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Thanksgiving Feast: Pumpkin Pie with Cream Cheese Topping

This version of a Thanksgiving classic has a jazzy cookie crust and rich topping.
By Sarah Belk King
November/December 2006
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This version of classic Thanksgiving pumpkin pie has a jazzy cookie crust and rich topping.
Photo By Joe Coca

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This version of a Thanksgiving classic has a jazzy cookie crust and rich topping. Makes two 9-inch pies.

Visit the main article, Thanksgiving Feast: 4 Recipes for a Homemade Holiday Dinner, for even more recipes.

Pumpkin Pie with Cream Cheese Topping

• 70 gingersnap cookies
• 12 tablespoons butter, melted
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 3/4 cups cooked pumpkin purée or
• 15 ounces canned pumpkin
• 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
• 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• Pinch ground ginger
• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
• 16 tablespoons honey (drizzle)
• 1 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans, toasted

To make crust:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter two 9-inch pie plates (not deep dish).

2. Grind gingersnaps to the texture of coarse breadcrumbs, by hand or in a food processor. (It should make about 3 cups.)

3. Mix crumbs, butter, sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl and stir to blend. Divide mixture evenly among 2 pie plates. Press into bottom and up sides, leaving rim free of crumbs. Bake for 5 minutes to set. Remove from oven and cool completely.

To make pies:

1. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, cream, eggs and egg yolk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, 1/8 teaspoon salt and ginger until smooth.

2. Pour into cooled pie shells and bake 50 minutes to an hour until set but slightly loose in the center (pie will set as it cools). Do not overbake. Let cool at room temperature at least 2 hours before serving. Or, bake up to 4 days in advance, cover and chill.

To make Honey Cream Cheese Topping:

1. Beat all but 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream until soft peaks form.

2. Add 3 tablespoons honey and vanilla, and beat until stiff. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese with reserved 2 tablespoons cream until light and fluffy. Beat a quarter of the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese to lighten it. Add remaining whipped cream to the cream cheese and fold until thoroughly mixed
but not deflated.

4. Cover and chill until ready to serve (up to 1 day ahead.)

5. To serve, place each slice of pie on a dessert plate and top with a generous dollop of Honey Cream Cheese Topping. Drizzle each slice with 1 or 2 tablespoons of honey and sprinkle with nuts. 

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