With the holidays in full swing, I have pie on my mind. It’s the only time of year I actually make pie.
It started when my mom and I would tandem in the kitchen to prepare Thanksgiving dinner. I would find a recipe for some new dessert each year. One year it was caramel apple pie, the next year was chocolate pecan pie, and so on.
Then one year I was invited to dinner with my extended family and asked to bring a pumpkin dessert. As usual, I couldn’t make just a regular pumpkin pie, so I found an enticing recipe from Epicurious for a Pumpkin Mascarpone Pie. Unknown to me at the time, this would become my new tradition.
As it turned out, I’ve spent almost every Thanksgiving since with my wonderful extended family, and have brought that pie every time. However, the pie has evolved!
The Pumpkin Mascarpone pie I make now changes slightly each year, depending on my mood. As usual, I never stick to a recipe for long, and this one is no different. I’ve tried a variety of alterations, but this year, I think I found a combination that I might keep for a while. So, here it is:
- 1/3 cup water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 3 large egg whites (room temperature)
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups crushed ginger snaps
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 8oz can pure pumpkin
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (golden or dark)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 8oz container mascarpone cheese (room temperature)
Create the Marshmallow Fluff first, then put in the refrigerator until it is ready for use.
Preheat the oven to 350
- Place the water, sugar, and corn syrup in the pan and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- While the sugar water is cooking, blend together the eggs whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar at medium/high speed in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until soft peaks begin to form. If the egg whites are ready before the sugar, stop beating them until the sugar is ready.
- Cook the sugar until it reaches a temperature of 235°F (or 113°C), then gently pour it into the egg white mixture while it is still blending. Try to keep the flow of the sugar water down the side of the blender. Turn the mixer speed to high and mix until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled (you should be able to turn the bowl upside down without the meringue moving).
- Place the gingersnap cookie crumbs and butter in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined (note: this might be a little dry, but the pie will soften it while baking).
- Press the mix into your pie plate or tin. Don’t be afraid to really pack it!
- Mix together the pumpkin and brown sugar until thoroughly combined.
- Add in the eggs and lemon juice until combined.
- Add in the cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and vanilla until combined.
- Blend in the mascarpone cheese (note: it might be a little clumpy when you’re done blending – that is normal).
- Fold the mixture into the pie plate.
Baking and Finishing the Pie:
- Bake pie at 350°F for 55 minutes, or until the filling is mostly set.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Once the pie is cool, spoon the Marshmallow Fluff over the top and create peaks and ridges with the spoon.
- Use a kitchen torch to sear the Marshmallow Fluff.
- Keep refrigerated.