This Thanksgiving dessert has equal parts pumpkin puree and apple butter, making it simple to create but better tasting than a typical pumpkin pie. The secret is the apple butter. The apples develop a molasses-like sweetness from cooking down to a buttery slurry. As a single ingredient, it provides so much round, rich flavor to the pie that the only spice required is a touch of cinnamon.
Make this the day before to free the oven for turkey on Thanksgiving. Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- For the pie crust
- 1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
- 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- For the filling
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 cup apple butter
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
- 1/3 cup whole milk
For the pie crust: Combine the flour, butter, shortening and salt in a food processor. Pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the motor running, add the ice water in tablespoon increments, until the dough comes together but has not yet formed a ball. Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape into a disk, handling the dough as little as possible. Lightly dust with flour on both sides and wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have a 9-inch pie plate at hand.
Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough to a round about 1/8 inch thick and about 11 inches in diameter. Transfer to the pie plate, and use your fingers to create a crimped edge.
For the filling: Combine the pumpkin, apple butter, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl and mix well. Add the eggs and milks, stirring to combine. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the center has set. Cool completely before serving or storing in the refrigerator.
Adapted from a recipe by Food section editorial aide Leigh Lambert, who says: "My mom, Vicki, has made this pie from a handwritten recipe card every year since I can remember. I'm not sure of the recipe's origins; wherever it came from, it's been with us so long we consider it ours."
Tested by Leigh Lambert.
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