This post will celebrate TWO things!
1 – My first pumpkin pie this season and
2 – My first homemade caramel attempt since middle school!
Let me back up. I was in the talented and gifted program from 4th-8th grade. (Please pretend you’re not so surprised. Don’t spit take your coffee, I beg you.) In 7th and 8th grade science every Friday was “activity day.” That meant you got to do whatever experiments you wanted to! Since my group of friends was
underachievers ahem, we liked to eat sugar, uhh, we stuck with what we loved – we made caramel every. single. week.
Really we just boiled sugar in a beaker over a flame. And we wore purple. For some reason our science teacher loved purple so on Fridays you would get a point for wearing purple and whichever class got the most points won. I don’t remember if we ever actually won something… other than the ability to make caramel every single week and not get in trouble:)
Ahh, the good old days. I was probably wearing stretch pants then too. Aforementioned pants were not part of the good old day memories.
Making (grown-up) caramel is a little trickier than heating sugar in a beaker over a Bunsen burner. You have to watch it closely and there’s a bit of trial and error. (I burned my first batch.) But it’s fun! And it is DELICIOUS on this pumpkin pie. I’m not usually a huge pumpkin pie fan because I’m used to cold, bland filling and a tasteless crust. Thankfully, this is not your Frisch’s pumpkin pie. It’s got a gingersnap crust and chock full of spices. The first day it was super spicy but the 2nd it mellows out a lot. Boring eaters beware…
- 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 6 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or golden syrup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Take the gingersnap cookies and crush them into crumbs. You can either use your food processor or mini chopper OR put them in a ziploc bag and pound them with the bottom of a skillet or a mallet. Put the crumbs in a bowl then add the sugar, ginger and melted butter. Mix well.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of a pie plate. You’ll need to use your fingers and your palm. Press hard and try to get it as even as you can.
- Bake in preheated oven until lightly brown, about 10-15 minutes. Take out of oven and set aside.
- Grab a large bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix until it is thoroughly combined. Making this pie really is just measuring things and throwing into a bowl – so easy!
- Pour into gingersnap crust. Bake in preheated oven until filling is set and knife put in center comes out clean to almost clean. About 35-45 minutes (Mine was about 42.)
- Let cool completely and serve with caramel sauce. Store pie covered in fridge.
Adapted from Closet Cooking
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 T. corn syrup
- 1/4 c. water
- 1/2 c. heavy cream or milk (heated)
- 2 T. unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- 1 t. salt
- The first step is to pre-measure EVERYTHING. This is a quick paced recipe after the sugar starts bubbling so you don’t want to be fumbling around with ingredients
- Heat the sugar, syrup, and water in a sauce pan while stirring. You will be doing this for a while. This mixture will begin to bubble and remain clear. There are different theories on this, but I stopped constantly stirring. Some people say don’t touch it at all, but I just stirred it every minute or so. DO NOT WALK AWAY!
- While it’s bubbling, heat the milk or cream in the microwave.
- After a boils for a few minutes it will begin to turn an amber color. Watch it for a about 5-10 seconds, then remove from heat. (My first batch burned because I let the entire things turn amber before removing from the heat – YUCK!)
- After you remove from heat slowly pour in milk or cream and stir until smooth. If it begins getting lumpy, pop it back on the stove for a bit.
- Stir in butter.
- Allow to cool for a bit then stir in vanilla. Pour in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge!