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Pumpkin Pie with a Speculoos Cookie Crust and a Crème Fraîche Swirl

yield: 1 nine-inch pie
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Special Equipment

  • A food processor
  • a 9-inch tart pan with high sides and a removable bottom
  • a bamboo skewer or toothpick with a sharp point

Ingredients

For the Speculoos Cookie Crust

    (makes a thick and tall pie crust for one 9-inch pie)

    • 10 ounces speculoos cookies
    • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, tightly packed
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) Vermont Creamery Maple and Sea Salt Cultured Butter, melted and cooled

    For the Pumpkin Custard Filling and Crème Fraîche Swirl

    • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
    • 2/3 cup (4.70 ounces) granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, tightly packed
    • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
    • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
    • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 2 ounces Vermont Creamery Vanilla Bean Crème Fraîche

    Instructions

    For the Speculoos Cookie Crust

    • Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 (F).
    • In a food processor, combine 10 ounces speculoos cookies, 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Pulse together until coarse and well combined. While pulsing, stream in 1/2 cup melted butter and continue pulsing until the crumbs come together in giant clumps.
    • Use a rubber spatula to transfer the crumbs into a 9-inch tart pan with high sides and a removable bottom — there's no need to grease the pan. Use your fingers and the back of your hands to press the crumbs onto the bottom and sides of the pan, creating an even layer. The bottom and sides of the crust should be around 1/4-inch thick.
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly while you make the filling. Be sure to keep the oven on!

    For the Pumpkin Custard Filling and Crème Fraîche Swirl

    • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, combine 1 can pumpkin puree, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cardamom, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt. Cook for 5 minutes, using a heatproof rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan frequently. The mixture should start to sputter around 2 to 3 minutes in, and by 5 minutes, become thick and glossy.
    • Remove from heat and slowly stream in 1 can sweetened condensed milk while continuing to whisk the mixture. Continue whisking until the sweetened condensed milk is fully incorporated, before whisking in 2 large eggs, one at a time, only adding the second egg when the first one has fully incorporated.
    • Once the eggs are fully incorporated, pour the mixture into the prepared cookie crust shell. Transfer 2 ounces crème fraîche into a piping bag (or, in a pinch, a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off) and drizzle the crème fraîche over the mixture in the pattern you desire (you can use this awesome Food52 guide for a quick tutorial on marbling). Use a bamboo skewer or toothpick with a sharp point to swirl the crème fraîche across the filling.
    • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges of the filling have set. The filling may have bubbled and puffed slightly in the oven, but don't worry — it settles down as it cools. You can use a knife to tap on the sides of the tart pan to test the filling; the middle should wobble slightly, but the edges should stay in the same place. Be careful not to overcook — it's better to pull it out of the oven earlier than later, as the filling will continue to cook after it's pulled out the oven. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely until fully set. Serve at room temperature, or chilled for an hour. This pie is best the day it's made (since the crust will remain crunchy, but will soften the longer it sits).