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Caramelized Honey Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Published by Claire Saffitz x Dessert Person
Photo Courtesy of TPT.
Photo Courtesy of TPT.

With Thanksgiving coming up, is the time for the Thanksgiving feast, so I hope you have your pens and paper out because you don’t want to miss these essentials. Here are some of my favorite desserts! Today, I am sharing a twist on one of the most classic and beloved Thanksgiving desserts: Pumpkin Pie. I first tried out this recipe last year, and let me tell you, it was a hit; by the end of the night, the entire pie was gone. This pie is unique because of one special addition: rather than putting in just sugar, the sugar is reduced, and caramelized honey is added. To mitigate the risk of writing one of those recipes that has a 5-page long opening, let’s begin!     


*This recipe is credited to Claire Saffitz; I added the original video for anyone interested!*                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Ingredients:

  •  A par-baked Pie Crust (meaning partially baked)
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream- room temp
  • 4 large eggs- room temp
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (Make sure to get puree, not filling!)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg- both fresh and ground are fine
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

To start this recipe, you will need to make or buy a pie crust. I chose to make mine, but either is fine. I left below numerous links to some pie crust recipes–I decided to follow a recipe that shows how to par-bake the raw dough.

Step 1: Preparation

The first official step is preparing your ingredients. You want to ensure all the ingredients are measured and ready to be added as some of the steps move by very quickly. I would also strongly advise reading the recipe through before you begin. 

Step 2: Browning the Butter

These first few steps are the hardest, but the rest of the recipe will be a piece of cake if you make it through this. Take your butter and add it to a saucepan, and cook the butter on a medium-low heat until it is browned. The butter should have dark brown solids at the bottom. I will provide a link at the bottom of the page with a more in-depth tutorial on how to do this. You can also reference the picture to the left from when I did this.                                                   



Step 3: Caramelizing the Honey

If you have ever made caramel, you will be familiar with this step. It is basically the same process, but you use honey instead of sugar. When your butter is browned, you will need to take it off the heat and immediately add your honey to prevent the butter from burning. Return the pan to medium heat and continue to mix it. You will want to mix it until the color darkens, and has a strong, almost nutty, smell. The time this takes will vary, and keeping an eye on the mixture and stirring it is essential. After this, take your pan off the heat and slowly stream in the heavy cream while mixing. Do this until the mixture is smooth, then set it aside. Congratulations, you are finished with the most challenging steps! 

Step 4: Making the Filling

In a medium to large bowl, add your eggs. Whisk them until fully combined. Add in your brown sugar (I would recommend reducing the amount of sugar to about 1/6 cup), and whisk until the mixture lightens, about a minute or two. Whisk in your pumpkin and spices. The recipe recommends the Libby brand of pumpkin, but I just used the brand they sell at the Winthrop Marketplace. When the mixture is smooth, you want to slowly stream in the warm honey mixture while whisking. Do this until the mixture is fully combined. 

Step 5: Baking

The end is near! Pour the filling you just mixed up into your par-baked crust and fill it as high as possible. If you have any leftover filling, I recommend putting it into a ramekin or oven-safe dish and cooking it by itself. (If you do this, take it out before the actual pie since there is less batter). Set the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and place your pie in the center rack. Be careful not to spill! Bake the pie for about 45-60 minutes until the middle is set around the edges while still slightly wobbly in the middle. While my pie was cooking, I cleaned up the kitchen and made some fresh whipped cream to serve with the pie. I’ll leave a link if anyone wants to make a whipped cream! 

Step 6: Cooling

When the pie is done baking, you want to make sure not to take it out of the oven immediately. Turn off the oven and leave the door slightly open, allowing the pie to cool completely before removing it. Doing this will prevent the pie from cracking.

Step 7: Serving the Pie

When the pie is finished cooling, just slice it up and serve it. If you want to make it look fancy, add your freshly made whipped cream and sprinkle some ground cinnamon or nutmeg over the top. The most important step now is to enjoy!


Pie crust 

How to parbake

Browning the Butter

Whipped Cream

Original recipe

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