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Published: Monday, 10/29/2001

Honey Pecan Pumpkin Pie

Pecans

6 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

pinch of salt

1 cup pecan halves, about 4 ounces

Place large piece of foil on work surface. Stir sugar, honey, butter, and salt in heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves, butter melts, and syrup comes to simmer. Add pecans. Cook until syrup turns deep caramel color and bubbles thickly, stirring nuts occasionally to coat, about 10 to 15 minutes. Caution: this is very hot. Scrape onto foil. Working quickly, separate nuts with spoon. Cool completely. Place in airtight container. Store at room temperature.

Pie Crust:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup frozen vegetable shortening, cut into large pieces

1 large egg

3 tablespoons ice water, approximately

Blend first four ingredients in food processor 10 seconds. Add shortening; process just until very coarse meal forms. Beat egg with 2 tablespoons water, add to processor. Blend until large moist clumps form, adding more after if dry. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Flatten each piece into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill at least 1 hour. Let dough soften slightly before rolling out.

Yield: 2 crusts

Filling:

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 15-ounce can solid pack pumpkin

1/3 cup honey

1 cup whipping cream

4 large eggs

Topping:

1 cup chilled whipping cream

2 tablespoons honey

For pie:

Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Roll out dough disk on floured surface to 12 to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch diameter glass pie dish. Fold overhand under; crimp edge, forming high-standing rim.

Stir sugar and next 5 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk in pumpkin and honey, then cream and 3 eggs. Beat 1 egg in small bowl to blend. Brush inside of crust with some of beaten egg. Pour filling into crust.

Bake pie until filling is slightly puffed and begins to crack at edges, covering crust with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour. Cool on rack.

For topping:

Using electric mixer, beat cream and honey in medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Spoon into pastry bag fitted with star tip. Pipe rosettes of cream on top pie. Garnish with candied nuts. Pass extra nuts separately.

Yield: 8 servings



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