fork to belly pumpkin orange brulee pie
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Pumpkin Orange Brulee Pie | #VirtualPumpkinParty

fork to belly pumpkin orange brulee pie

Things are a’ happening here on the blog today! We are having a #virtualpumpkinparty!!! Sara from Cake Over Steak put together this super fun October round up of some of the pumpkiniest pumpkin treats and eats around and I’m so excited to be a part of it! Head over to her site to check them all out!

So, let’s talk about this pie. DIS PIE. Just as the sun was setting, on the last day I had to shoot, I dropped it. I dropped this pie on the ground. I always thought I’m the kind of person that wouldn’t cry “over spilt milk”, but this was full on the worst moment of my blog life for about 17 seconds and I’ve since been telling myself that it’s super different to have cried over spilt pie(???). Oh, you slippery non-stick pie pan!! The filling cracked and part of it flopped up onto the edge of the crust. I stood there for about 3 seconds, just staring at it and then kind of started laughing and crying at the same time. But Roy reminded me it was totally fixable since I would be covering the top with burnt sugar. I pushed the San Andreas pumpkin fault line back together, sprinkled on a good coating of sugar, and burnt the bubbling heck out of it!

fork to belly pumpkin orange brulee pie

fork to belly pumpkin orange brulee pie fork to belly pumpkin orange brulee pie

To be fair, I learned a lot from making this pie over and over again. I tried out different pie doughs and tested whether I preferred a canned or fresh pumpkin filling. It always amazes me how much research can be done on a single type of pie, how many different recipes and versions there are or tips and tricks that people swear by. I must have spent hours thinking about the dough alone!

Pumpkin Pie #1, we’ll call it PP1, started with a chocolate pie crust and maple bourbon filling adapted from Bon Appetit. The crust wasn’t very flakey or buttery and the filling was good but it didn’t taste that much different than a regular pumpkin pie. I did a little bit of research, and read this article and this one on the difference between using canned pumpkin and fresh pumpkin puree in a pie recipe. P.S. fresh pumpkin rocks!! So my second go, PP2, included fresh pumpkin and the Four and Twenty Blackbirds All Butter pie crust. Unfortunately, learning my way around that pie crust recipe took a few more tries. Both PP2 and PP3’s crust shrunk and were virtually unusable. PP4 was eventually the winner, well, minus the slight setback of dropping it 😀

fork to belly pumpkin orange brulee pie

fork to belly pumpkin orange brulee pie fork to belly pumpkin orange brulee pie

The best thing about this pie is the fresh pumpkin (and the spices really set it off too). I think it’s all probably personal preference, but there is such a huge difference between the texture and taste of canned vs. fresh pumpkin. Canned has a much stronger flavor, that really isn’t entirely “pumpkin” tasting either. It’s also more gelatinous and smooth, but kind of smooth in a not so nice way. The fresh pumpkin tastes real and natural and best of all, so homemade I kept asking myself why I hadn’t ever tried pumpkin pie like this before. The All Butter pie crust also knocked my socks off too. It’s so completely flakey and to be honest was much easier to put together than other pie crust recipes I’ve used. The days leading up to Thanksgiving I’ll probably be that person at the supermarket telling people to make their pumpkin pies with fresh pumpkin puree.


Pumpkin Orange Brûlée Pie

Adapted from Jamie Oliver and Four and Twenty Blackbirds. Makes one 9 inch pie.

For the pie dough
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 stick (8 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup cold water with a few ice cubes
1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

For the fresh pumpkin filling
1 medium sugar pie pumpkin (equivalent to at least 425g of fresh pureed pumpkin)
2 tbsp plain flour
1 orange, zested
a pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
100g soft, dark brown sugar
300g creme fresh, beaten
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks, beaten

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray with foil and set aside. Cut off the stem of the sugar pumpkin and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits inside and discard. Lightly salt the two halves of the pumpkin inside. Place on the baking trap, the inside facing up and bake for 30-40 minutes until the pumpkin meat is soft and the skin removes easily. Let the pumpkin cool until it’s not too hot to touch. Remove the skin and any last stringy bits. Cut the cooked pumpkin into cubes and puree in a food processor or with a hand blender. Set aside.

2. To make the pie dough, stir the flour, salt, and granulated sugar together in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the cubes of cold butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal and there are still some larger pieces of butter.

3. Add the cold water and apple cider vinegar to a small cup and stir together. Add the cold liquid to the flour mixture one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a spatula or bench scraper. Stop adding liquid when the mixture becomes shaggy and holds its shape when pressed together.

4. Dump the shaggy dough mixture out onto a work surface. Use your palm to press parts of the dough down and away from you, then squeezing it back together with your hands. Repeat a few times, then shape the dough into a thick disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. The crust can be made and kept for up to 3 days in the fridge and 1 month in the freezer.

5. When the dough is ready to handle again, lightly flour a work surface and roll the disc out, continuing to rotate the disc as you do. It should be large enough to have at least 2-3 inches of overhang when placed in the pie dish. Transfer the dough to the pie pan, making sure it sits flush to the edges of the pan. Trim off any excess overhang.

6. Roll the overhang underneath the dough around the edge of the pan. Make sure to keep this edge thick and not too close to the sides of the pan to prevent it from sinking down while baking. Crimp the edges and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

7. Preheat the oven to 350°F. For the filling, whisk all the ingredients together until evenly combined. Pour the mixture into the frozen pie dish and bake for 40-50 minutes until the center of the pie jiggles slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving.

8. Just before serving, sprinkle a generous even coating of caster sugar around the top of the pumpkin filling. Use a kitchen torch to brûlée the top. You can also cover the edges of the crust with foil to protect it from burning. Wait a few minutes for the burnt sugar to harden, then serve immediately!


About Courtney C.

  • That pumpkin orange flavour is perfect!! NEED. THIS.

    • Thanks Katrina! Pumpkin and orange go so well together it’s just totally loveeee<3 hehe

  • Yum! This pie looks absolutely amazing! I’ve gotta get me a torch!

    • Hehe yes! I bought mine from Home Depot but it’s a little intense 😀

  • Omg Courtney these are so pretty!! I love it!! And that gif – I want to go brûlée something now!

    • Wishing I could ship a slice over to you! Your help on the pie crust totally saved me!

  • i’m a sucker for brulee’d anything! especially since i get tired of pumpkin pie sometimes (i know, i know), so this sounds like the perfect update on pumpkin pie (:

    • It kinda makes the pie feel fancier, especially when you get to crack the hardened sugar with your fork :3

  • WHAT. I would never, ever have guessed that you dropped this pie! (Oh my gosh, if you could see some of my klutz-tastic messes!) Although I’m not glad that it must have been so stressful, I’m sooo glad that this brulee masterpiece came out of it — that is beyond genius. Pretty much the only way I can think of that pumpkin pie could get even better. So amazing, Courtney!

    • Oh but I did, Cynthia!! Thanks for thinking otherwise 🙂 it wasn’t too upsetting and I honestly felt super silly about it afterwards, but in the moment I was freaking out!!

  • Well you completely saved it – if you hadn’t said, I would have had absolutely no clue that there was any pie-on-floor action! Moments like that are the worst – the burst of adrenaline and then just the heart-drop as you realise. Great idea to brûlée the top – that crunchy sugary layer is beautiful (and the more chances to break out the blow torch the better!!)

    • Aw, thanks for making me feel better about it! Bruleeing (is that right??) is so much fun! Though I definitely always make Roy do it cause I’m such a wuss when it comes to fire hehe

  • Yummmmm the brulée!! So intrigued!

  • Kam

    OMG I just found you through some IG rabbit hole of amazing food IGers in LA and I had to hop over to say that you’re adorable and congrats on hitting 1 year of blogging! I sent your site to my “eating BFF” and she’s excited to dive into your blog, too 🙂

  • Hi Courtney,
    Oh my gosh! I would have cried too! I am so grateful for people in my life like Roy who help lift me back from the edge of the cliff. Without them I would probably have quit many more of my endeavors. I am so happy that you rescued this pie. It looks gorgeous! I am definitely on team fresh pumpkin. It has taken me a couple of days to get to see everyone’s amazing recipes, but I am glad I finally made it to your blog. Such a beautiful space you have here. Looking forward to getting to know you and your recipes more. <3

    • Hi Kathryn! YAAAAS. Fresh pumpkin!!! It’s so fun to meet new bloggers, yay for all the #virtualpumpkinparty madness!!

  • This is an INCREDIBLY beautiful pie!!! And your site in general is gorgeous. I love your photos and your creativity! Consider me a huge fan 🙂
    This pie will be made for the friendsgiving event the med students have in November for sure!!

    • Omg I can’t wait to see it!!! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • Courtney, this pie is a masterpiece!! I seriously would never have guessed that you dropped it on the floor. I would cry for sure if it happened to me!
    I’m such an advocate for fresh pumpkin puree! I never understood why people bought canned puree at this time of year, when all those gorgeous pumpkins are in season. This pie is such a gorgeous creation. Beautiful <3

    • Thanks, Sophie! Is it weird to say I feel comforted knowing some of you guys would have also cried in the same situation?? 😀
      This was my first time trying it with fresh pumpkin and I am mind blown. I don’t think I could look at canned pumpkin pie the same ever again!!

  • This looks incredible, Courtney! I just made pumpkin creme brulee so I feel like I can taste this pie as I look at the photos. I would have died a little too dropping such a beauty! That’s what great bfs are for though…to calm us down and remind us that every situation can be flipped around! ;p I love that you’ve got a nice crust going on here. Truthfully my favorite part about desserts with any kind of filling is the crust, so I was kind of missing the crust on my own creme brulee. I will definitely have to give this recipe a go this season…looks stunning!

    • Hehe, amen to that!! If Roy was as ridiculous I am I think I would go insane! I’m sure a crust would make a beautiful addition to a creme brulee–especially if it’s a pumpkin creme brulee too 🙂

  • So many adventures to get the perfect pie!

    It’s beautiful x

  • Becky C.

    This looks amazing and I’m planning on making it for Thanksgiving. I just wanted to double check on the measurements though. You list almost everything in cups and tsp/tbsps … but you have grams for the brown sugar and creme fresh. Is that correct? If so – I’m off to do my conversions. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Becky C.

      Also – did it autocorrect? Should it be creme fraiche? Thanks!!

    • Hi Becky! Yes, the recipe was adapted from Jamie Oliver so the brown sugar and creme fraiche are in grams 🙂

  • Dang girl – props to you and your research!!!!! I’m amazing. I LOLed when I read about you dropping the pie … but also felt really bad haha!!! I’m always afraid I’ll do something like that when I’m shooting. It’s a real fear. This pie sounds amazing – thanks for this lovely contribution!!!! :-*

    • LOL it was almost a disaster but thankfully Roy saved the day! Thank YOU for putting all that pumpkin madness together–so much fun!