One Pumpkin, Part One: Chocolaty Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

November 2010

The pie pumpkin sat amongst the other fall squashes and gourds until the big day- Thanksgiving!  The carpenter and I sat at my dining room table, where we feasted on cornish hens, mashed potatoes, biscuits, brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce, and somehow, there was still room for a dessert.  Any ol’ Thanksgiving table will offer a pumpkin pie, but I wanted something even more decadent for our special meal.

Chocolaty Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Crust Ingredients

16 organic graham crackers
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons organic packed light-brown sugar
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

Filling Ingredients

6 ounces bakers chocolate, chopped
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
15 ounces pureed pumpkin from a local pumpkin
1 can (12 ounces) organic evaporated milk
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 large local, free-range eggs
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Whipped Topping

1 cup organic heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cocoa powder

For the Crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine graham crackers, melted butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, vanilla and almond extracts in a food processor until crumbs.

Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep, 9 1/2-inch pie dish.

Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, and sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over bottom of crust. Return to oven to melt chocolate, about 1 minute. Spread chocolate in a thin layer on bottom and up sides.

Let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

For the Filling

In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.

Mix pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/3 pumpkin mixture into chocolate mixture. Whisk in remaining pumpkin mixture until completely incorporated.

Pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 55 to 60 minutes.

Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack.

Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours (preferably overnight).

For the Whipped Topping

Use a hand mixer on medium-high to mix the whipping cream and vanilla until peaks form.

Pipe onto the pie once it has cooled.  Dust with cocoa powder.

Serve after an elaborate Thanksgiving meal!

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