Pumpkin Pie Brûlée with Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Cream
Pumpkin pie gets a new look with a brûlée sugar top. Silky spiced pumpkin filling with a hint of orange zest gets topped with crunchy caramel for a more decadent take on the traditional Thanksgiving dessert.
Pre-caramelizing the sugar allows for this brûlée topping to come together perfectly even without a kitchen torch. Using the broiler to brûlée you always run the risk of having an uneven top with some sugar burning and some not melting at all. To prevent this the sugar was caramelized then, processed fine before sprinkling onto the pie for more even melting and caramelization.
Make sure your pie is chilled throughly before you add the brûlée top. This way you will get a nice contrast of temperatures with the chilled pie and warm crisp caramel. To cut, gently “pre-slice” the brûlée top before taking your knife all the way through to the bottom. This will help the caramel from cracking, splintering off and smooshing the filling below. Even if you aren’t serving the whole pie at once, I would recommend slicing every piece immediately. The longer it sits the harder it is to cut.
Pumpkin Pie Brûlée
Classic Pumpkin Pie
1 package (2 circles) pie dough
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon water
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoon confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon bourbon
*fresh grated nutmeg, orange zest and small mint leaves for garnish
dough- In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Also whisk together the egg and water to prepare an egg wash and set aside.
Add 1 circle of your prepared pie dough to a pie plate and gently press into the corners of the pan. Flute the edges and set aside.
Using decorative cutters, cut out at least 35 leaves. Brush each one gently with egg wash and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Apply a little more egg wash to the backs of the leaves and place them on the edge of your pie shell.
Using small balls of aluminum foil, prop up some of your leaves to help keep a 3d effect when baked. Tried to keep the edge of the leaves as close to the edge of the pan as you can to prevent them from drooping while baking.
Dock the bottom of the pie shell with a fork and place in the freezer while you prepare the filling. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
filling- In a large microwave proof bowl, mix together the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spiced, orange zest and salted. Place the bowl in the microwave for 1 minute. This will help meld the spice and pumpkin and remove some of the “canned” taste.
Let cool and then whisk in condensed milk and eggs until full combined.
Poor the mixture into the prepared chilled pie shell and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Then, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to cook for 35-40 minutes until just set. You still want the middle of the pie to look some what wet in appearance and have a bit of a giggle when shaken.
Let cool for 20 minutes then place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to chill.
*Since I added cinnamon sugar to my leaves on the crust, I did start shielding my crust with about 10 minutes left in the baking time. You can use a silicone shield or just aluminum foil to keep the decorations from brown too much.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat (parchment paper will also work).
Sprinkle the sugar evenly in a thin layer on your prepare pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden brown. You are looking for a shade or two lighter than you want your final topping. Check every minute or so after 12 minutes just to make sure the caramel does not catch and burn.
When you reach your deserved color (remember this will be going under the broiler or kitchen torch as well) remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Break the cooled caramel into shards and place in a food processor. Process the caramel until fine.
With a whisk by hand or using a stand mixer, whisk the cream until it starts to thicken. Then, add the sugar and continue to beat until you reach the desired consistency. Once your cream and sugar has been whipped add the vanilla and bourbon and fold in until incorporated.
Just before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of the caramel sugar on the pie top. Using a kitchen torch or under the broiler. If you do use the broiler, shield your pie crust with aluminum foil to prevent scorching. Melt and caramelize the sugar until fully coated. Make sure you use a thin coating so that the pie can still be sliced. too thick a layer and it will not cut properly. Top with bourbon vanilla whipped cream, a sprinkle of fresh grated nutmeg, and orange zest and serve immediately