Pumpkin Pie with Decorative Crust

Pumpkin Pie with Decorative Crust | wildwildwhisk.comI’m sharing a pumpkin pie recipe today with beautiful decorative crust to prepare you for next week big dinner! Normally, I would make this pie without the decorative crust, but I thought this year we should celebrate with a bang. And by that I mean lots of pie crust. The pie crust recipe in this post is enough for a double crust pie. But I’m using a pretty giant pie dish. This pie filling recipe was adapted from a recipe Ryan’s aunt gave me years ago.

The decoration is absolutely optional, but if you want to go all out, make this pie a day or two ahead of time. Or if you run out of time all together, you can still make it using store bought frozen crust. However, one recipe of the pie filling will be enough for 2 frozen pie crusts. They tend to be a lot smaller than all the pie dishes I have. But if you like higher crust to filling ratio, it’s a good way to go 😉 .

Pumpkin Pie with Decorative Crust | wildwildwhisk.comPumpkin Pie with Decorative Crust | wildwildwhisk.comPumpkin Pie with Decorative Crust | wildwildwhisk.comThe morning I made this pie, I completely forgot about whipped cream. I’ve been so busy and I might have lost my mind then cuz NO WHIPPED CREAM IS A CRIME!!! And Ryan’s taste has evolved way pass store bought whipped cream, so we can’t have any of that fake stuff in the house, whipped cream snob! There was outrage among my other taste testers about the whipped cream as well, it’s madness over here. So don’t make the same mistake I did, always be prepared with a blow torch in one hand and a bowl of whipped cream in the other.

For the decorative pie crust, I used a set of pie crust cuters I bought from Williams Sonoma (I think?) a long time ago. I can’t find the same one on their website anymore. It came with a turkey, a pumpkin, an acorn and a maple leaf. Here are some similar sets I found on Amazon: an all leaves set and a set with pumpkin.

If you guys try out this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback (leave me a comment) and see your photos (send me a link or #wildwildwhisk on Instagram)! Cheers!

Pumpkin Pie with Decorative Crust | wildwildwhisk.com

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Pie with Decorative Crust
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 10 - 12
Ingredients
For crust:
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter – cold and cubed
  • 6 tablespoon cold water
For pie filling:
  • 8 oz cream cheese – room temperature
  • 1 – 14 oz can of condensed milk
  • 1 – 14 oz can of pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Egg wash:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk or water
Whipped cream:
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. To make the crust, add flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse several times to mix. Add cubed cold butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and butter is about pea size. Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until dough starts to pull together.
  2. Dump the dough out onto a slightly flour board, gather together and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic and rest in the fridge for an hour.
  3. This recipe will make about 1.5 lbs of pie dough. We will use about 1 lb for the pie crust for a deep dish 9.5” – 10” pie dish and the rest for the decoration.
  4. Divide the dough, and roll the 1 lb portion out to 1/8” thick (about a 13” – 14” circle), carefully place it into your pie dish. Tuck the overhang underneath to fit to the edge of the dish and flute the edge of the crust. Cover in plastic and place in the freezer.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  6. In the meantime, roll out the other piece of the dough to 1/8” thick and cut out shapes. I used maple leaf, pumpkin and acorn shape pie crust cutter. Place on a plate and refrigerate until ready to use.
  7. When the oven is preheat, take the crust out of the freezer, cover the edge of the crust with strip of foil to prevent browning. Line the bottom of pie crust with parchment paper and place pie weight on top. I used dry bean for my pie weight. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet and par-bake the crust for 20 minutes. The baking sheet is to make transporting the pie easier.
  8. During this time, prepare your pie filling. Cream the cream cheese in a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment. Pour in the condensed milk and cream the cheese and milk together until thoroughly combined.
  9. Add puree pumpkin, egg, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice, whip until thoroughly combined.
  10. When the crust is par-baked, remove from the oven, lift the parchment paper off the pie to remove the pie weight, leave the foil cover on the edges, and carefully pour in the filling. Place back in the oven and reduce temperature to 350°F. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the filling is half way set.
  11. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of milk or water to make egg wash.
  12. Carefully remove the pie from the oven to add decoration. Brush egg wash on the back of each decorative pie crust pieces and adhere to the edge of the pie in a random order to create a pattern to your liking. I add the first layer around the pie crust edge using 3 maple leaves 1 pumpkin 2 maple leaves 1 acorn patter, then add a second layer randomly with whatever’s left. Lightly brush the decorative pieces with egg wash.
  13. Place the pie back into the oven, increase temperature to 400°F and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the filling is completely set (an inserted toothpick comes out clean) and crust/decoration is brown. If the filling poofs up and the surface breaks a little, don’t worry, once it is cool it will even out.
  14. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Serve with whipped cream!
  15. To make whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup of sugar and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl, whisk on medium-high to high speed until stiff peak forms. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Notes
Making this pie with the decoration is not difficult but quite tedious. You can skip the decoration part and just bake the pie at 350°F for about an hour until the filling is set (after par-baking the crust).
If using smaller size frozen crust, reduce baking time by half.
Pumpkin Pie with Decorative Crust | wildwildwhisk.com

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11 Comments

  1. Kala
    October 3, 2016 /

    I have been seeing a lot of pie decorating using lattice, braids and the leaves. I have noticed that only berry/apple pies have the lattice and leaves. Yours the leaves are only on the edges. My question is can you add the lattice layered look on the whole pumpkin pie? Or does the main center need to be open for cooking purposes? Hoping my question makes sense!

    • October 4, 2016 /

      Hi Kala, interesting questions. I’ve never made a custard pie with lattice top or top crust in general. The top doesn’t necessarily have to be open for cooking, if you have a top crust you just need to have some opening for steam to escape. But there are a few problems I can see with having a top crust or lattice crust on a custard type pie.
      1. Many times you would want to par-bake the bottom crust before you add the filling to prevent the bottom crust from getting soggy, so adding lattice crust on top of a par-bake crust won’t allow you to crimp the edge the way you would typically do when you add it on top of fruit pie with an unbaked bottom crust.
      2. For this particular pumpkin pie recipe, I’ve baked the pie half way before adding the decorative crust so that the dough has a somewhat sturdy surface to rest on. If you add a lattice crust at this point you would have to weave the strips of dough back and forth on top of a hot pie. I don’t think this would work very well as the pie dough would get hot and sticky and probably quite difficult to work with before you could finish the lattice.
      3. You could attempt to add the lattice right when you add the filling to the cooled par-bake bottom crust, but the issue I can see with this is that the filling is still liquidy and won’t hold up the lattice. And that is assuming you can manage to weave the lattice in the first place, once you put a strip of dough on top of the filling the liquid will stick to it and make it difficult to lift and weave.
      With all that said, baking is all about experimenting and see what works. If you really truly want a lattice top on your pumpkin pie, all you have to do it try it out, maybe you’ll the first to make it work! And if it doesn’t work, you can make pie crust cookies with the extra dough 😉 The best suggestion I can think of is weaving the lattice on a cutting board first and transfer it on top of the pie once it’s been baked half way, perhaps with a really big cake spatula. Then trim of the excess just so the whole lattice fit within the edge of the bottom crust and rest on top of the custard (and hope it doesn’t sink), brush with some egg wash and finish baking. Be sure to let me know if you try to make this, I’d love to see a photo.

  2. December 18, 2014 /

    That crust is gorgeous! I love pumpkin pie and cannot wait to make this recipe. Beautiful photos BTW.

    • December 18, 2014 /

      Thank you so much for your kind words Jared! I hope you will make the pie 🙂 you might hesitate to eat your masterpiece but it tastes just as good as it looks.

  3. November 18, 2014 /

    This looks great I want a bite.

  4. November 18, 2014 /

    what a gorgeous pumpkin pie!

  5. November 18, 2014 /

    This pie is PICTURE PERFECT! Oh my gosh it looks amazing and I don’t really even like pumpkin pie that much!

  6. November 18, 2014 /

    WOW! that crust is gorgeous!!

    • November 18, 2014 /

      Thanks!! 🙂 🙂

  7. Ken and Mai
    November 17, 2014 /

    Its truly a work of art.