Caramel Pumpkin Pie

Adapted by StarChefs.com
The Family Circle All-time Favorite Recipes Doubleday, 1999
Yield: makes 12 servings
Be sure to use solid-pack pumpkin puree, not pie filling, which can have additives, including sugar. Per serving: 335 calories, 3 grams protein, 19 grams fat, 39 grams carbohydrate, 281 mg sodium, 91 mg cholesterol.

INGREDIENTS:

Double-Crust Pie pastry (one recipe follows this one)
One-half cup evaporated milk
One- quarter cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy or light cream
Three-fourths cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
One-half teaspoon ground nutmeg
One-eighth teaspoon ground cloves
One-fourth teaspoon salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
Whipped cream for garnish (optional)

METHOD:

1. Position rack in bottom third of oven. Heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Roll out one disc of dough on a well-floured surface into an 11-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Cut out leaf shapes from other disc of dough. Line pie shell with aluminum foil; fill with dried beans or rice. Place on a baking sheet with leaf croutons.

3. Bake in heated 425 degree oven 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown. Remove foil with beans; remove leaves to a wire rack to cool. Return pie shell to oven. Bake until bottom sets, pricking with a fork any places that bubble up, about 5 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool. Leave oven on.

4. In a small saucepan, heat evaporated milk until small bubbles appear around edge of pan. Remove from heat.

5. Prepare caramel: Place granulated sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat, without stirring, until sugar begins to melt. Tilt pan all around and continue melting until syrup is medium brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Carefully add hot milk all at once; mixture will bubble up, then subside. Stir in cream, brown sugar and honey; stir to dissolve sugar. If clumps do not dissolve, simmer briefly, stirring, 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

6. Place pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt; stir to blend. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Stir in caramel and vanilla. Turn filling into pie shell. Place on baking sheet.

7. Bake in heated 425 degree oven 10 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue to bake about 45 minutes or until center of filling is set. Turn oven off. Leave pie in oven with door partially open. Let cool completely, 2 hours. Garnish top with pastry leaves. Serve with whipped cream if you wish.