My maternal grandmother, Rose Elizabeth Chastain Warren, was a very special person in my life. My grandparents had a photography studio in my hometown for 45 years. My grandmother made wedding photos, baby photos, graduation photos and portraits for many people over the years. She took the photos, developed the film, made prints from the film, put them in envelopes and kept them all organized so she could quickly retrieve a customer’s order when one arrived to pick up their photos. If a customer wanted a color portrait (all photos were in black and white back then) my grandmother would get out her special oil paints and add color to the photo – a process she called “tinting.” Years after she retired people would come up to her at the mall or drug store and inquire “aren’t you Mrs. Warren?” After she answered in the affirmative they would say “you took my wedding pictures” or “you took my baby pictures” or whatever. She was an outgoing woman who enjoyed conversing with her customers and they liked her too.
Since my grandmother worked full-time her mother-in-law (my great-grandmother) who lived with my grandparents did most of the cooking. But when the holidays arrived each year my grandmother delighted in making several delicious desserts. My favorite was her Praline Pumpkin Pie.
I like to think I’m keeping her memory alive every time I bake Praline Pumpkin Pie. This recipe requires some extra effort but it is so worth it when you taste the finished product!
Praline Pumpkin Pie
Praline Pumpkin Pie consists of 3 parts: a pre-baked 9″ pie shell, a filling made with unflavored gelatin, pumpkin and whipped cream and a layer of Praline Crunch made from butter, sugar and chopped pecans.
First make and bake a 9″ pie shell. (Click here to go to post with recipe for Pie Crust and video on how to crimp pie crust.) Bake the pie shell for 20 minutes or until lightly browned at 350 degrees F. Keep checking frequently as ovens vary. Use pie weights or dried beans to keep the pie dough flat in the pan. Prick the pie dough with a fork along the bottom and sides before adding pie weights or dried beans.
Secondly, prepare the Praline Crunch by melting butter in a small pan, then adding sugar and pecan pieces. Cook mixture until sugar begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes.
Immediately pour the Praline Crunch mixture onto a piece of aluminum foil and allow it to cool.
Next prepare the filling for Praline Pumpkin Pie by sprinkling unflavored gelatin over water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until gelatin dissolves, 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat, add brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
In a mixing bowl combine pumpkin, milk, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually blend in gelatin mixture, then fold in whipped cream.
Crumble the Praline Crunch and sprinkle about 1 cup of it over the bottom of the baked pie shell.
Turn pumpkin mixture into pastry shell and chill until firmly set. Serve Praline Pumpkin Pie with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with reserved Praline Crunch.
Praline Pumpkin Pie is a contrast in textures with its smooth pumpkin filling and crunchy praline layer. Flavor intensifiers are cinnamon and nutmeg. If you’d prefer to use pumpkin pie spice just omit the cinnamon and nutmeg and use 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. The complete printable recipe is below.
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1-lb. can pumpkin
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
- 1 baked 9" pie shell
- For Praline Crunch: 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup chopped pecans
- Additional whipped cream for serving
- Make praline crunch: Melt butter in a small pan. Stir in sugar; add pecans. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until sugar mixture begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, turn onto a piece of aluminum foil. Allow to cool then crumble into small pieces. (Makes about 1 1/2 cups)
- Filling: Sprinkle gelatin over water in saucepan. Place over low heat; stir constantly until gelatin dissolves, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat; add brown sugar and stir until dissolved. In mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually blend in gelatin mixture; stir until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Sprinkle 1 cup praline crunch over bottom of baked pastry shell. Turn pumpkin mixture into pastry shell. Chill until firm. At serving time garnish with ring of additional whipped cream and remaining praline crunch.
- The only baking in this recipe is the pie shell. This recipe may take a little extra effort but it is so worth it when you taste this pie!
A few years ago I gave my relatives a “Family Favorites” Recipe notebook for Christmas. (Pumpkin Praline Pie is in this notebook!) I compiled several recipes for each featured person, added their photo and some information about each one of them. This makes a nice gift so I’ll show it to you soon.
In another upcoming post I’ll be sharing with you a recipe for Hot Mushroom Turnovers – a tasty savory appetizer perfect for holiday parties.
Serve your family and friends some Praline Pumpkin Pie soon and it may become one of your cherished family recipes too.
Remember to Savor the Flavor!
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