Friday, November 28, 2008

Pumpkin Hazlenut Pie

Dear readers, I believe I've already hit you over the head with my love of this season, and two of it's fabulous bounties: pumpkin and nuts. Enter the hazelnut. Oh, how tasty you can be. Especially wrapped in fabulous European chocolate. I tried this recipe last thanksgiving with pecan, but thought I would try hazelnut this year. I like both versions, but where the pecan fades to a sweet nuttiness, the hazlenut stands out but sings in harmony with the rich pumpkin custard. While adulterating classic pumpkin pie may not be for everyone (Mr. Pleasant is a staunch traditionalist in this particular instance) it's a tasty variation sure to gratify your tastebuds.

Pumpkin Hazlenut Pie
from FWDGF by Mirelle Gulliano

2/3 c flour
pinch of salt
1 Tbs sugar
6 Tbs chilled butter
1 1/2 Tbs ice cold water

1/3 cup ground hazlenuts (a coffee grinder works great for this - make sure the nuts are fresh!)
1/4 c granulated brown sugar
2 Tbs softened butter
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 c unsweetened canned pumpkin
1 Tbs flour
2/3 c granulated brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 c heavy cream

  1. Combine flour, salt and sugar in food processor. Pulse to combine. Cut chilled butter into small pieces and add t obowl. Add water and process for 15 seconds. Add more water by droplets if too dry. The dough should just hold together. Do not overmix.
  2. Wrap the dough in wax paper and chill in refrigerator 4 hours or overnight. Can also be chilled in freezer for the express version - at least 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Roll out or press the dough into a 9" pie plate. prick with fork and line with aluminum foil. Add pie weights or dried beans to weigh down. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Increase the oven temp to 450 F and prepare filling by combining nuts, 1/4 c brown sugar and butter. Work into a paste and spread into partially cooked pastry shell. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn oven down to 325 F. Mix together the eggs, egg yolk, pumpkin, flour 2/3 c brown sugar, spices, salt and heavy cream. Pour into pastry shell. Bake for 45 minutes.

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