While it’s not necessarily pumpkin pie season yet, Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte fans know the spiced up season starts early…September, in fact. So here we are.

Thus, I say pumpkin pie season shall start early this year and every year.
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And a pumpkin pie topped with Butter Pecan brittle will leave you “craving4more” of the season yet to come.

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Besides the immense buttery flavor of the pecan crunch topping, this pie is super special for another reason.

Fluffy, airy, light…it’s the addition of cream cheese, in fact, this time that creates the illusion of spiced pumpkin cloud bites melting in your mouth.

Butter Pecan Pumpkin Pie

Pie Crust:
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
3/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, chilled and cubed (the butter needs to be ICE cold)
1/3  cup vegetable shortening, chilled
1/4 cup ice cold water

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening.
Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter and shortening into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal or pea-sized bits.
Measure 1/2 cup of water in a cup. Add ice. From that, measure 1/2 cup of water– since the ice has melted a bit. Drizzle the cold water in, 1 Tbs. at a time, and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon after each added Tbs. Do not add any more water than you need to. Stop adding water when the dough begins to form large clumps.
Transfer the pie dough to a floured work surface. The dough should come together easily and should not feel overly sticky. Using floured hands, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. Form it into a ball.  Flatten  into a 1-inch thick disc using your hands.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (and up to 5 days).
When rolling out the chilled pie dough discs to use in your pie, always use gentle force with the rolling pin. Start from the center of the disc and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough with your hands as you go. Roll into a standard 9″ pie crust size** (which means, slightly larger in order to push the dough up the sides and cover all surfaces).

**FYI, feel free to form your pie crust into minis, as I did for this post. If you want one giant pie, keep the larger 9″ crust.

Lay the crust neatly in a glass pie plate.

Pumpkin Pie Filling:
4 oz. organic cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup pumpkin puree

2 medium eggs
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs, sugar, vanilla, pie spice, and salt. Beat again until super smooth. 
Fill the pie crust with the filling and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the edges are brown – or 20 minutes for four mini pies.

Butter Pecan Crumble:
3 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Melt the butter over medium low heat. Stir until the butter begins to foam and “brown,” emitting a nutty aroma. Add the sugar and continue to stir until uniform in texture. Add pecans and stir well. Reduce the liquid by about 1/3, always stirring, as not to burn the butter and sugar.
Transfer to aluminum foil and allow to cool and harden.

Break the Butter Pecan Crumble into 1/2″ size pieces to top the baked and cooled pie or crumble in a food processor for a different sort of texture.

And, you know what’s even better?

Topping that pie with some Buttered Pecan Peach Jam ~ oh yes, please!

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