Black Bottom Pumpkin Pie

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without pumpkin pie, so when I was assigned to make a dessert for this year's Thanksgiving feast at Conservative Mom and Dad's house in Georgia, a pumpkin pie seemed like a no-brainer.

But I resisted the idea of making a traditional pumpkin pie because I also firmly believe that no dinner is complete without chocolate. Or any meal, for that matter. Even, some days, breakfast.

So when I came across Southern Living's Black Bottom Pumpkin Pie recipe in the November 2012 issue, it seemed like the ideal solution. Pumpkin? Check. Chocolate? Check. Plus toffee and pecans thrown in for good measure. What's not to like about that?

Making the pie turned out to be quite a process. First I burned a batch of pecans so had to redo them. Then nearly every step required some cooling or chilling time in between. Fortunately, we didn't have a big agenda over Thanksgiving week, so we ended up finishing it with a few minutes to spare. (Though we almost had a disaster and ran out of whipped cream at the end, hence the rather decorative effect and lack of full coverage atop the pie.)

The interesting thing about this particular pie is that the pumpkin layer isn't your traditional pumpkin texture or flavor. It ends up being more of a creamy custard layer with just a hint of pumpkin. For those in the crowd that aren't hard-core pumpkin lovers, it was a nice, subtle nod to a Thanksgiving staple. But I think if I made it again I'd either increase the amount of pumpkin or replace that layer with a more traditional pumpkin pie filling.

The other interesting thing we discovered is that this pie actually tasted better straight from the fridge the next day. I'm not sure why, but I certainly didn't complain about that!

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