Spiked Caramel Pumpkin Pie

  • 1 (9-inch) partially baked pie crust*
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup heavy cream, warmed
  • 1 tbsp. dark rum (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. ground ginger
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. In a medium saucepan, spread ½ cup of the sugar out in an even layer over medium-high heat. Once the sugar begins to melt and change color, gently mix together so that the sugar is evenly melted. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has turned a deep amber color (keep a careful eye on it to be sure it doesn’t burn). Once it has reached the desired color, remove the pan from the heat. Add in the cream in a slow steady stream down the inside edge of the saucepan, stirring or whisking constantly to incorporate evenly. (If any lumps remain, return the pan to the burner over medium heat and cook just until melted.) Continue mixing in the cream in this manner until it has been completely incorporated. Stir in the butter and the rum and mix just until smooth. Set aside the caramel and let cool for at least 15 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, remaining ½ cup of sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla. Whisk to blend. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Blend in the caramel. Pour the filling into the partially baked crust.

Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until the center is just set and the edges are puffed. Transfer to a wire rack to let cool at least 30 minutes. Serve with freshly whipped cream and caramel sauce as desired.

*To blind-bake a pie crust, preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Roll pie dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch disc. Place it in a 9-inch pie plate, trimming away the excess and creating decorative edges as desired. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with the tines of a fork. Line the crust with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with baking beads. (If you don’t have baking beads, dried beans or rice also work.) Bake 25 minutes. Remove the baking beads and foil and bake about 5-10 minutes more, until light golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.