Apple-Butter Pumpkin Pie

A 'cousin' to Thanksgiving's apple pie and pumpkin pie, combining naturally sweetened apple butter and pumpkin purée in an easy press-in graham cracker crust and topped with dollops of whipped cream. The recipe comes from my family's cookbook, my sister says that people who don't like pumpkin pie (there are people who don't?! poor souls!) like this!

Apple-Butter Pumpkin Pie

Word on the street – wait, you know that today’s ‘street’ is Twitter, yes? – is that there’s a pumpkin shortage in 2009. Frantic bakers are searching from store to store, anxious to nab a can or two of pumpkin puree for Thanksgiving pies or a cartful for hoarding for year-round baking.

This pie weds apple butter with pumpkin, a happy marriage, creating a naturally sweet filling.

CAN WE MAKE A PIE WITHOUT SUGAR? The first time I made this pie, alors, no brown sugar in the house and no interest in substituting white sugar. A taste test was in order: good news, the unbaked filling mixture tasted plenty sweet. But could I really get away with making a pie without adding sugar? Was it possible to rely only on cider-sweetened apple butter and unsweetened pumpkin puree? I whisked that pie into the oven and sure enough, none of us missed the sugar in the filling, especially because it’s sandwiched between a sweet graham cracker crust and dollops of frothy whipped cream. That said, the second time I made the pie, I missed the sweetness – fixed by another dollop of whipped cream. Perfection.

My sister reports that people who don’t like pumpkin pie bite into this with approval. No such evidence in my life, everyone I know loves pumpkin pie!

ALANNA’s TIPS For apple butter, I’ve used both a no-sugar added commercial apple butter and my own recipe for Apple Butter that’s naturally sweetened with apple cider, not sugar. Graham cracker crusts have a tendency to burn along the top edge but this can be prevented by making sure the filling goes right to the top. If the edge happens to burn during baking, just scrape if off and cover up the evidence with whipped cream! The first time I baked this pie, it baked perfectly in 55 minutes. The second time, it needed another full 20 minutes in the oven for the color to darken in the center and the knife to come out clean.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. In 2009, Kitchen Parade celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special collection of my mother's recipes. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!

RECIPE for
APPLE-BUTTER PUMPKIN PIE

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 2-1/2 to 3 hours
Serves 8
    GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1-1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    FILLING
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 4 tablespoons (half stick) melted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk (skim milk is okay)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or baking spice
  • 2 cups no-sugar added apple butter (see TIPS)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, optional (see LEFT)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (don’t skip)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
    TOPPING
    (use half for enough whipped cream to dollop around the perimeter of the pie, the full amount for spreading across the top)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425F.

CRUST Combine crust ingredients in a bowl until sandy. Spread in the bottom of a shallow pie pan. With the back of a spoon, press up the sides of the pan, then evenly across the bottom. ‘Tighten’ the top edge with the side of a finger and the spoon. Chill while mixing the filling.

FILLING Mix filling ingredients well. Gently pour into the crust, filling right to the top (see TIPS).

BAKE Bake for 15 minutes. REDUCE HEAT to 350F, bake for an additional 50 – 75 minutes (see TIPS) until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

TOPPING With a mixer, whip the cream and other ingredients. Just before serving, spoon into a ziplock bag, snip off the corner and squeeze out in dollops around the edge. Otherwise, spread whipped cream evenly across the pie. Refrigerate until serving.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Slice with sugar and half topping ingredients/all topping ingredients: 354/408 Calories; 79/84g Tot Fat; 12/19g Sat Fat; 109/129mg Cholesterol; 287/292mg Sodium; 38/39g Carb; 1/1g Fiber; 33/34g Sugar; 3/4g Protein; Weight Watchers 13/15 points
Per Slice without sugar and half topping ingredients/all topping ingredients: 302/356 Calories; 79/84g Tot Fat; 12/16g Sat Fat; 109/129mg Cholesterol; 283/289mg Sodium; 25/26g Carb; 1/1g Fiber; 20/21g Sugar; 3/4g Protein; Weight Watchers 12/14 points
Adapted from a recipe from my sister Adanna published in our family cookbook. Thanks, 80KD!
NUTRITION NOTE Call me shocked at how calories add up in this pie. It’s one of the reasons why I so encourage other recipe publishers (the food magazines, the food network, and yes, food bloggers) to calculate nutrition information for their recipes. As long as I’ve been calculating nutrition estimates, every once in awhile, one takes me aback. THIS is one -- even with naturally sweetened apple butter and leaving out the added sugar and using half the whipped cream! Yikes! This pie is delicious and I do recommend it, taste-wise. For a lower-calorie pumpkin pie, see Honey Pumpkin Pie.

More Thanksgiving Pie Recipes

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~ more pie recipes ~

Beyond Pie: More Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

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I really don't care for pumpkin pie. It's something about the combination of temperature and texture. I never thought of putting a pumpkin pie in a graham cracker crust but that might actually make a big difference by adding a little crunch. Does the texture of this filling vary at all from that of a traditional pumpkin pie?
 
Okay, so, well then, I DO know someone who doesn't like pumpkin pie! I actually loved the graham cracker crust with this pie, it really worked. The texture is closer to a custard-y apple butter than the density of a typical pumpkin pie. So maybe, maybe? it would work?
 
Hi Alanna, we had this for dessert for our family's early Thanksgiving dinner last night and it was a huge hit, even with teenagers. I made it without any added sugar (perfectly sweet enough as is), and it baked for 55 minutes. My only suggestion is to foil around the top of the crust, which I did half-way thru baking, as it was getting too dark. I mentioned it and a link to your site on my new blog. Hope that's okay!
 
Denise ~ Welcome to food blogging! And an especially warm welcome to the community of St. Louis food bloggers. E-mail me and I'll add your address to our mailing list, we do occasional gatherings and workshops. And we're DUE!

PS Oh! So glad you enjoyed the pie, it's a good one! The foil isn't needed if the filling actually goes right to the very top of the crust but otherwise, yes, it's a good idea.
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna