How to Make the Best Pumpkin Pie Ever For Thanksgiving This Year
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Last Updated on October 19, 2022 by Katherine
Although it’s still firmly August this week, I still wanted to share with you my favorite of all time pumpkin pie recipe – Pumpkin-Apple-Caramel Pie!
I love baking pies because they are incredibly versatile; you can easily change an element of the filling to suit your taste buds. The caramel sauce that you’ll create in this recipe can be used in other recipes whenever you want something sweet added in.
I did cheat on the pie crust, by buying a frozen one. However, you can find dozens of pie crust recipes that you can make from scratch on the internet, and my favorite one is this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. It will depend on your personal tastes when it comes to pie crusts, but I prefer a flaky one, and that recipe delivers! The video in the post is so helpful too!
Another short cut to use if you’re in need is to buy store-bought filling. It will do in a pinch, but I prefer slow cooking the pumpkin and apple pieces together with your spices. So much better!
Caramel Apple Pumpkin Pie
This delicious fall recipe combines the sweet taste of apples with pumpkin. A dose of caramel in the filling will send this pie over the top when it comes to welcoming in the season of fall.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter use salted butter for "salted" caramel!
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 1-2 gala apples, sliced
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 large eggs
- 1 blind baked pie shell you can also use a frozen pre-made crust
Begin by roasting your pumpkin in a preheated oven at 350F, either cut in half or pierce the skin in a few areas with a knife to allow steam to escape. Roast for 45-50 minutes and allow to cool.
Remove the skin from the pulp of your pumpkin and cut into pieces. Add the pumpkin to the slow cooker. Skin and cut your apples at this time and add them in as well. Add the vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg as well and cook on low for about 8 hours. If desired, you can puree the mixture with an immersion blender.
Preheat your oven to 425F and set the rack in the middle.
Add the granulated sugar into your sauce pan with the water and cook over medium heat, stir occasionally or swirl the pan.
Once the sugar has melted, increase the heat to medium-high and gently swirl the pan (do not stir the sugar syrup directly!) until the sugar begins to brown, continue cooking until it has turned a rich caramel color. Around five minutes, remove from heat.
Add in the butter and the cream, the syrup will bubble up so be careful!
Combine the caramel mixture with the pumpkin-apple mixture with a whisk until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time and continue to whisk the mixture until smooth.
Place your pie shell in an oven-safe pan. If preparing from a dough state, be sure to add slots along the bottom with a knife to allow steam to escape.
If desired, create a top for the pie and use water to connect the top to the bottom shell.
Slow Cooking Pie Filling
If you have a sugar pumpkin or other smaller pumpkin (you’ll sometimes hear these called ‘pie pumpkins’ too), you’ll want to roast it in the oven for a bit.
Begin by cutting it in half, scooping out the seeds (save them for later and roast them for a tasty snack!), place the halves on a baking tray (pulp facing up) and drizzle maple syrup on them. Bake your pumpkin for about 45 minutes at 350F, and it’s done when you can pierce the skin with a fork easily. Allow it to cool.
Once cooled, begin separating your pumpkin pulp from the skin and discard the skin. Cut the pumpkin pulp into chunks and place them in your slow cooker. Skin and cut up two apples (or more if you want a more “appley” taste!) and add to the pumpkin. Add your spices here too and set your cooker on low and cook for about 8 hours. Stir occasionally.
Caramel Sauce Time!!
Caramel is made by melting sugar gradually over medium-high heat. I find it takes a bit longer than most recipes I’ve used in the past, but be patient and look for the proper color rather than focus on the time you’ve spent cooking it. Once your sugar starts to turn color, don’t stir it directly, instead swirl the pot around.
For this recipe, you want a rich dark color, once you’ve got it, remove from the heat and add your cream and butter (it will foam, that’s okay!). Then add in some brown sugar and stir until your sauce is smooth.
Whisk in your pie filling into the caramel sauce and add in the eggs one at a time and stir until completely smooth. Pour your combined filling into your pie shell, and if you’ve created enough pastry dough or have a second frozen shell and want a topper, create one at this time. I decided to do a collection of leaves using some cookie cutters.
Bake the pie for about 10 minutes at 425F and then reduce the heat to 350 and continue to bake until the filling is firm in the middle (a little bit of a jiggle is fine, but it should not wobble dramatically when you move the tray).
Final Thoughts – Other Pie Filling Ideas
You could pick any number of fruit combinations for this pie recipe, that’s the beauty of it. Just some combinations that I could think of off the top of my head:
- Berries-Caramel (Pick 3-5 of your favorites, I love strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries).
A final quick tip is to freeze your fresh fruit as you buy it in the summer. Most fruit will keep well in the freezer for 6-9 months, enabling you to have some delicious fruit for some pies well into the winter months!
So there you have it, pick your favorite fruits, and make yourself a pie. Let me know how it all turns out down by leaving me a comment or hit me up on your favorite social media platform. Also, please do pin this recipe to Pinterest!
That is all for this week, join me next week where I will share with you some brilliant ideas for using resin in your home decor projects! Until then, stay crafty my friends!