What better way to meld the end of October and pumpkin month with November and the beginning of friendsgiving and Thanksgiving celebrations than buttermilk bourbon pumpkin pie?!
While I’m always sad to see October end (bye, pumpkin month), the end of this month is always met with anticipation and excitement for the holidays in the months ahead. Thanksgiving, the foodie of foodie holidays, is right around the corner, followed closely by my very favorite time of the year, the Christmas season. Having those special holidays ahead of us makes the goodbye to October, such a wonderful month of change, a bit more bearable. Buttermilk bourbon pumpkin pie helps too. ;)
It’s interesting that we often only hear about pie two times a year – at the Fourth of July (apple pies) and at Thanksgiving. I mentioned in the pumpkin dessert roundup that I often think of pie as more of a November dish, tied into the comforting and familiar Thanksgiving hustle bustle. I’ll be the first to advocate that we should have pie more often! Growing up my mom made the best chocolate chess pie. She usually made it for parties, celebrations, or other occasions, but certainly not just for holidays. We loved bourbon chocolate chip pecan pie (here’s my take on two mashed together), Tuscaloosa Toll House pie, and Kentucky Derby pie and fit those into the mix regularly too. I requested coconut cream pie for my birthday a few years ago instead of cake and absolutely loved it. So, here’s to more pie, not just during the holidays.
This buttermilk bourbon pumpkin pie is a great fall dessert to help you transition from the pumpkin festivities of October and the excitement of the Thanksgiving table in November. It is filled with that pumpkin custard texture and flavor that we all know, but with a little added tang from the buttermilk and creme fraiche, and a bit of bourbon to round out the flavor and give it a little something extra. It pleases the traditionalists and the foodies seeking a new adventure.
Add this buttermilk bourbon pumpkin pie to your rotation this season, and enjoy the fun flavors of fall, holiday or not.
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2-4 tablespoons ice water
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons bourbon, optional
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons fine yellow cornmeal
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2-4 tablespoons crème fraîche*
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 3-4 teaspoons sugar (depending on your sweetness preference)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Make the Pie Crust
Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor or whisk together by hand in a large bowl. Add the butter and pulse a few times in the food processor, or quickly cut in with two knives, a pastry cutter, or your fingers, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Some larger pieces will remain. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture and pulse or mix with a fork. If your dough is still too dry to come together, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse or mix with a fork. It should come together in a ball.
Place the ball of dough on a piece of plastic wrap and press it into a disk. Wrap it in the plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or 1 day. If you are going to make it farther in advance, you can freeze the dough for up to 3 months, just thaw in the refrigerator before using.
Blind Bake the Pie Crust
Roll out the chilled pie dough into a circle a bit larger than your pie dish. Lay the circle over your pie dish and gently press it into the bottom of the dish. Cut excess dough and crimp the dough around the edges of the pie dish. Poke the bottom a few times with a fork. Place the dish in the freezer to chill for at least 15 minutes.
Make the Pie
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F with the rack on the lowest level. Remove the pie dough from the freezer and place a piece of aluminum foil that is slightly larger than the dish into the dough and cover the edges. Fill the aluminum with pie weights, dried beans, or sugar and place the pie pan on a baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Pies in a thin aluminum pan will cook faster than those in a ceramic or glass pan, so begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes by pulling up a piece of aluminium foil to see the color of the edges. The crimps should be light golden brown (you don’t want them too dark because the crust has to cook again with the pumpkin mixture in it). Transfer the pie plate to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing the foil and pie weights.
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, buttermilk, eggs, syrup, melted butter, cornmeal, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ginger and whisk until well blended.
Place your blind-baked pie crust on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the crimped edges with the 1 beaten egg. Pour the buttermilk-pumpkin filling into the pie shell until it reaches the bottom of the crimps. Add dollops of crème fraîche to the top of the pumpkin filling and use a toothpick or skewer to swirl the crème fraîche around the top of the pie. Transfer the baking sheet with the pie on it to the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the edges are puffed and the center jiggles only slightly when shaken.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the pie to a wire rack. Let cool for 15 minutes, then cover the pie with the streusel topping. Allow the pie to fully cool and set for another 4 to 6 hours. When the pie is at room temperature, slice it into 6 to 8 pieces and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
To store leftover pie, wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Add the sugar and vanilla and whip until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Top your pie slices and enjoy!
*The crème fraîche adds that fun pop of white against the orange pumpkin pie and a tasty flavor contrast as well. If you want more swirls, use 4 tablespoons. For less of the swirly contrast, use 2 or 3 tablespoons.