Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie

 If you are only going to listen to one thing I ever have to say, it should be this.  MAKE THIS PIE.  I really don't know how else to say it.  This is one of my favorite desserts in the world and that's saying a lot considering it's chocolate-free.  I have given this to people who supposedly don't like pumpkin and they like this.  People who supposedly don't like pecans, like this.  People who don't really like me, like me more when I give them this pie.  I like myself more when I make it.

This recipe, over the years, has probably been one of the most asked for of all.  I wish I had come up with the recipe, but I am not that brilliant.  We had this probably 8 years ago for a Christmas work party and I went home to find I had the recipe in one of my Taste of Home cookbooks.  Normally with Taste of Home, the recipes come from regular home cooks like you and me.  However, this one is different.  Someone had requested Taste of Home hunt down this recipe after eating this pie at a restaurant in San Francisco and they delivered.  It's in an "I wish I had that recipe" section of their cookbook.  

Have I mentioned I think you should make this?  Yeah, I do.
I do feel like I need to have a disclaimer on here.  8 years ago, if I hadn't tasted the pie first, I might have never made it.  I was shocked when I read the recipe for the first time.  (*This next part said in a whisper) It not only calls for pumpkin pie mix, but also for a yellow cake mix.  I was disappointed to find something so delicious had been produced with such short-cut methods.  Then I ate some more and got over it.  You'll get over it too, if you'd listen to me for once! ;)  And don't even ask if you can use canned caramel, it takes 2 seconds to make.  You can get away with whipped cream in a container, but that's all I am giving you.

The pie and caramel hold up really well; so if you wanted, you could make it the day before and then just heat the caramel before serving.  There is something about the cool pie along with the warm caramel that makes it that much better.  A lot of times I will half the recipe since it yields 2 pies and just use 1 egg+1 egg white and save the 1/2 can of pumpkin pie mix and half of the cake mix. The recipe calls for a 5 oz can of evaporate milk.  I never buy them that small, so I just measure out 5 ounces.

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie

1 can (30 oz) pumpkin pie mix
1 cup sugar
1 can (5 oz, that is really small) evaporated milk
3 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup butter, melted
1  1/2 cups chopped pecans

Caramel Sauce
1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup whipping cream

Whipped Topping:
2 cups whipping cream
3 T confectioners sugar
1  1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix all filling ingredients together until blended well (about 30 seconds-1 minute with an electric mixer).  Grease 2 pieces of parchment or wax paper and place over 2 pie plates.
Pour half the filling into each pie plate.  This is going to seem weird the first time you do it.  You just have to kind of pour it in and then straighten out the sides the best you can.  It's okay if it's a little wrinkled.
 Time for the crust.  Sprinkle yellow cake mix over both pies, half on each.  See, it's a little wrinkled around the edges but it's okay.
 Drizzle with butter for crust.
 Sprinkle on pecans.
 Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  During the first few minutes (maybe 10), you will smell the wax paper.  It's going to freak you out.  You're going to think it's ruined and you did something wrong.  You didn't.  It's fine.  After a few more minutes the smell will go away and all will be well again.

You want it pretty golden brown.  This one might be a little over done, but I am blaming my oven.  (and it was still delicious!  I am tell you this recipe is FOOL PROOF!)
 Remove from oven and cool for about 2 hours.  Invert onto a plate.  Make sure when you go to invert that the wax paper isn't going to end up under the pie.
Once I get it upside down, I sometimes have to tug the wax paper slightly to get it to release from the pie plate.  Peel the wax paper off slowly, trying to keep all edges on the pie.  If some pieces come off with the paper, don't get upset; just eat them, that's what I do.
 Tuck the edges under the pie to make it more round and pretty (optional)
 Refrigerate until completely cool.  I find when I am hosting Thanksgiving that refrigerator space is limited.  I like to cover the plate with plastic wrap and then turn the pie plate upside down on top of it so I can stack things on top.
This Caramel can be made just before serving; or made ahead of time and heated in the microwave when ready to use.  Heat all caramel ingredients in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved (about 3 minutes after butter has melted.)

Whipped topping:  Whip ingredients with mixer until soft peaks form.  This doesn't keep well so either make it right before ready to use, or use ready made whipped topping (I have done that before and it was still so soooo good.)

Enjoy!  And let's all give thanks this year for the pushy lady who got Taste of Home to get the recipe!!


  1. You are hilarious!!! Haha. WE ARE MAKING THIS FOR SURE!!!! 7 dAYS!!!!

  2. I am totally making this for Thanksgiving! Thanks!

  3. Best.Pie.Ever!!! Thank you for sharing!

  4. This recipe sounds amazing! I am definitely going to give it a try. Thank you for posting on Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party. . .Please don't forget to link the recipe back to!

  5. I need to like myself more, so I am off to make this pie! This looks so wonderful!

    I am also off to pin it!

  6. I make something like this only a bit different and it is delicious! I can only imagine how delicious your version is! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday! Please come back on Sunday to VOTE!


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