10 October 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! Double Chocolate Whisky'd Pumpkin Pie

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians.

I know I've been remiss in posting my foodie adventures (and yes, there have been some), but *gasp* I've been going out! and having fun!

More about that later.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Yes. Canada celebrates Thanksgiving. We've been doing so since 1578 when the English explorer Martin Frobisher was absolutely thrilled he didn't become a popsicle while searching for the NorthWest passage. About 30 years later Samuel de Champlain (the foodie he was) and his French settlers initiated their own feasts of thanks.

My Dear Little Cardamummy has quite a fondness for pumpkin pie. It's not really Thanksgiving unless there's a pumpkin pie on the table. My Big Strong Cardapoppy on the other hand, calls all pies "apple pies" (including cherry, pumpkin and banana creme) and, from what I've gathered, isn't too fussed on what the sweet is. He just wants a 10kg/22lb turkey on the table (did I mention it's usually just three or four of us for lunch?). Yes, really.

Needless to say, after a certain amount of negotiation and some consternation, I won the dessert battle (really, Mum store bought pie?) and I was allowed to bring in dessert.

I immediately cottoned onto the idea of a chocolate pumpkin pie. I checked my library to see what there was--a number of pumpkin pies, but no chocolate pumpkin pies. My online search basically came back with three recipes, and their permutations reposted over and over and over again. None of them truly excited me, so I put on my apron and started playing.

The finished result was this pie--chocolatey but not overpowering the pumpkin, laced with warming spices that remind me of both falling leaves and crunching snow. Underneath it all is a deeper warmth carried by whisky and vanilla.

Double Chocolate Whisky'd Pumpkin Pie
Adapted from recipes by Edna Staeber, Martha Stewart, Baking Bites and Dreena's Vegan Recipes.

Yield: one 9" pie (1.75" deep)


For the crust
170g (1c+3Tbsp /295ml) all purpose flour
20g (4Tbsp/60ml) cocoa
25g (4Tbsp/60ml) sugar
0.25tsp (1.25ml) salt
85g (6Tbsp/90ml) very cold (if not frozen) unsalted butter
2 egg yolks, beaten
0.5tsp (2.5ml) vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp (15-30ml) ice water

For the filling:
28g (2Tbsp/30ml) unsalted butter
70g (0.33c/85ml) semi sweet chocolate chips
2Tbsp (30ml) heavy cream
0.5tsp (2.5ml) cinnamon
0.25tsp (1.25ml) ground cardamom seeds
0.125tsp/ 1/8tsp (0.6ml) ground cloves
0.125tsp/ 1/8tsp (0.6ml) nutmeg
pinch salt
135g (0.66c/170ml) brown sugar
280g (1.25c/310ml) pureed pumpkin
2 eggs3-4Tbsp (45-60ml) whisky (see notes)
1tsp (5ml) vanilla extract

Serve with any of the following, if desired
Whipped cream/Chantilly cream
Ice cream
Icing sugar

For the crust

Sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt. Grate in the butter with the large holes on a box grater, then rub in the butter into the dry ingredients, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the beaten egg and vanilla then dribble in enough water so the dough comes together but is not wet or tacky. Form the dough into a disk and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300F/160C. Lightly butter a pie tin that's 9" wide and 1.75" deep (approx 22cm wide, 4.25-4.5cm deep).

Line the pie tin with the dough that's been rolled out to approx 0.5cm (0.25") thickness. trim the edges and crimp the crust as you see fit. Dock the bottom and sides of the crust by piercing the dough with a fork's tines--I do this until it reminds me of my dentist's acoustical tiles. Line the crust with tin foil and then weight it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, take the foil and the weights off and let cool as you make the filling.

For the filling:
Preheat oven to 375F/190C.

Melt the butter until slightly foamy. If you're doing this on the stovetop, turn off the hob and add the chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Add the cream, spices and salt and stir until smooth. Mix in the brown sugar. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, mix together the pumpkin eggs, whisky and vanilla, until well mixed. Fold in the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and mix until you cannot see streaks of orange or brown. Pour evenly into the cooled crust and smooth the top. Bake for 40-55 minutes. The filling will be set and an inserted skewer will come out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely.Serve with whatever accompaniment (or none at all) you wish


  • You don't have to make the chocolate shortcrust if you don't want to. A regular shortcrust or graham wafer crust will be fine (but then it would simply be a Whisky'd Chocolate Pumpkin Pie...nothing wrong with that).
  • Do not use pumpkin pie filling. Goodness knows what's in that stuff.
  • Whisky. I suppose it's optional, but it's Thanksgiving (or Christmas, or whatever occasion that warrants pie). You may feel better with a few drams of whisky.
  • More about whisky. I'm Canadian, so I use rye/Canadian whisky. You can use what you have on hand (even if it means bourbon, scotch or Irish whisky). If you don't have whisky in the house, use brandy, rum, cognac or creme de cacao (or whatever else you think may work) :)...I welcome any and every effort to make this pie happier

I'm a quill for hire!


Chris said...

Umm..that looks awesome. I hate pumpkin pie. Simply hate it, but the fact that it's mixed with liquor makes it so much better! Can't wait to whip this up for Thanksgiving next month.

Laurel said...

I'm not a fan of pumpkin pie, but I think I'd enjoy this with the chocolate. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!

Carol Egbert said...

I've just discovered your blog and like you, I love cardamom. I use it and nutmeg rather than the usual cinnamon when making apple crumb cake. I hope you'll visit my blog. www.carolegbert.com

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

That is a different pie with Whiskey. Really nice.

Tucson Massage Therapy said...

This looks like it has potential to be literally the best dessert in the entirety of mankind. It has all the components, chocolate, pumpkin, and booze! Thank you, I feel like I can go on into this holiday season prepared to dazzle any host on any party I attend.

Wendy@The Omnivorous Bear said...

Holey Moley! That looks fantastic! I wish I could bake that for my brother....he'd be in whisky dessert Heaven! But there's 7,000 miles separating us so maybe I'll just bake it for us and tell him about it :-)