Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie

Lately there seems to be a sort of pumpkin backlash out there. I get it, the proliferation of “pumpkin spice everything” was pretty intense for a few years. But the hate is strong, too strong in my opinion. I don’t see why one should act like it’s fun to be OVER pumpkin. Pumpkin is basically essential to the season, right? No sense in beating a squash down because of a few cloyingly sweet latte versions.

Pumpkin pie is incredibly important to my overall baking repertoire. I tend to try about 2-3 new versions every November. I usually go back to an old beloved standby that involves a crumble topping. What can I say; I love butter crusts and crumble topping, and to have an orange-hued spiced squash custard sandwiched in-between these two details is pretty much the best.

It was that time of year when I end up having a pie pumpkin handed to me as part of my weekly CSA package. You’re either gearing up to make soup or pie with that sort of gift, and I usually go towards door #2. All I needed was a recipe. I decided to go with a version from the Four and Twenty Blackbirds cookbook, as I am a big fan of their bake shop. In fact I used to live dangerously close to the storefront for a couple of years. It is really, really difficult to not go in a top-notch pie store constantly when you’re right down the block.

This recipe is overall strong, but in the end it’s really not close enough to my favorite kind of pumpkin pie. It’s well-balanced, creamy, and flavorful, all positive remarks, but just not exactly my thing in the end. Maybe this sounds too harsh, but it shouldn’t- in fact, my personal pie preference shouldn’t deter anyone from trying this recipe out. The brown butter flavor adds a lovely full touch and their pie crust always makes an impressive base.

The oven temperatures listed worked perfectly for me, and I would likely use canned puree next time instead of roasting the pumpkin. My puree was slightly more watery than the canned stuff, which made it slightly softer than I would have liked. One more thing to mention: the word “butter” is definitely in the recipe name and don’t forget that detail. This is an full-fat pie. (Only a word of warning, as most pumpkin pies worth eating are going to be decadent no matter what.)

Always served with a little whipped cream.
Always served with a little whipped cream.

Recipe Credit: Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen, Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Kitchen Mess: 2.5 out of 4. A typical pie-making mess.

Recommended For: Fall Weekend Desserts, Holiday Potlucks

Not Recommended For: Evil Pumpkin Pie Haters, People Who Like to Habitually Diet?

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