Throwback Thursday: Our Search for the Perfect Pumpkin Pie, Round 6

The final round of pumpkin pies before the Semi Finals and this week the pies all feature nuts in one way or another. Let’s get right into it…

Pie 1:

This Momofuku Milk Bar‘s Blondie Pie with Pumpkin Ganache. Food52 Baking Club covered this book in October 2017 and surprisingly, this is the first recipe from the book I’ve blogged! This pie features a graham cracker crust, a cashew brittle folded into the blondie filling, a cashew praline spread on top before piping on a white chocolate pumpkin ganache. Phew. It was a lot of work. Our first impression of the pie was that it was way too salty but it has since mellowed quite a bit. It really isn’t a pie you could eat a proper slice of, just a sliver is plenty.

Pie 2:

The second pie was from Food52 Baking Club’s 2018 Bonus Book The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. It is her Pumpkin Pecan Pie. Besides having a pumpkin pie top, it has a pecan pie filing and a cream cheese crust. The pecan filling is almost like German Chocolate Cake Frosting without the coconut. It is to die for. The pecans on top are brushed with a bit of golden syrup to give them that extra bit of shine.

Pie 3:

Our last contestant was from last month’s Food52 Baking Club pick, Food52 Genius Desserts. It is Yankee Magazine’s Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crunch and is almost the opposite of The Baking Bible pie in that the pecans are the topping and the pumpkin pie is the filling. Aaron in particular really enjoyed this pie, the good punch of nutmeg in the filling and absolutely loved the butter pie crust. Afterwards I told him that it was no surprise that he loved the crust because it’s actually Stella Park’s Bravetart recipe, which has long been his favorite, and is included in the Genius book for obvious reasons.

So which pie has made it through? The Baking Bible. Everything about this pie was wonderful and while it wasn’t the best pastry, the cream cheese pastry was still great. The only extraordinary thing about the Food52 Genius Desserts pie was the pastry. I think we were all put off by the saltiness of the pumpkin ganache for the Milk Bar pie and that’s why it didn’t win, even though I had predicted it would come out on top due to the extra time involved in making it. Guess there’s an exception to every rule.

Semi Finals start next week and even though I originally planned to do the Rounds 1-3 winners in the first Semi Final and the Rounds 4-6 winners in the second, I decided it wouldn’t be fair to the sugar free pie to pit it up against the cheesecake and the pumpkin pecan pie. I’ve taken the least traditional of the traditional pumpkin pies and swapped it with the sugar free pie and the plan is to make the first Semi Final a blind taste test to see how good this sugar free pie actually is. So I’ve decided that the lineup will be as follows:

Semi Final 1:

Semi Final 2:

Only 2 can make it into the finals on Thanksgiving Day and that means only 8 more pies to bake to crown the ultimate winner!