Pumpkin pie - with its custardy filling and smooth texture - is divine, but if you want to take it to the next level and beyond, consider giving it a chocolate crumb crust and decadent swirls of chocolate hazelnut filling wrapped around traditional pumpkin filling. The result is a chocolatey, creamy pumpkin pie that promises every bite to be downright delicious.
As with most baking recipes, I do not recommend tweaks. The place to play is with any toppings you might wish to add. I opted for amaretto whipped cream and a single salted dark chocolate caramel, but any number of garnishes - including foregoing any altogether - will work. Mini chips atop regular whipped cream or some spiked with a bit of cookie dough whiskey would be fun. A drizzle of dark chocolate and caramel would be particularly decadent. You get the idea.
This pie is absolutely lovely at the end of a good comfort food meal featuring roasts, stews, or lasagna. It's also lovely with an afternoon cup of coffee or tea. Honestly, I've started my day with a slice and a cup of coffee and I have only good things to say about that choice too! However you choose to serve it, enjoy and smile while you do.
- 1 ½ cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 12 full sheet graham crackers)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chocolate chips
- 2 cups pureed pumpkin or butternut squash OR 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon amaretto - optional
- Salted dark chocolate caramels
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
To make the crust, stir the chocolate graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl, and then stir in the melted butter. The mixture will be thick, coarse, and sandy. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 8-inch, 9-inch, or 10-inch pie dish. With medium pressure, pat the crumbs down into the bottom and up the sides to make a compact crust. Pre-bake the crust in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven; set aside.
To make the filling, while the crust is baking, place the chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until the the chocolate is just melted, about 90 seconds in total. Set aside to cool slightly.
Place the pumpkin or butternut squash purée, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla extract in a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer 1 ¼ cups of the pumpkin filling to another bowl; set aside.
Add the cooled, melted chocolate and the Nutella to the remaining pumpkin filling and process lightly to combine. Pour the chocolate-pumpkin filling into the crust and spread into an even layer. Dollop the reserved pumpkin filling in small spoonfuls over the pie. Use a knife to decoratively swirl the pumpkin filling into the chocolate-pumpkin filling.
Bake the pie on a cookie sheet in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Rotate the pie. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Continue baking the pie until it's mostly set but the center still jiggles slightly when you gently shake the pie plate, about 40 minutes more. Carefully remove the pie to a wire rack and let it cool completely, at least 2 hours.
To serve the pie, carefully slice it into 8-10 servings. Using an immersion blender with a whisk attachment, whisk the heavy whipping cream and granulated sugar together until soft peaks form. Add the amaretto - if using - and continue whisking until hard peaks form. Place a dollop of whipped cream on each slice of pie and nestle a salted dark chocolate caramel into the whipped cream. Serve immediately.
- Yields: 8-10 servings
- Preparation Time: 90 minutes plus at least 2 hours cooling time