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Pumpkin Meringue Pie with a Hazelnut Graham Cracker Crust

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword pumpkin pie
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

Hazelnut and Graham Cracker Pie Crust

  • 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup hazelnut meal
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter cold and hard
  • 1 egg whisked
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour sifted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup creme fraiche at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Italian Meringue

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Hazelnut and Graham Cracker Pie Crust

  1. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, hazelnut meal, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until combined. Cut the butter into small pea-sized pieces above the bowl, stopping to stir and coat the butter bits in the flour mixture every few minutes.
  2. Pinch the mixture together with your fingertips until it resembles the texture of damp sand. Add the egg and stir, and add the water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing it with a fork, until the dough just holds together when you squeeze a fistful of it in your hand. Press the dough into a greased deep-dish 10-inch wide and 1.75-inch deep tart shell or a greased 9-inch wide 2-inch deep pie pan to form the crust. Poke the bottom with a fork and place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the interior of the tart crust with foil, place the pan on a lipped baking sheet, and par-bake for 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and creme fraiche at medium-low speed until smooth. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined, then add the maple syrup, butter, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Reduce the speed to low, add the dry ingredients, and mix until combined, stopping to scrape down the inside of the bowl as needed.
  3. After par-baking the crust, remove the foil from the crust and pour in the filling. Place the pan on the lipped baking sheet in the lowest rack of the oven and bake until the edges are set but the center is still a bit wobbly, about 35 to 45 minutes. Do not over-bake or the pumpkin custard will crack. Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature (the center of the pie will continue to cook as it cools).

Italian Meringue

  1. Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium low heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and wait until the syrup reaches 235 degrees Fahrenheit, making sure to NOT stir the mixture.
  2. While the syrup is boiling, beat the egg whites in the very clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment at medium high speed until there's little bubbles at the top of the egg white mixture. Add the cream of tartar, then continue beating at medium high speed until soft peaks form. Stop the mixer until the syrup has reached the right temperature.
  3. When the syrup is ready, turn the mixer on medium high speed and begin adding the syrup to the egg white mixture in a thin steady stream. Add the vanilla extract and continue beating until the meringue is glossy and holds a stiff peak.

Assembly

  1. Spread the meringue on top of the pumpkin pie, and use a kitchen torch to brown the meringue. Or you can turn the oven on the broil setting, then place the pan in the oven and toast until the meringue is lightly golden, just a few minutes, keeping a **very** close eye so as not to burn them.