caramelize. Don't let the top burns, so keep an eye on the pie during this time, as every oven is a little different.
- Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool on the counter until room temperature. Then serve or refrigerate until you're ready to serve. Be sure to store this pie in the fridge as it contains fresh cream.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 716Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 502mgCarbohydrates: 75gFiber: 4gSugar: 51gProtein: 8g