Personally, I have always found pumpkin pie to be a bit boring. The textures are kind of meh. The flavor is about the same—often over-spiced and dull. And I’ve yet to have a pumpkin pie in which the crust comes to the rescue. So, feeling somewhat ambitious this Thanksgiving, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
Now I must admit, the idea for a Pumpkin Chocolate Pie came from two other sources. One was a new Bon Appétit pumpkin pie recipe, which I altered to my taste, and the other was a pecan pie (the pumpkin pie’s natural predator) I tried some time ago, that had thin layer of chocolate on the bottom of it. It was divine. So I figured it might be a good idea to combine the two ideas: a traditional pumpkin pie, with a thin layer of chocolate ganache underneath.
Well, I have to say I think I hit it out of the park. The pumpkin pie filling uses condensed milk instead of cream and sugar, which gives the filling a luxurious mouth feel. The addition of a tablespoon of dark rum layers in some complexity as well, without an overbearing alcoholic taste. But the chocolate ganache layer (easy enough to make too) is the star of the show! It provides that extra kick of flavor and texture that’s missing in most pumpkin pies. I actually think the flavors work really well together. A dark chocolate on the more bitter side will highlight the sweet pumpkin filling and spice notes. Wrapped up in a homemade crust made with a little bit of whole wheat flour for extra flavor, and it’s a pie that will remain on the Thanksgiving menu for years to come!
Yield: One 9″ Pie
Time: 3.5 hours
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 10 oz of 62% baker’s dark chocolate
- 1 cup of cream
- 1 tbsp of rum
- 1/4 tsp of table salt
For the Pie Crust
- 1 ½ cup All Purpose Flour (Plus more for dusting)
- ¼ cup whole wheat (I used Emmer Flour from Roan Mills Grains in Fillmore, CA)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 12 tbsp (1 ½ sticks) of unsalted butter
- 5 tbsp of ice water
For the Pumpkin Filling
- 1 15oz can of pure pumpkin puree
- 1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp of ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp of ground ginger
- ½ tsp of salt
- 2 large whole eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tbsp of heavy cream
- 1 tbsp of Dark or Spiced Rum* (Check out Blue Lifestyle’s Spirit Reviews for rum recommendations!)
For the Chocolate Ganache
- Add the chocolate ganache and salt to a heat-proof bowl.
- Bring the heavy cream to a boil, and then pour it over the chocolate (be sure to keep an eye on the cream as it can boil over very quickly.)
- Stir until completely mixed. The chocolate should be rich, shiny and tantalizingly delicious.
- Mix in 1 tbsp of dark or spiced rum, if desired.
- Allow to cool.
- Wrap and store at room temp if using within a few hours, or chill.
For the Crust
- Whisk together in a bowl the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, table salt and sugar.
- Divide your sticks of butter into small cubes. Add the butter to the flour mixture and coat thoroughly.
- Working quickly with a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands, crumble the butter into the flour mixture until you have a shaggy texture, with irregular pieces about the size of peas. If the butter starts to melt while doing this, simply place the bowl in the fridge or freezer until the butter has chilled again.
- Drizzle 5 tbsp of ice water, one tablespoon at a time, into the flour and butter mixture using a fork or your fingers to distribute the water evenly.
- Knead the dough in the bowl until in begins to come together, about one or two minutes. The dough will appear dry and crumbly. Add more water if you need to, but avoid using more than one more tablespoon for best results.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead one or two more times. The dough should now be holding together.
- Form the dough into a disc about 5” across, and wrap in plastic.
- Chill for 30 minutes if using immediately. Dough can also be made in advance, and kept chilled for up to 3 days and frozen for up to 2 weeks.
- Pre-heat an oven to 400 deg F.
- Once done chilling, remove the dough from the plastic and lay it on a floured work surface.
- Roll the dough out to approximately a 12” diameter circle. The dough should be around 1/8” thick. Use dusting flour liberally to avoid sticking.
- Carefully roll the dough onto your rolling pin and lay it over your pie dish. Gently tuck the dough into your pie dish. You can use a scrap piece of dough to push the dough into the pie dish corners.
- Trim the edges leaving about a 1” overhang.
- Tuck the overhang under itself and crimp as desired.
- Line your pie crust with foil or parchment paper. Add baking weights or beans to the pie filling area.
- Bake your pie for 20 minutes at 400 F, then remove from the oven taking off the lining and weights.
- Dock the pie crust evenly with a fork to keep it from rising.
- Reduce oven temp to 350 F and bake for an additional 30 minutes. The crust should be golden brown. Your crust can be filled and used immediately, or wrapped tightly and stored at room temp for 3 days.
For the Pumpkin Filling
1. Add all the ingredients together in a large bowl, and whisk until combined. Chill until ready for use.
- Pre-heat a 350 deg oven.
- Layer the chocolate ganache on the bottom of your pie crust, about a 1/4” inch thick.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture slowly over the top of the chocolate layer until it comes up just to the rim of your pie dish.
- Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, checking every 5 minutes from the 45 min mark. It’s done when the edges are golden brown and the center gives a slight wobble when agitated.
- Turn off the oven and leave the pie inside with the door ajar to cool (you can stick a heat proof spoon or spatula in the door to keep it from closing all the way.) This will help prevent the filling from cracking.
- Cool for approx. 2 hrs (if you can wait) and then slice and serve with fresh whip cream. Store covered and chilled for up to 3 days.
By Aldo Moreno