Place one rack in the bottom of your oven and one rack in the center. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
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.
Make the pecan topping: In a small bowl, mix together the pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter. Set aside.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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