This pumpkin pie was voted the family favorite several years ago … maybe … no one is actually 100% sure. Let me explain.
Several years ago, we had a request for pumpkin pie for dessert at Thanksgiving. Since my husband and I didn’t have a “go to” pumpkin pie recipe at the time, we researched several recipes and found one that we thought would be perfect. Apparently, several other family members heard about the request for pumpkin pie and offered their recipes as well. Not knowing which one to make, we decided to make them all (7 total) and have a taste testing. To keep things fair, we decided to stick with traditional pumpkin pie recipes – no extra toppings, sauces or drizzles. However, we found one recipe with a crunchy topping that sounded too good to pass up. We went ahead and made it but didn’t allow it to be an official entry in the contest. In the end, everyone agreed that the pie with the crunchy topping was their favorite even if it couldn’t be voted as the winner.
I was all excited to share that recipe with you. The problem is that when I asked everyone if this looked like the recipe for the pie we all liked the most, everyone seemed to remember different pies. My mother-in-law thought it had a streusel topping. My sister-in-law remembers dried apricot in the topping. I distinctly remember the amaretti cookies. It’s funny how we all have different memories of the exact same pie.
The crunchy topping made with amaretti cookies and almonds is what I (personally) remembered about the pie. Amaretti cookies are a crispy Italian cookie flavored with almonds. They not only add flavor but also texture to the pie. Amaretto liqueur in the filling adds another punch of almond flavor.
When I served this Amaretto-almond crunch pumpkin pie for dessert last night, everyone agreed it was indeed a very good pumpkin pie. So, here it is – the maybe-or-maybe-not-family-favorite pumpkin pie.
For the crust
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cold vegetable shortening
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
For the topping
- 20 Lazzaroni Amaretti di Saronno cookies
- ¼ cup blanched sliced almonds
For the filling
- 1 (15-ounce) can pure solid-pack pumpkin purée
- ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Disaronno Amaretto liqueur
For the crust
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together all-purpose flour, cake flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and shortening, and mix on low until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water evenly over the mixture and mix on low until incorporated.
- Squeeze a small handful together. If it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water, ½ tablespoon at a time, mixing until just incorporated, then test again.
- Gather dough together into a ball, then flatten into a ½-inch thick disk. Wrap dough in plastic and chill, until firm, about 1 hour.
For the topping
- Crumble the cookies with your hands into a small bowl. The pieces should be about ¼-inch chunks. Toss with the almonds; set aside.
Pre-bake the crust
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on lightly floured surface to a 12-inch round. Transfer dough to a 9-inch tempered glass pie plate. Trim excess dough, if necessary, leaving a ½-inch overhang, then fold overhang under pastry and press against rim of pie plate to reinforce edge. Line with foil and weights and blind-bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Bake until the crust just begins to brown, pressing with the back of a fork if the crust bubbles, about 5 minutes longer. Remove crust from oven and set on cooling rack. Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
For the filling
- While the crust is baking, make the filling. Scrape pumpkin purée into a food processor fitted with metal blade attachment. Process 15 seconds; scrape down sides and process 15 seconds more. Pulse in brown sugar, spices and salt until combined. Pulse in eggs one at a time until blended, scraping down sides as necessary. Pulse in cream and liqueur. Finish processing for 5 seconds to smooth out the mixture. Pour filling into pre-baked crust. Sprinkle topping evenly over filling.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until filling is set around edges and quivers in the center when you gently shake the pie dish. Cool on a rack.
Cover the topping with aluminum foil if it starts to get too brown during baking.
The pie is best served the day it is made. As the topping will begin to soften after a day.
Recipe from Unforgettable Desserts via the Houston Chronicle.