I am not a fan of pumpkin pie. Every year I convince myself it's good, take a few bites and remember why I don't like it. That mushy, weird, baby food consistency. Not a pudding, but not thick like a pecan pie. Sometimes cold, sometimes room temperature, pumpkin pie just doesn't appeal to me. Last year I bought a sugar pumpkin, went through the trouble of roasting it thinking maybe it's the canned pumpkin that I don't like. All that work for nothing. I'm sure the pie was good, if you like pumpkin pie. I ate one piece and the rest sat around until it grew mold and ended up in the trash bin.
So this is my homage to pumpkin pie. A pumpkin pudding with a brown sugar meringue. A much smoother consistency with a light marshmallow meringue topping. The best part? The ginger snap crust. Seriously I'll never use graham crackers for a cheesecake ever again.
Start with the glazed pecans. These are so yummy and super easy. In a nonstick pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Combine and cook until it starts to bubble. Add 1 cup of pecan halves and stir to coat well. Pour pecans onto parchment paper in a single layer and allow to cool.
To make the gingersnap crust, pulse 2/3 of a box of gingersnaps in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Add three tablespoons of melted butter and stir to fully combine. Crust will be the consistency of wet sand. Press into the bottom and sides of a pie pan. Bake the crust at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until crust has set. When crust has cooled, arrange glazed pecans on the bottom.
Prepare vanilla pudding according to package directions. When pudding has cooked, stir in 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger. Pour custard over the pecan halves in the pie crust.
For the meringue, add three room temperature egg whites, 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar (to stabilize the meringue) and a pinch of salt to a mixing bowl for a stand mixer or a large bowl for a hand mixer. Beat egg white mixture with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer until soft peaks have formed. Add 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1 spoonful at a time while mixing on high speed until stiff peaks have formed. Spoon meringue over custard using a spoon to create peaks.
Cook pie at 350 degrees until meringue is browned, about 15 minutes. Cool completely before refrigerating. Refrigerate at least two hours before serving.
Pumpkin Custard Pie with Brown Sugar MeringueBy Land of Noms, November 15, 2014
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 cup of pecan halves
- 3 cups of ginger snap cookies (about 2 cups when crushed)
- 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 1 package of cook and serve vanilla pudding
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon of ginger
- 3 egg whites at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- In a small non stick pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter with brown sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon
- When sugar and butter are bubbling, stir in pecan halves and coat well
- Cool pecans on parchment paper in a single layer
- Crush ginger snap cookies in a food processor until they become a fine crumb
- Stir in three tablespoons of melted butter and press into bottom and sides of a pie plate
- Bake crust for 10 minutes or until set
- Turn oven down to 350
- Add pudding mix and milk to a medium sized sauce pan and cook according to directions
- When pudding is thickened, add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
- Arrange cooled pecan halves over crust, pour pudding mix overtop
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine egg whites, vanilla extract, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt
- Mix on medium high speed until soft peaks are formed
- While mixing on high speed, add brown sugar one spoonful at a time until stiff peaks are formed and sugar is well incorporated
- Top pie with meringue, using the back of a spoon to create peaks
- Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until meringue is evenly browned
- Cool pie on a wire rack and when completely cool refrigerate at least two hours before serving
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