Even before October started I was anxious about all the pumpkin-spiced and -flavored food items that were going to start infiltrating the shelves at every supermarket. Worse still with the knowledge that a vast majority of those products don't contain a lick of real pumpkin in them.
So my general rule of thumb is to—since I do still like pumpkin—only have, and make, pumpkin dishes made with actual pumpkin.
And as every year I try to do my own version of a pumpkin pie, I decided to go with a new recipe that would really feature not just the taste but the mouth feel of pumpkin. So I made a traditional pumpkin pie batter/mix, but double the amount of pumpkin purée. Then I put the mix in a crust that I brushed with freshly made brown butter, and baked than in the over.
While that baked, I threw some raw and pre-roasted pumpkin seeds in a small sauce pan and slowly toasted them. Once the started to darken, I added butter, brown sugar, ground ginger, lemon zest, and a little bit of water, stirring over a low flame to reduce to a not too thick sauce.
Once the pie was done and out of the over, I let it set for a bit, after a few minutes spooning the toasted pumpkin seeds in the caramel over the pie.
I kept some extra caramel and seeds to drizzle over the slice of pie service, the caramel sauce just thin enough to slowly seep into the pumpkin pie, powerful with pumpkin flavor and texture. The nuttiness of the brown buttered crust highlight the pumpkin seeds more floral nuttiness, and the rustic smokiness of the toasted seeds countered the dessert's inherent sweetness and balanced everything comfortingly.
This pie—I had to have my friends and neighbor try my new recipes always!—was a big hot among my ever grateful guinea pigs. I'm glad I made two, after fulfilling immediate requests, I still have just less than one whole pie left.
That's what I call doubling my culinary pleasure—something no lattes, Oreos, or Pop-Tarts could ever hope to do!