Teaching a cooking class a few months ago, I met a woman very near and dear to my heart. Candace touched my soul for a variety of reasons and I will cherish my evening with her – along with the rest of the gang – for years to come.

One of the special moments we had together occurred when she introduced me to her pumpkin pie recipe.
Her description had me intrigued.
I asked, and she offered to share the secret to her sounding success – for the benefit of the blog, of course. But, only under one condition:

“You are welcome to make any changes that you like except one.
You absolutely MUST always take a swig of wine from a bottle before you start.”

I assured her that was absolutely NOT a problem for me in the least.

I think she believed me.

We also decided, together, that this recipe would be phenomenal topped with some of my freshly created – on-the-fly – balsamic whipped cream (the class involved the need for this yumminess). The summation is simple: heavy whipping cream, a touch of sugar, and a touch of balsamic vinegar. It works with both sweet and savory dishes and will elevate this super sweet pumpkin pie to another level – IF that’s possible.

And, anyone who knows me knows, I simply MUST make a few changes of my own when crafting anything in the kitchen.
I baked my own pie crust, of course, using my perfected recipe.
I also added a layer of chopped pecans over the crust (actually baking the layer in to the crust) before adding the pumpkin filling.
I halved the portions Candace provided, for the most part. I may have used 3 eggs instead of 2.5 and I mixed the spices ahead of time, adding a total of 2 heaping teaspoons of the mixture to my pie.
Finally, as a dedication to dear Candace, who I know is a fan of the torch in the kitchen, I added some brûléed maple leaf decor.
She’s a champ with that torch and I knew she’d appreciate it.

Thank you, Candace. You are a super spicy and sweet little pumpkin 😉

Super Spiced Sweet Pumpkin Pie
(enough for 2 pies)

2 Basic Pie Crusts
4 cups chopped pecans, divided

1 29 oz. can 100% pure pumpkin
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. + a “light shake” ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
5 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

TAKE A GIANT SWIG OF WINE FROM THE BOTTLE.

After preparing the pie crust the day before, roll out the dough into 2 discs and place inside 2 pie plates. Sprinkle each crust with 2 cups of pecans and press into the bottom of the crust. Add pie weights and bake (after crimping the edges) for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool.

Bring the oven temperature to 425 degrees.

DRINK ANOTHER SWIG OF WINE.

Mix together the sugar and spices.
Beat eggs together in a bowl large enough to hold everything.
Fold the pumpkin into the eggs. Beat the sugar and spice mixture into the pumpkin and eggs. Fold in the sweetened condensed milk.

Pour the mixture into the pre-baked pie crusts and bake for 15 minutes.

GO AHEAD, TAKE ANOTHER SWIG.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before decorating with a little brûlée action.

Serve with balsamic whipped cream and possibly more WINE.
Or, in Candace’s words:

“Another swig of wine is advisable but does not need to be from the bottle.”

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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