Earthy pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts give pecan pie a run for its money.
Everyone loves pecan pie. Gooey, sweet and chuck full of toasted nuts, it’s a bona fide Turkey Day classic for a reason. But in my book, every classic can use the occasional update (I’m all for a Thanksgiving meal that eschews the mashed potatoes, gravy, and plain-Jane Turkey for more creative operations, like Ideas In Food’s Turkey Meatballs.) While I’d never turn away a pitch-perfect slice of pecan, this pie combines a variety of nuts—rich hazelnuts, crunchy pepitas, and sweet pine nuts—for taste that still offers the sticky sweet flavor that makes the dessert such a success, while giving real the depth of flavor. Thanksgiving fanatics may not let it take over the table, but this Pumpkin Seed and Hazelnut Pie is bound to become a holiday hit.
Pumpkin Seed and Hazelnut Pie, adapted from Bon Appetit
Servings: 1 9-inch pie
For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 large egg 9″-diameter pie pan with a removable bottom
For the filling:
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 ounces unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
Powdered sugar (for dusting)
1. Crust: Whisk 1 cup of flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. In a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy and pale yellow in color, about 3 minutes. Add egg; beat to blend, occasionally scrapping bowl. Add dry ingredients in 3 batches, beating just to blend between additions. Gather dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°Fahrenheit. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch round. Transfer to pan, pressing dough onto bottom and up sides of pan. Trim dough flush with top of pan (reserve any scraps in case needed for patching crust after baking). Prick dough all over with a fork and freeze for 10 minutes.
3. Line the chilled pie shell with foil or parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges of crust are just beginning to turn golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
4. For filling: Preheat the oven to 300°Fahrenheit. Spread out the pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, and pine nuts on 3 separate small baking sheets. Toast the nuts until fragrant and light brown, about 10 minutes for the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds, and 20 minutes for hazelnuts. Let the nuts cool completely.
5. While the nuts are toasting, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown bits form on bottom of pan, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
6. Stir brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir in the eggs, then add the browned butter. Fold in the nuts. Pour the filling into pie shell.
7. Turn the oven up to 350°Fahrenheit. Bake the pie, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set around edges and jiggles slightly in center when nudged, about 1 hour. Loosely tent foil over pie if crust gets too dark. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.