This pie is not like any other pumpkin pie you’ve ever had. It’s not a custard-style pumpkin pie; it’s more like an apple pie, but made with pumpkin. I know it sounds a bit wacky, but you have to believe me when I tell you that this pie is unbelievably delicious. For those of you who don’t love the traditional custard pumpkin pies, I’ll bet you’ll like this one.
So I was looking through the October 2018 Thanksgiving edition of Canadian Living Magazine a few weeks ago while at the airport. On the cover of the magazine is a photo of the most appetizing apple pie along with descriptions of fall recipes. Of course, I had to buy the magazine. As I’m nearing the end of the magazine, I come across a photo spread of the most beautiful pumpkin pie I have ever laid my eyes on. This got me thinking about Thanksgiving and fall flavours. Pumpkins and apples are both in season and everybody is in the mood for cinnamon and spice treats this time of year.
When I was thinking about which pie to make for Thanksgiving dinner, I thought why not make a pumpkin pie, the way you would make an apple pie, and see if it tastes just as good. So that’s what I did and I’m happy to report that this experiment was a total success. It also happens to be vegan, so everyone at Thanksgiving dinner was able enjoy it. It was a total victory.
I also thought that pumpkin and apple or pear would taste really good together, so I made a variation of this recipe that included a pumpkin layer and a fruit layer. All variations were absolutely amazing.
Cranberries also happen to be in season, so I candied a few, and garnished the pie with them. It added a festive touch and the tart went really well with the sweet pumpkin. I added a few toasted pecans for some texture. It was SO good! I brought some of the leftover pie into work the next day and my colleagues loved it. I hope you do too.
I’m so excited to share this non-traditional pumpkin pie recipe with you. You can’t go wrong with any variation. They’re all delicious. This would also be a great dessert for Christmas. If you make it, please let me know what you think.
- 1 small baking pumpkin (5 cups thinly sliced)
- 1 tsp sunflower oil or vegetable oil
- 2 tsp butter or vegan butter
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp bourbon (optional)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinammon
- 1/4 tsp ginger (optional)
- 1/4 tsp clove (optional)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cardamom (optional)
- 1 lemon
- 4 pears/apples (optional)
- 1/4 cup cranberries (optional)
- 1/4 cup pecans (optional)
Carefully cut the pumpkin in half with a sharp knife. Remove the seeds. Cut the pumpkin in half again. Peel half of the pumpkin with a y-shaped vegetable peeler. Slice the pumpkin into thin ribbon-like slices with the vegetable peeler until you have about 6 cups of thinly sliced pumpkin (about half of a small pumpkin). Set aside.
In a large frying pan, gently saute the thin pumpkin slices in the oil and butter on low heat for a minute. Add the maple syrup and bourbon. Stir until tender, but not falling apart. (You don't want to brown the pumpkin, just soften it a little)
Combine the sugar and spices and set aside.
Add half of the the spiced sugar to the pumpkin in the pan and stir until incorporated. Turn off the burner and let cool.
Poke holes in one of the defrosted pie shells with a fork so that it won't puff up too much while baking. Bake the pie shell in the oven for about 10 minutes or as per the instructions, or until light brown.
Remove the pie from the oven. Let stand for 5 minutes and then add the cool pumpkin mixture.
Slice the pears/apples into thin slices. Drizzle them with lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. (This layer is optional)
Arrange the pears/apples, rounded side up, on top of the pumpkin layer. Sprinkle the pears/apples with the remaining spiced sugar.
Top the pears/apples with pie pastry cut outs from the other defrosted pie shell. I used fall shapes, but you can use any cookie cutter shape you like.
Bake at 420 degrees for 40 minutes or until the pastry on top is golden brown.
Garnish with candied pecans and cranberries if you like. If you skipped the fruit layer, I would add the cranberries and pecans. It offers another texture and flavour complement. Simply add 2 or 3 tbsp of sugar to a pan. Turn the burner on low heat. Roll the pecans and cranberries in the sugar until it starts to stick to the pecans and cranberries. Remove from pan. Let cool and garnish.
- You can also choose to make your own pastry, but I usually just buy my favourite pie crust at the grocery store.