I guess I need to admit something.
As much as I am a total freak for pumpkin almost-everything, I was never much of a pumpkin pie fan. It just … almost always has seemed a little mushy and, honestly, unremarkable to me. And with so many other pie options out there, why bother?
But thanks to this pie, that statement is past-tense. Was never a fan. Totally am now. Of this pumpkin pie.
This vanilla praline pumpkin pie, with its little specks of vanilla beans everywhere. This pumpkin pie with its rich filling and its perfectly sweet, wonderfully crunchy pecan topping.
Two things in particular make this recipe stand out. First, it makes use of both canned pumpkin and fresh pureed pumpkin. By using both, you get all the best qualities of each. This isn’t a discovery I happened across in my own kitchen; it’s a bit of wisdom from Leslie Mackie, author of the Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook.
I have, however, made the pie with only canned and only fresh, and while it was still good, there really is something extra special that happens when you combine the two.
The second thing – the clincher – in this recipe is without a doubt all that sweet, heady vanilla. I use vanilla bean paste (such an awesome product) but you could easily substitute seeds scraped from a vanilla bean and vanilla extract in lieu of the paste.
So, so good. Pumpkin pie perfection. Consider me a convert.
I’m joining TidyMom and Whirlpool for the 4th Annual Love the Pie Party and entered to win a new Whirlpool Gold® Induction Range. How cool is that prize?! I can’t wait to see all the amazing pie recipes the participants have come up with. Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom sponsored by Whirlpool and enter to win a new Whirlpool Range.
Vanilla Praline Pumpkin Pie
- 1 pre-baked pie crust (cooled)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1 cup fresh pumpkin puree (note: you can also use 2 cups canned pumpkin or 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree instead of a combination of both.)
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 5 tablespoons lightly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar (lightly packed)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped plus 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place pre-baked pie shell on a lined baking sheet to catch any spills.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purees and sour cream. Whisk in the brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and flour.
- Add the eggs and whisk until smooth, then whisk in the buttermilk, half and half, and vanilla bean paste.
- Pour filling into pie crust. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 50 - 60 minutes, or until the center of the pie is just set (no longer jiggly).
- Remove the pie from the oven, but leave the oven on.
- In a small bowl, combine all the topping ingredients. Very gently spoon the pecan praline topping over the top of the pie. Do not press.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the top is set and golden.
- Let pie cool to room temperature. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.