The big day is next week. That special day us lovers of food look forward to all year long. We’ve been waiting patiently to stuff ourselves endlessly with turkey and sides and of course, pie; and the special day is almost here. Now just because we’re T-minus 6 days away from over-indulgence doesn’t mean we have to stress out at all. I’m here to make sure everything goes as smooth as possible. The first piece of advice I’ll give you is that chances are things won’t go 100% smoothly and that’s totally okay. The sooner you accept this fate, the better off you’ll be. The holidays aren’t about everything being perfect. Not in the slightest. The most important thing is that you enjoy the day with family, friends (or even just by yourself) no matter what happens. The turkey isn’t cooked, the sides have burned, the pies haven’t been baked? Don’t let any of that get you down. The second piece of advice is that you shouldn’t over-extend yourself. Go the simple route and delegate the dishes to others. In my house, I always make the turkey and stuffing and then everyone else makes a side. It alleviates the pressure off of me, and it’s actually fun for us all to get in the kitchen and cook together.
My last advice, aside from just having fun and enjoying the day, is to make as much ahead of time as possible. Bake off those pies the night before so you don’t have to worry about it the day of…plus I enjoy cold pumpkin pie better anyhow. Speaking of pies, if the Pumpkin Chocolate Pie from earlier in the week didn’t convince you, perhaps this Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Pumpkin Pie will do the job? It’s a great option when you want to switch up that classic tired old pumpkin pie you make and eat year after year. Plus, it’s delicious, so there’s that as well.
Let’s start with the cheesecake part of this pie! Beat together the cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla on high until smooth as possible and lump free. Then set aside until ready to use.
**Tip: The best way to go about this is to use room temperature cream cheese and egg because it’ll blend a lot easier and ensure there are no lumps in the mixture.**
Let’s switch gears to our pumpkin pie layer. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt and spices. I’m using a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, all-spice, cloves, and cardamom.
**Tip: You can also just use pumpkin pie spice if you have that on hand. A tablespoon would be the right amount.**
Whisk in the eggs, egg yolk, pumpkin purée, condensed milk, heavy cream, maple syrup, and vanilla until completely smooth.
Roll out your chilled pie dough in a large circle about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to a pie plate, trim the edges and tuck any excess until. Crimp the sides all around. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment paper and beans and continue to bake for another 2 to 4 minutes. As soon as the crust comes out of the oven, immediately brush with a thin layer of egg wash.
**Tip: If you need a more step-by-step example of how to make homemade pie dough, check out this Double Crust Pumpkin Chocolate Pie!**
Once the parbaked pie crust has cooled, pour in the cheesecake filling we made earlier, spreading it out into an even layer.
Carefully and slowly pour in the pumpkin filling over the cheesecake layer. By pouring it in slowly, it’ll disrupt the cheesecake layer as little as possible.
**Note: If the two layers aren’t separate once the pie bakes, it won’t be the worst thing in the world. The flavor will still be there and that’s all that matters!**
Bake in a preheated 425 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven to 325 degrees F and continue to bake until the crust is golden brown, slightly puffed and the center no longer jiggles (a bit jiggly is fine), about 40 to 50 minutes.
Allow the pie to cool completely at room temperature before transferring to the fridge until ready to eat. Right before serving, sprinkle the top of the pie with granulated or turbinado sugar. Then using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar until golden brown and melted through.
**Tip: In order to really melt the sugar on top properly you need a small kitchen blow torch (or a fancy professional one) but I have this one from Amazon and it works great for me!**
Slice and serve the pie with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a sprinkling of either candied or roasted and salted pepitas on top for some added crunch.
**Tip: The best way to slice this pie, is for it to be fully chilled. Keep in mind that when you go to slice the pie, the crème brûlée topping will shatter into different sized pieces, but that’s okay!**
If you want to make this pie ahead of time, so that you’re not slaving away in the kitchen on actual Thanksgiving Day, it can be easily done! Bake it off, cool it down and then cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to serve. Brûlée the top with sugar just before serving. The longer it sits, the more moisture the crystalized sugar will absorb and so there for you won’t have that crispy crunch topping that is so familiar to crème brûlée! Happy holidays friends!
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- pinch of sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and diced
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- egg wash
- 8 ounces (1 block) cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon all-spice
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
- 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, beaten
- 2 cups unsweetened pumpkin purée
- ⅔ cup sweetened condensed milk
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons turbinado sugar or granulated sugar
- whipped cream (for serving)
- pepitas (for servings)
- To make the pie dough, in a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the cold butter and cut it in with a pastry blender, two knives or your hands until coarse crumbs form, about the size of peas. Add 3 tablespoons water and stir with a rubber spatula until to comes together to form a rough dough. If you need more water, add a tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times to smooth it out somewhat. Cut in half and then wrap each half in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Roll out the chilled pie dough on a well-floured work surface to a large circle about ¼-inch thick. Transfer to a deep dish pie plate and fold the excess hanging dough under itself, and then crimp all around. Place a piece of parchment paper on top and fill with dry beans or pie weights. Par-bake the crust until it just barely begins to turn golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the parchment paper and beans and return to the oven to cook for another 2 to 4 minutes, until lightly golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and immediately brush with a thin layer of egg wash. Allow to cool completely.
- To make the cheesecake layer, combine the cream cheese and sugar, beating slowly until mixture is smooth. Stir in the egg and vanilla and pour into the cooled par-baked pie crust, smoothing out into an even layer.
- To make the pumpkin layer, in a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt and spices until well combined. Add in the eggs, egg yolk, pumpkin purée, condensed milk, cream, maple syrup, and vanilla and whisk until completely smooth. Gently spoon the pumpkin filling atop the cheesecake layer. Note: Do this carefully at first, so as to not disturb the cheesecake layer; once you've covered the cheesecake, you can be less careful.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees F and continue to bake until the pie has slightly puffed up and the center no longer jiggles (or just barely does), about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. You could also chill it to make slicing easier. Right before serving, sprinkle the top of the pie with the sugar. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Slice and serve with whipped cream and a sprinkling of pepitas. Enjoy!