Pumpkin Pecan Pie

I’m experiencing fleeting moments of panic that an enormous, animated Thanksgiving turkey is going to bust out of our hallway closet and whack me over the head with a giant, Pilgrim-style belt buckle as soon as I make this confession. Ready? I’ve never particularly cared for pumpkin pie.

Can't decide between pumpkin pie and pecan pie? Bake this Golden Pumpkin Pecan Pie for the best of both worlds!

……OK, the Macy’s Day Parade-sized turkey did not materialize as I irrationally feared, but it does seem like a crime against American tradition, family values, and every grade school reenactment of the first Thanksgiving dinner to admit that the classic orange dessert does little to ruffle the construction paper feathers on my brown paper grocery bag Native American vest. (Did anyone else make those in grade school?). I digress.

Perfect Pumpkin Pecan Pie. The best of pumpkin pie and pecan pie rolled into one, plus how to bake perfect pumpkin pie that won't crack or burn!

My general attitude towards pumpkin pie is, meh. Often bland, mushy, with a crust that is burned on the edges but soggy on the bottom, pumpkin pie seems better suited as to be a vehicle for homemade whipped cream, versus stand-out dessert.

My family agrees. Six years ago, we stopped making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dinner completely (although my Grammy and Poppa do have slices of pumpkin pie with bacon for Thanksgiving breakfast, a custom I enthusiastically endorse). Instead, we put our own twist on tradition by serving a different pumpkin dessert that packs more pizzazz. Pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin bread pudding often make appearances, but this year, my vote is for Pumpkin Pecan Pie.

Perfect Pumpkin Pecan Pie. The best of pumpkin pie and pecan pie combined into one amazing dessert, plus how to bake perfect pumpkin pie that won't crack or burn!

Torn between pumpkin pie and pecan pie this Thanksgiving? Make this easy recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Pie for the best of both!

A super-spiced, pizzazz-packed pumpkin pie filling sweetened with maple syrup, and topped with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon-toasted pecans, this Pumpkin Pecan Pie puts the classic Libby’s recipe to shame. It takes all the best features of pumpkin pie and pecan pie and combines them into a single, dreamy slice.

FYI, the giant Thanksgiving turkey did not appear to punish me for speaking ill towards the classic Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe. Perhaps he agrees.

Perfect Pumpkin Pecan Pie, plus how to bake a perfect pumpkin pie that doesn't crack or burn!

Even if you are a fan of classic pumpkin pie, this Pumpkin Pecan Pie is still a must-bake, even if you omit the pecan topping. The maple syrup gives the pie a richer flavor than the plain white sugar in the classic Libby’s recipe, and I swapped the cloves for nutmeg, a trick I learned from my Grammy, who as you recall has been eating pumpkin pie for breakfast for the past 20 years. The lady knows her pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

For the fans of pecan pie: you will love this recipe too. That crunchy, toasty, pecan pie topping is still intact and just as addictive as you’ve always known it to be.

This Pumpkin Praline Pie is also ultra easy to make, even for baking novices. The pumpkin filling instructions are only one step long (stir the ingredients together until smooth), and the pecan layer is just as simple: toss the nuts with melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, then sprinkle them into the bottom of the crust. Pour the pumpkin filling over the top, and that’s it!

Easy Pumpkin Pecan Pie recipe

A few tips to guarantee a perfect pumpkin pie:

  • To prevent the bottom of your pumpkin pie from getting soggy: Start the pie at a high temperature on the bottom rack of your oven (this sets and crisps the bottom crust), then a few minutes later, lower the oven temperature and move the pie to the center rack to finish baking completely.
  • To prevent the pie crust from burning before the pie is finished baking: Shield the pie crust with foil or a pie crust guard the entire time the pie is in the oven. I use and love this adjustable pie crust shield. It’s cheap, won’t smash your perfectly fluted crust, and can be customized to any size of pie.
  • To prevent the pumpkin pie from cracking: Do not over bake! A cracked pumpkin pie is an over baked pumpkin pie, every single time. (If you want to baking science nerd out with me, it’s because the eggs keep cooking after the pie is removed from the oven and crack the pie.) When the pie “jiggles like jell-o but does not wiggle like a wave,” it’s done. An even easier method to tell if the pumpkin pie is done is to take the its temperature (pumpkin pie is done baking at 170 degrees F). I use this digital read thermometer for everything from meat, to bread, to pumpkin pie. It’s fast, accurate, and inexpensive.
  • And less essential but fun: For pretty decorative pie crust leaves to decorate the top, roll out extra pie crust, cut it into leaves with leaf-shaped cookie cutters, then bake the leaves separately and place them on the top of the cooled pumpkin pie.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie with Butter Pecan Topping, plus how to bake perfect pumpkin pie that won't crack or burn. A perfect Thanksgiving dessert recipe!

Although it might not be precisely traditional, I’m confident that this deeply spiced, maple syrup-sweetened Pumpkin Pecan Pie could still earn me an invite to that first Thanksgiving dinner, construction paper costume and all.

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Pumpkin Pecan Pie

A golden maple pumpkin pie filling with a buttery, cinnamon toasted pecan pie topping, this Pumpkin Pecan Pie recipe is the best of both worlds!

Yield: 1, 9-inch pie

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 1 recipe Whole Wheat Pie Crust (this recipe will make 2 pie crusts, one for the bottom, one for the decorative leaves)
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon milk, for decorative leaves

For the Pecan Topping:

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (light brown is OK too)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

For the Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1 3/4 cups (1, 15-ounce can) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup half and half, at room temperature (do not use fat free half and half)
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (it’s an amazing flavor upgrade to grate your own nutmeg. I use this zester to do it.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Directions:

  1. Place one rack in the bottom of your oven and one rack in the center. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Prepare the whole wheat pie crust according to the recipe directions. Roll out half of the recipe (enough for 1 crust) and fit it into a regular (not deep dish) 9-inch pie dish that is at least 1 1/4-inches deep. Crimp the edges, leaving the crimp tall. Place the crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling. Leave the second half of the pie crust in the refrigerator for later.
  3. Make the pecan topping: In a small bowl, mix together the pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter. Set aside.
  4. Make the pumpkin filling: In a large bowl, stir together all of the ingredients—the pumpkin puree, eggs, half and half, maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt—until smooth.
  5. Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Sprinkle the pecan layer into the bottom of the crust (it will rise to the top when baked), then gently pour in the pumpkin filling. Tap the pan firmly on the counter to allow air bubbles to escape. Wait 30 seconds, then tap once more, repeating as needed until you see very few air bubbles. With aluminum foil or a pie crust shield, shield the crust so that it does not burn while the pie bakes.
  6. Place the pie on the bottom rack and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, move the pie to the center rack, then bake the pie for an additional 35-45 minutes, until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out moist but clean and the temperature of the pie reaches 170 degrees F. When jiggled, the pie will move in the center (like jello) but should not as liquidy as a wave. (The filling may also be bubbling gently—it will calm as it cools.) Let the pie cool to room temperature, then chill.
  7. To make the decorative pie crust leaves: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the remaining pie crust on a lightly floured surface to a 1/8-inch thickness. With cookie cutters, cut out leaf shapes. Beat the egg and 1 teaspoon milk together in a small bowl, then brush lightly over the tops of the cut leaves. With a thin, sharp knife, draw on the leaf veins as desired. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then arrange over the top of the cooled pie. Serve pie chilled or at room temperature, with whipped cream.

Adapted from Whole Grain Baking

// All images and text ©/Well Plated.

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

22 comments

  1. Erin, this pumpkin pie is so lovely! I wouldn’t imagine skipping the crunchy pecans and adding the maple sounds delicious! Happy November!!

  2. I’m not a big fan of the word epic, but this pie is epic. I’m craving it big time. BIG time. 

  3. I loved those paper bag turkeys! Such a fun annual craft.

    You found a totally awesome way to jazz up a standard pumpkin pie. Loving the maple syrup in there and the cute leaves!

  4. Brilliant. Taking my two favorite desserts and putting them into one means I can have double, right? 

  5. I’ve don’t think I’ve ever actually had pumpkin pie! I’ve had pecan pie, and I absolutely love it, so I should definitely love this! X

  6. ERIN. This is a showstopper! Totally obsessing over those leaves and definitely pinning to make at some point during pie season :)

  7. A combo of pumpkin AND pecan pie?! This sounds incredible!  :)

    Dani | http://www.styledvariety.com

  8. Erin, most pumpkin pie IS meh.  In my opinion.  I was spoiled because my grandmother spent years trying different pumpkin pie recipes until she came up with a good one, the one used by the second president of the United States.  So I grew up on exceptionally good pumpkin pie.  That I don’t seem to be able to make well.  Yours sounds wonderful.  Can’t guarantee that I’ll try it because a) my husband doesn’t like pumpkin pie;  b) I don’t know if we’ll even be home for Thanksgiving; and c) I don’t need a lot of leftover pie in the house.  But I’m definitely saving the recipe.

  9. This pie is absolutely gorgeous! I would love to have it on my Thanksgiving table :)

  10. We always have a pumpkin pie at our Thanksgiving table mainly because it’s my moms favorite. Each year I come up with a different version to try giving it some pizzazz. Your recipe sounds wonderful. Although I love your grandmothers idea of just having it for breakfast with bacon. 

  11. This looks and sounds irresistible! I’m not a big fan of traditional pumpkin pie either – I like the flavor but the texture is too plain and squishy for my liking. This pumpkin-pecan pie hybrid is a brilliant solution…not to mention beautiful! I love the cut-out leaves on top.

  12. I followed this wonderful recipe exactly but the pecans didn’t rise to the surface so it looks like an ordinary pumpkin pie .  Any tips for next time Erin?

    • Hi Heather! Honestly, I’m not sure what it might have been. Were all of your ingredients room temperature and was the half and half regular vs. low fat or fat free? If yes, then I’m afraid I don’t have any additional. Regardless of appearances, I’m glad it was delicious! If the pecans  don’t rise next time, you could also sprinkle a few extra toasted pecans on top for decoration.

  13. Also not a big fan of pumpkin pie but make it every year. I am going to try this one this year because my family loves pecan pie. I came across a bourbon pumpkin pie recipe, and I think I will add the 3 T bourbon to your recipe. What do you think?

  14. Hi! This looks amazing!!😋Hosting my husband’s family for Thanksgiving and couldn’t decide between pumpkin or pecan pie, so hybrid pie it is! Question–Could this be premade made the night before & cooked the morning of? Thanks!😊

    • Hi Raleigh! You can definitely make the crust in advance. I’d suggest waiting until the day of to make the filling if possible, but if you want to experiment, you could store the filling separately in the refrigerator then pour it into the crust right before baking. The finished pie also tastes good the next day, so you could always just make the whole thing in advance too! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  15. Great, thanks so much Erin! That helps a lot. Hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving too!😊

  16. This recipe was screaming my name since the moment I saw it! I just pulled mine out of the oven, however, and the pecan filling never rose to the top during baking… it just looks like a pumpkin pie. Any idea why this happened?

    • Hi Hilary! Honestly, I’m not sure what it might have been. Were all of your ingredients room temperature and was the half and half regular vs. low fat or fat free? If yes, then I’m afraid I don’t have any additional insight. Regardless of appearances, I hope you still find it delicious! You could also sprinkle a few extra toasted pecans on top for decoration.

  17. Thank you for your quick response. Yes, everything was room temperature and I followed the recipe exactly. We haven’t tried it yet, but will tonight. I’m sure it’ll still be delicious! Thanks!

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