Food Nerd: Pumpkin-Pecan Pie.

On November 23, 2011, in John Remy, The Food Nerd, by John Remy

Easy Pumpkin-Pecan Pie:
I love pumpkin pie. I love pecan pie. Hell, I love pie (and who doesn’t?). But when I learned about the existence of pumpkin-pecan pie from my friend Brooke Bolander, I got a little excited:

Screen Shot 2011-11-22 at 12.17.34 PM

I had to get me some of that. I began a quest that drove me from the high places (Whole Foods) to the low (Ralphs and Albertsons). Not one Pumpkin-Pecan Pie. In my desperation, I contemplated stacking a pecan pie on top of a pumpkin pie. PIE SANDWICH. I still think this might be a stroke of genius.

The pies I found were either too expensive (Whole Foods has earned its nickname, “Whole Paycheck”) or looked like the shrunken heads of Piedom (Ralphs). I considered flying to Texas and begging Brooke for a slice. There had to be an easier way, I thought. Maybe I could bake my own.

I looked again at the flights from SoCal to Brooke-ville. They were only slightly less expensive than the pies at Whole Foods. So, that left baking my own.

Now I dream obsessively about like pie, but I’m lazy. I don’t roll my own dough. I don’t grow and tend and pick pumpkins then puree their fresh roasted flesh. Don’t get me wrong–this an ideal that I watch others aspire to, and I fully support their efforts, especially if I’m lifting the fruit of their labors from the plate into my mouth. My goal is to find the best ratio of laziness (and price) to flavor, but Mom isn’t around (coincidentally, my Mom also lives in Texas). So I did what any self-respecting, hungry-for-pie Food Nerd would do–I asked Google. Then I hybridized several recipes and made some personal alterations to come up with the following:


1 9-inch, deep dish pre-made frozen pie shell (I like Marie Callender’s because they’re tasty, good quality, and vegan.)

Pumpkin filling:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, or the three following spices:
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves)

Pecan filling:

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 dash salt

1. Gather all your ingredients. Make sure you have everything, or you might find yourself making desperate choices. Cough syrup looks a lot like that missing corn syrup if you don’t want to run to the store again. Note: Now, I’m also baking a pumpkin pie simultaneously (please folks–I’m an expert–don’t try this at home), so the evaporated milk is for the pumpkin pie. I basically just follow the recipe on the can.

2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. I lined a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (or aluminium, as the Doctor might say). Again, this is because I’m cheap and lazy–I’m basically baking two pies for the effort of one. Also, I don’t like scrubbing spilled, carbonized pie filling off of cookie sheets and oven interiors.

3. Whisk together the pumpkin pie filling ingredients. Mix the pumpkin, egg and sugar together first.

4. Scoop the pumpkin pie filling into the pie shell, and spread it evenly. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. This will firm it up some so it remains separate(ish) from the pecan filling.

5. While the pumpkin part is baking, beat the two remaining eggs, then whisk them together with the butter and sugar. Then add all the other pecan pie filling ingredients together.

6. When the 10 minutes are up, pull the half-pumpkin pie out and gently scoop the pecan pie filling on top of it.

When I am rich, I will fill my swimming pool with this stuff.

7. If you want to live dangerously and disregard FDA salmonella warnings, lick the spoon or spatula repeatedly. Mortality is too short to not tongue the Cake Beaters of Life.

8. Bake the pie for at least 40 minutes. My oven is slow (and I didn’t want to risk scorching the pecans by turning up the heat), plus I was baking two pies, so I baked for 40 minutes, then additional ten minute increments, until a knife or chopstick stuck into the pie’s center comes out clean.

9. Eat! (and burn your tongue, but it’s worth it) Or: let cool for a while, then Eat!

If you’re like me, you’ll want to make sure that everyone else in the house is asleep. Locked in their rooms, from the outside (note: this may violate local fire safety codes). Enjoy your pie. Share with no one. Or score big with the {boss|in-laws|spawn|significant other|carbon-based alien captors}.

This was an experiment for me (an experiment in deliciousness), and I’m pleased with how things turned out. The resulting confection was a pie-geologist’s delight, with four layers (not counting the crust): thick pumpkin custard on the bottom, then a blend of pumpkin and pecan pie fillings, then the pecan custard, and the pecans on the very top. It’s not as sweet as pecan pie, or as pumpkiney as pumpkin pie, but it’s its own kind of hybrid-tastiness. I’m half-Japanese, half-Kansasian, so I know about these things.

If you do try this, let me know how it goes! If you’re in the US, Happy Thanksgiving, and wherever you are, Happy Pie-eating!

Pumpkin-pecan pie recipe adapted from the following:


6 Responses to Food Nerd: Pumpkin-Pecan Pie.

  1. Thanks John.

    I say everywhere and anywhere that I cannot seem to successfully bake baked goods. Casseroles and things like that? Sure. Baked chicken? You bet.

    If I go to cakes, pies, and other desserts, disaster follows! Its like me and plants, plants die in my care.

    • John Remy says:

      I know what you mean–I still struggle with baking. (I rarely do pie crusts from scratch, for example).

      There are a few things that have helped me: 1) I learned that many ovens are temperamental (maybe it’s not you!). If things burn or cook too fast, you can experiment with baking at lower temperatures and/or for shorter times. 2) I always forget that things are baking, so I rely heavily on timers. I also set them for maybe 10-20 minutes shorter than the total amount, and then check back every 5-10 minutes or so. 3) I usually don’t measure ingredients very carefully, but when it comes to baking, I follow the directions as closely as possible.

  2. Stephanie says:

    OMG, the result looks YUMMYLICIOUS! This is torture. I hadn’t planned on baking a dessert, but I’m tempted…oh so tempted.

  3. John says:

    Sounds like you need to move to Texas…

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...