Throwdown Pumpkin Pie
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Bobby's streusel-topped pumpkin custard pie ends any meal on a happy note.


Throwdown Pumpkin Pie Bobby: In Norwalk Connecticut, Michelle proves pumpkin filling doesn’t come from a can. Michelle: First, you're going to cut in them half and you're going to scoop out all the seeds. So after we've cleared out all the pumpkin, we’re going to steam it. And this is going to be your end result. And you're just going to peel it. Scoop the pumpkin into the middle of the cheesecloth. When you do it in about a thousand pounds at a time, we actually do it with the wine press. So now we’re going to make a puree out of it and that’s the pumpkin matter that we’re going to use for the pie. Bobby: So we’re going to make a graham cracker crust. We’re going to make a pumpkin custard with some spices. We’re going to make a streusel and we’re going to make a flavored whipped cream and maple and some bourbon. Michelle: Today, I'm going to make for you the most amazing maple pumpkin with the pecan streusel pie. The most important part of this pie is the pie crust which is my grandmother’s secret recipe. So we’re going to mix the salt and flour and just add our vegetable shortening to this. We’re going to actually keep mixing this finger type fashion until the vegetable shortening is nice and crumbly. Anybody can make the filling but not everybody can make a good pie crust. Bobby: The graham cracker crust is almost full of fruit. I think the sweetness of the graham crackers go really well with pumpkin. Michelle: Yeah, good combo. Bobby: And then, it’s pretty. I mean its graham crackers and some sugar, a little bit of cinnamon and butter. Michelle: We’re going to add two tablespoons of ice cold water at a time to get the dough to actually mold into a bowl. Bobby: Add it down and make sure it has a good density to it and then there are no holes in it. Michelle: My trick to always getting the dough onto the pie dish is to actually fold it. This is what my grandmother had taught me and then I’ll flip it over. Bobby: We’re actually now start to make the pumpkin custard which is really simple. I'm going to whisk the eggs on the side first. And I'm going to add them right to the pumpkin. With canned pumpkin, I always know what to expect consistently wise which makes for a great classic pie filling. So cream and milk, white sugar and brown sugar, obviously, some cinnamon, then we add some clove nutmeg and ginger, just a little of each, some vanilla extract. Michelle: So here's our pumpkin that we just processed. We’re going to add what makes this pie really special which is my Vermont Grade B maple syrup by adding the heavy cream as well. We’re going to get a creamy feel to the pumpkin. Bobby: We had a touch of molasses for depth, strain the custard to remove any lumps and mix in a little melted butter to amp up the gloss factor. Michelle: And we’re going to bake it for a good 15 minutes at 400 and then we’re going to knock it down to 350 for about 25 minutes. So while this is baking, we’re going to make the streusel. Bobby: Now we’re going to make the streusels. So like a crunch, flour, Quaker oats, brown sugar and cinnamon and then butter of course. This is going to add a contract of texture and it's going to be much more fun to eat this way. Michelle: We’re going to add our three quarter cups of pecans, a quarter cup of brown sugar and just teaspoon of cinnamon. And now we’re going to use two tablespoons of really cold butter. You kind of want to play with it not too much with the melted butter, but just enough so you get crust. Okay, we’re just going to sprinkle the streusel on top. So we’re going to put this back in the oven. We’re going to bake it for another 15 to 20 minutes. Bobby: A few minutes in the oven would give our streusel a nice flavor and a lot of crunch. Now to get cracking on the maple bourbon whipped cream. Now if you don’t want to use bourbon, you could use like rum, like dark rum or like an orange of a quarter will work as well. Michelle: Okay. There she is. Here we go. Isn't that looked beautiful? Just the color of the pumpkin and then the pecans, streusel color on top, it's making even better. Here we go with the maple whipped cream. I think it would be pretty presentation if you brought it down with the whipped cream and then the sprinkle on top of it. Perfect. Bobby: I guess there is nothing left to do. Let's give it a try. Michelle Albano’s delicious pumpkin pie has me on the wrong side of the continent. We had about 20% chance -- We think it’s not up to me for our pastry savvy judges. And start with A, Michelle’s maple pumpkin pie with pecan streusel and maple whipped cream. Male: Pie makes me happy. Female: I like the saltiness of the streusel. It’s really, really nice with the pumpkin. Male: I really like the topping and the filling was creamy. It was smooth just like I love in my pumpkin pie. Female: A good balance filling. Male: The crust I think was just a little bit too tough not as flaky as I like. Male: Then take it forward to B. My pumpkin custard pie with streusel crunch and maple bourbon whipped cream and a graham cracker crust. Female: This is doesn’t have a traditional pumpkin pie crust and it’s got less filling. Male: Definitely more spice in the filling. Female: This is one is made for whipped cream and whipped cream is good. Male: This one has a cookie crust and I really like that over like with your standard pie crust. All right, which one is it? Female: It’s B. Bobby: I'm shocked. Thank you very much. First, I want to thank Michelle because her pies were unbelievable. Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite things and I know where I'm going to be ordering my pies for thanksgiving.