Pumpkin Pecan Pie with Cornflakes Crust

I’m so proud of myself right now. I can’t help it, just look at the pie, my very first pumpkin pie. Oh, did I mention the filling is made from scratch too?

Despite the idea of  making things from scratch is impressive in my book, I’m convinced that I’ll need a shortcut for the filling next time. Some of you will agree that peeling through the stubborn exterior of a pumpkin (actually about a quarter of a  Japanese pumpkin) and cutting it into pieces are no piece of cake, especially when you’re relying  on an old and blunt generic knife to do the job for you. I should have used pre-made pumpkin puree instead. I should have. At the end of the day, I don’t think it’ll make much difference, am I correct? Even if there is any difference, there’s nothing nutmeg and cinnamon can’t fix right?

The filling aside, I’m happy with the crust. Cornflakes and peanut butter, a tad unusual combination but guess what, they were in perfect harmony. The original recipe calls for cashew nut paste but if you read my post here, you’ll know that  I won’t go out of my way to buy an ingredient that isn’t going to be used regularly. Normally I will happily omit the ingredient but since this is a baking task, I fear any omission of  ingredient might lead to a baking disaster. Spending some time browsing through my pantry, imagining what MacGyver would do when faced with such kitchen crisis, I’ve managed to resolve the crisis with peanut butter. Clever, eh? :P

Pumpkin Pecan Pie with Cornflakes Crust

(tweaked slightly from The Anti-Ageing Cookbook by Teresa Cutter)

Enough to fill a 20cm/8 inched round cake pan

Note: I’ve doubled the peanut butter and honey as the portions provided in the original recipe don’t seem to create a mixture sticky enough to form a pie shell. I would start with 2 tbsps each for peanut butter and honey. Add more until you achieve the desire consistency. For me, it took me up to 4 tbsps for both ingredients.

One of my tasters (a friend who has great confidence in his culinary skill) has highlighted the lack of spices in the pie. To be honest, I’m satisfied with the amount of spices in the recipe. If you go through the recipe, there are a lot flavours coming from the cornflakes, cranberries, coconut, pecan etc. If I intesify the spices, I think it’s just going to confuse our tastebuds, what do you think? Again, this is up to individual taste so feel free to adjust to your liking. :)

Ingredients:

Crust:

6 cups / 180g / 6oz cornflakes

1/2 cup / 45g /1.5 oz desiccated coconut

2 tbsps pecan nuts, finely chopped

4 tbsps peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

4 tbsps honey

Pumpkin Filling:

750g / 1.5 lbs pumpkin, deseeded, peeled & diced about 1-2 inched cube

5 tbsps pure maple syrup

juice and zest of 1 orange (if you’re using large navel orange, halve the amount)

2 tbsps vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

3 free range egg whites

100g / 3.5 oz dried cranberries or fresh sliced dates to scatter on the crust before adding the filling

Whole pecan nuts to garnish

Method:

1. Roast diced pumpkin in a preheated oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 392 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool. Reset the oven temperature to 165 degrees Celsius / 330 degrees Fahrenheit to continue preheating the oven for baking the pie later on.

2. To prepare the crust: Combine the cornflakes, coconut, pecan nuts, peanut butter and honey in a food processor. Blend until the mixture sticks together when squeezed.

3. Press the cornflakes mixture down on a pie dish to form a base and bring a little way up the sides. If you’re using a cake tin, make sure to line the cake tin with parchment paper.

4. To make the filling: Put the pumpkin, maple syrup, orange zest and juice, vanilla, spices and egg whites in a food processor. Process until well combined.

5. Sprinkle the dried cranberries over the base of the pie shell (picture below) and spoon over the pumpkin mixture.

6. Top with the pecan nuts and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the filling is firm. Cool. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

{Enjoy!}

14 Responses to Pumpkin Pecan Pie with Cornflakes Crust
  1. Roxan
    November 16, 2010 | 3:39 pm

    Emily – as always, wonderful wonderful photos. I agree, peeling/cutting pumpkin is so hard! I always feel like I’m going to chop off a finger. I’ll admit, the only times I’ve used actual squash is when it isn’t pureed in a recipe. Otherwise I’ll just use canned. It’s funny because I get all excited when fall rolls around so I can make pumpkin recipes since they are in season… but then reach for a can.

    Your pie looks absolutely delicious and I love the addition of cranberries for the extra tang!

  2. chocolatesuze
    November 17, 2010 | 1:44 am

    cornflakes + peanut butter for a pie crust? OHMYGAWD that is freaking brilliant!!! i loooveeee cornflakes! i can’t even begin to imagine how awesome this is gonna taste eeee i need to go home and bake!

  3. Evan @swEEts
    November 17, 2010 | 3:04 am

    I was asking about the gluten-free because my boyfriends father has Celiacs and we’re going there for Turkey Day this year.. I actually think this might be- because corn flakes are gluten free and everything else seems to be as well.. something to think about :) thanks!

    • Melie
      November 18, 2010 | 6:35 pm

      I have celiac and had the exact same thought. Be careful though. Make sure the cornflakes and all other ingredients are truly gluten free. Call your boyfriend’s father, if you can, and ask him if there is a particular brand of cornflakes he eats. Go through the rest of the list too. Trust me. He will really appreciate the gesture. I tear up nearly every time someone just tries or asks.

  4. A Bowl Of Mush
    November 17, 2010 | 4:02 am

    This looks super delicious!
    I love the cornflakes idea!

  5. Colette
    November 17, 2010 | 10:17 am

    Do you use the pumpkin raw or do you actually cook it before using it in this pie mixture?

    • Emily
      November 17, 2010 | 11:00 am

      Hi Colette,

      The pumpkin has to be roasted and cooled first. Then it has to be processed with other filling ingredients. Alternatively, try to buy ready made pumpkin puree and mixed with other filing ingredients. That would be much easier. Hope this helps! :)

      • Colette
        November 18, 2010 | 9:52 am

        I already had the pumpkin so yesterday I prepared the puree. Next on my list is preparing this pie!

      • Dana Henry
        November 24, 2010 | 6:07 pm

        If I choose to use the pumpkin puree, what amount should I use?

        • Emily
          November 24, 2010 | 10:21 pm

          HI Dana,

          About 2 cups (or 500ml) of pumpkin puree shoud be enough. Happy Thanksgiving !

  6. Carolyn Jung
    November 17, 2010 | 5:16 pm

    If I had this on my Thanksgiving table, I’d start the meal with it, not end it. I mean, why wait until the end for something so fabulous looking. Pecans, pumpkin AND peanut butter? It’s all my favorite p-word foods all in one. ;)

  7. Lauren
    November 17, 2010 | 6:05 pm

    What a creative pumpkin pie! I love the use of peanut butter in the crust and dried cranberries under the filling. Delicious combination of ingredients!

  8. Melissa
    November 18, 2010 | 11:37 pm

    Sounds really lovely, but I think it would be much better to make the filing from scratch – you can control the ingredients better,and the flavour will be much nicer as well.

    To make the pumpkin preparation easier, you could roast larger pieces of it with the skin on, and then just peel or cut it off once it has cooled down after roasting.

  9. Mum
    November 20, 2010 | 4:42 pm

    Hi Colette.
    Your pie looks very nice and think it taste lovely too. I am going to try it next time we go to Armier.

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