Pumpkin Pie in a Ginger Pecan Crumb Crust
Total Time: 2 hours
Tradition is spiced up with this zippy, nutty, ginger crust that counters the sweet creaminess of the pumpkin filling.
1 cup pecan pieces
14 ounces crispy ginger snap cookies (approximately 50, 2-inch cookies)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
9 tablespoons melted butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups pureed pumpkin (or 1, 15-ounce can)
1 ½ cups evaporated milk (1, 12-fluid-ounce can)
For the crust: Preheat oven to 350. Spread pecan pieces on a baking sheet or in a shallow pan. Bake, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, grind cookies into a fine crumb. You should have 3 cups of finely ground crumbs. Remove from processor and add to large mixing bowl. Stir in ground ginger.
In the food processor fitted with a metal blade, add pecan pieces and sugar and process until the nuts are chopped but not too fine! Add to cookie crumbs.
Add 8 tablespoons of the melted butter to crumb mixture and mix well until crumbs and nuts begin to hold together when pressed in the palm of your hand. You may need the extra tablespoon of melted butter if your gingersnaps are very dry.
Divide mixture evenly between two, well-buttered 9-inch pie plates. Press the mixture firmly over the bottoms and make sure to come all the way up the sides of the pans.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges just begin to take on some color. Remove to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely before adding filling -- the crusts will crisp up as they cool.
For the filling: In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs. Add pumpkin; stir gently with whisk until well combined. Stir in sugar and spice mixture. Gradually add evaporated milk.
Divide mixture evenly between the two, cooled, ginger pecan crumb crusts (about 2 cups filling per pie). Bake 45-50 minutes or until filling is just set and no longer liquid in the center. A knife inserted near the center will come out clean. Cool to room temperature before slicing.
Yields 2, 9-inch pies