Give your pumpkin pie recipe a Southwest touch with dulce de leche. The Latin-style milk caramel adds a rich, smooth, depth of flavor to everyone’s favorite pie.
They say opposites attract. That is certainly true when it comes to pie. Pumpkin pie is my favorite holiday dessert. In fact, I wait all year for pumpkin pie and no, I can’t make it any other month of the year. Anticipation is half of the flavor.
For some odd reason, I am never hungry for dessert on Thanksgiving. Strange, you would think that cooking and shopping for days, mashing bushels of potatoes, racing to get everything on the table and hot at the same time might make a person hungry. But, not me.
I prefer to have my dessert a day or two later. Then, when I see the first Christmas lights in the neighborhood, I go on a dessert making marathon for the entire month of December that would put an Olympian under the table. Holiday cookies, pastries and pies… lots of pies… pumpkin pies.
My husband, on the other hand, loves cream pies; any kind of cream pie.
He is not amused with the many variations of pumpkin pie that seem to magically appear and then multiply while he is at work (I must admit an impish grin appears as I watch him eat his piece of pumpkin pie and try to find a way to compliment it. No greater words of love have been ever spoken).
So, how have we survived so long together? Two people… separated by pie? I guess it’s the stuff that romance is made of.
One thing my husband does love is dulce de leche—the sweet, creamy Mexican carmel sauce made from reducing condensed milk. Every year, to “get in the mood” of the holidays, I dress up a few of my pumpkin pies with dulce de leche and we have one of those,
“Hey! You got pumpkin pie on my dulce de leche!” moments.
And then, for just an instant, he thinks he likes pumpkin pie.
For some reason, making dulce de leche seems to intimidate a lot of cooks (something about boiling cans of unopened milk for hours… nightmares of exploding carmel sauce).
Luckily, you can find it in almost any grocery store. Just look in the aisle with Mexican specialty foods.
Dulce de leche is a softer, creamy carmel sauce that doesn’t have that “stick to your teeth and rip out your filling” texture of regular carmel. I use it in a lot of my holiday recipes just about anywhere that calls out for a mild, carmel-y flavor.
This Pumpkin Pie with Dulce de Leche Recipe is a good way to add some depth of flavor and creaminess to your regular pumpkin recipe. The flavor is subtle, but it takes the “too sweet” taste away and bubbles up into the pumpkin custard just a little to make the texture smoother.
Be careful to follow the baking temperature and turn the heat down to 350 degrees or the dulce de leche will boil and curdle the custard.
Pumpkin pies are a little plain to look at so, I like to use tiny cookie cutters to cut shapes out of the scrapes of dough to embellish the edges with.
Give this Pumpkin Pie with Dulce de Leche recipe a try and let me know how you like it.
- 1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice or clove
- 2 cups cooked pumpkin, fresh pureed or canned (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1½ cup milk, light cream or evaporated milk
- 1 6 ounce can of dulce de leche
- 8 ounces whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar (may use powdered sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Roll out pie crust and place in a 9 inch pie pan. Brush the inside of the pie crust with beaten egg white. Set aside.
- Beat eggs with sugar, molasses, salt and spices until well blended. Add the pumpkin and milk; mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Spread dulce de leche in a layer on the bottom of the pie crust.
- Sprinkle sea salt over the dulce de leche.
- Gently spoon pumpkin filling over dulce de leche trying not to unsettle the sea salt. Slowly pour the rest of the filling into pie crust.
- Place the pie on the lower rack of the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for 50 to 60 minutes or until done. The center of the pie should still "giggle" a little. Don't over cook the pie or it will crack and separate from the crust at the sides of the pie. Remember, it will continue to cook for a few minutes when you remove it from the oven.
- Resist the urge to raise the temperature of the oven or the custard type filling will bubble and boil. The dulce de leche will also bubble and mix in with the pumpkin layer.
- Set pie on a wire rack to cool.
- Whip the cream and sugar together. Add the vanilla and whip lightly until mixed.
- Serve pie with a dollop of whipped cream.
-posted by Sandy