Two words: Double. Decker.
Two more words: Pumpkin. Caramel.
Sure, everyone has a classic pumpkin pie recipe they love—I know I do. But, if you want a real showstopper, this is hands-down your pumpkin pie.
So, I did what any baker in my position would do. I merged all of these flavors, then built my pie layers on textures: first, a crisp cookie bottom, followed by a brown sugar–sweetened pumpkin filling and lastly, an airy whipped caramel ribbon cream flecked with coarsely-grated dark chocolate on top. That was quite a dreamy mouthful…
A couple of pie tricks I’ve learned along the way…
1. Brush beaten egg white over a cookie crumb crust to prevent sogginess.
2. Refrigerate the first layer of the pie (or even freeze if you’re in a rush) before topping the pie with the second caramel layer.
1½cupsgluten-free crispy chocolate cookies or classic graham crackerscrushed into crumbs
5tablespoonsunsalted butter or dairy-free organic shorteningmelted
1large egg whiteplus 3 whole eggs
2¾cupsregular heavy cream or dairy-free creamer
One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
½cuplight brown sugar
1teaspoonpumpkin pie spice
28dairy-free caramel candies
1ouncebittersweet chocolatefor grating
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, stir the graham cracker crumbs and butter until combined. Press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan; freeze until set, about 15 minutes. In a small bowl, beat the egg white with a fork and lightly brush on the pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes; let cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the 3 whole eggs, 1 cup cream, the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt until just combined. Pour into the pie shell and bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
In a bowl, microwave the caramels with ½ cup cream at high power until melted, about 1½ minutes. Stir until smooth, then let cool to room temperature.
Using an electric mixer, whip the remaining 1¼ cups cream until soft peaks form. Drizzle in the caramel and beat until well blended. Spoon the caramel whipped cream on top of the pumpkin filling and refrigerate until completely chilled. Before serving, coarsely grate the chocolate on top of the pie.