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Thanksgiving Feast: Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Pecan Topping

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CRAFT: Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Feast: Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Pecan Topping
By Katie Goodman

I have had so many failures with pie crust — too sticky, too dry, full of cracks — that for a while I just resigned myself to buying either frozen crusts or those ones you roll out and shape yourself. But that’s really not my style. I love homemade, not store-bought. When I found this recipe from Simply Recipes, it seemed so easy and straightforward that I thought it was worth another go. With such great results on my first try, I felt the confidence I needed to never look back at those store-bought crusts again.
If you’re trying to save time on Thanksgiving, you can make the recipe up to Step 5 and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the pie. Just let it sit out on the counter for about 10 minutes before you roll it out.

All Butter Pie Crust

Slightly adapted from Simply Recipes.


1¼ cups all-purpose flour
8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter, cold
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp sugar
2–4 Tbsp ice water

Thanksgiving Piecrust1
Step 1: Cube the butter into ½” pieces. Place them on a freezer-safe plate or cutting board and freeze until very firm, approximately 30 minutes.
Thanksgiving Piecrust2
Step 2: Sift together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the flour mixture to a food processor along with the butter. Pulse the ingredients until the butter is cut into coarse crumbs.
Step 3: Turn the contents of the food processor out into a bowl. Using a fork, stir in the ice cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture becomes a crumbly dough and forms together.
Step 4: On an un-floured surface, turn the dough out and shape it into a circle, approximately 6″ in diameter, kneading as little as possible (pockets of butter are what keep the crust flaky and tender).
Thanksgiving Piecrust5
Step 5: Dust both sides of the circle with a bit of flour and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for an hour.
Step 6: Remove the dough from the refrigerator or freezer. Set it aside while you dust the work surface and rolling pin with flour. Unwrap the dough and roll with a rolling pin until the dough has formed a circle about 12″ in diameter and 1/8″ thick.
Step 7: When the dough is the proper size, wrap it gently around the rolling pin to transfer to the pie plate.
Thanksgiving Piecrust8
Step 8: Press the dough into the 9″ pie plate and shape the edges according to your desired design.

Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Pecan Topping

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook 12th Edition.
This is my family’s absolute favorite version of pumpkin pie. It’s not that we’ve tried hundreds of recipes or tested and tweaked for years. We just found one we really like, made a couple of changes, and have stuck with it. There’s never been a need for us to try a different recipe. Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Pecan Topping is our family’s “must have” recipe. Everyone wants to make sure we’re having the “pumpkin pie with the pecans.” And we always do!


15 oz can pumpkin
3 slightly beaten eggs
1/3 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp lemon zest
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp softened butter
Single crust pie, prepared as directed above


Thanksgiving Piespices1
Step 1: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, zest, salt, and spices.
Thanksgiving Piespices2
Step 2: In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, eggs, half-and-half, and vanilla.
Thanksgiving Piespices3
Step 3: Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and lightly beat by hand until well combined. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pastry-lined pie plate. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes.
Thanksgiving Pie-Addtopping
Step 4: While the pie bakes, stir together the brown sugar, pecans, salt, and butter until combined. Remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the top of the pie.
Thanksgiving Pumpkinpiepecantopping
Step 5: Bake for 20 minutes more or until the center is set and the topping is golden and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours.
Tip: It’s easier to remove the first slice of pie from the plate if you cut the first piece and then cut the second before removing the first.
About the Author:
Katie Goodman resides in New Mexico with her husband and two children (a 4-year-old boy and an 18-month-old girl). Learning in the kitchen, eating, trying new recipes, and sharing them with friends and loved ones are some of Katie’s favorite things to do. She wholeheartedly believes that part of the goodness in life is enjoying good food with good friends and family, and goodLife {eats} is a place for her to share what she finds good in the kitchen.

14 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Feast: Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Pecan Topping

  1. ctb says:

    Oh hey – FYI, that pastry recipe is a.k.a. the classic French ‘pate brisee’.

  2. kelsey says:

    I followed this recipe and when i took it out of the oven it was pretty much still liquid, so i put it in for another 6 or 7 minutes. still not done. Then i put it in the refrigerator to hopefully rescue the next morning. Put it in for another 15 minutes…still liquid.

  3. Natalie Zee Drieu says:

    Did you use half and half or milk? The filling has to have the right consistency. It shouldn’t be too liquidy when you pour it in. Another editor made this today and it came out fine.

  4. Mel says:

    The filling also failed miserably for me, though it tasted delicious. Rather unfortunate since it was our only pumpkin pie for T-giving. I think the cream proportions may be off, based on comparing this recipe to other like-recipes. Can the author double check the ingredient measurements as written on the website for us? I mean, a 1/3 cup of cream? All other p-pie recipes call for at least 1 1/4 cup, up to 12 oz.

  5. Rachel Hobson says:

    I made this pie this week, after drooling heavily over the pictures here. It was my first time making pumpkin pie, so I’m not familiar with other pumpkin pie recipes. I followed the recipe exactly, and it came out great. I loved the hint of the lemon zest in the filling – it gave it a richer flavor than other pumpkin pies I’ve had before.
    Here’s the TwitPic I posted after I took out the first slice:
    (I’m actually enjoying the last piece from leftovers now!)
    I’m sorry the others didn’t work, and I wish I knew more about baking to offer suggestions. I will say that I think it’s worth trying again. This is one of my favorite pies I’ve ever made/had.
    Good luck!

  6. Natalie Zee Drieu says:

    Katie is traveling and can’t comment but confirms that all the amounts for the ingredients are correct.
    “in fact, since I’m traveling I don’t have my original recipe with me and I used it directly off the craft site with absolutely no problems. I’ve been making this same pie for the past 5 years and it always turns out well for me.”
    Perhaps you may have only used 2 tsp (teaspoons) flour instead of 3 Tbs (Tablespoons) as directed or used pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin puree as the recipe notes.

  7. Cathleen says:

    I made this on Wednesday and it turned out perfectly. My husband and I have been hiding it from the kids so that we don’t have to share the last few pieces. :) I used fresh roasted pumpkin puree, but then followed the rest of the directions exactly. Definitely the best pumpkin pie recipe I’ve ever made. I plan to make it again for a Christmas lunch next weekend!

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