Smoked Praline Pumpkin Pie
A holiday classic dessert, pumpkin pie, gets a face and flavor lift as it smokes in a Primo Ceramic Grill and is topped with pralines! Pumpkin Pie is always welcomed as a holiday dessert especially when it is a smoked pumpkin pie! The advantage of baking a pumpkin pie on the grill is that the pumpkin filling deepens with a smoky nutty flavor. Plus, your kitchen oven will be free for other holiday dishes!
Thank you Primo Ceramic Grill for sponsoring a fun and flavorful smoked pumpkin pie recipe.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR SMOKED PRALINE PUMPKIN PIE
Primo Ceramic Grill: Any size Primo ceramic grill will bake a pumpkin pie to perfection. I say all of the time, I find that my Primo XL 400 bakes breads, cookies, cakes and pies better than my oven! What is happening within the Primo Grill to make baking so consistent is the even heat. The ceramic bowl is able to hold and disperse convection heat in such an efficient way.
Heat Deflector Plates and Racks: The ease of building an indirect heat zone is another reason why baking in a Primo Grill is successful. I simply add lump charcoal to the bottom of the entire grill. Insert the deflector rack and ceramic heat deflector plates after the red hot coals begin to turn gray, about 15-20 minutes.
Smoking Chunks: Adding smoking chunks to the embers is totally optional. I added 2 pecan chunks because of the theme, Praline Pumpkin Pie. Consequently, I love the smoky deliciousness that Primo Lump Charcoal infuses food with. So in this case, Primo Lump Charcoal can be the star all by itself. It is totally up to you!
Baking Stone: Before I owned a grill safe baking stone I used an inverted rimmed baking pan. You can too if you don’t have a stone. However, the 18” to 23” Freestone Oval Baking Stone or the 16” to 19” Round Freestone allows the BBQ enthusiast to achieve brick-oven quality. The lightweight porous ceramic stone provides even heating for an ideal crust on a pie or a pizza!
Features of the Freestone Baking Stones:
The Porcelain Coating ensures a non-stick surface while protecting the heavy duty ceramics.
The Ceramic Construction with its heavy duty ceramics holds and distributes heat extremely well.
The High Heat Design can withstand temperatures up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. That is hot!
The Freestone is versatile. I can use my Freestone on my Broilmaster gas grill and on my Primo Ceramic Grill.
Grill Safe Pie Pan: I love a cast iron pie pan when baking a pie on the grill. However there are substitutes. Two aluminum metal pans can be stacked to create a heavier bottom. There are heavy stainless steel pie pans on the market too. Just be sure not to use glass. A pie pan’s information sheet should state what heat the pan can be subjected to.
Grill Gloves: If you are buying your first grill gloves, get a pair that can withstand heat over 800°F. Grill gloves come in
Baking Rack: I like to transfer and cool a hot pumpkin pie on a bakers rack.
Pie Crust Shield: A pie crust shield is a way of protecting the pie crust rim from getting too dark. I applied a shield half-way through baking. If a pie shield is not available use aluminum foil just around the edges.
INGREDIENTS IN A SMOKED PRALINE PUMPKIN PIE AND SUBSTITUTIONS
PIE CRUST: You can make pie crust by scratch or buy a frozen or refrigerated pie crust and form it. An 11-inch flat pie dough circle is needed for a 9-inch pie pan. The 2-inch overhang of pie crust dough will give you a little extra for mistakes.
And if you have a different grill safe pie pan you can use it. You might need to alternate the amount of the pumpkin filling but that is something you can eyeball!
FOOD PROCESSOR PIE CRUST: In the bowl of a large food processor, combine 2 1/2 cups flour (300 grams), 1 tbsp sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1 cup salted butter cut into 1/4-inch wide pies. Pulse mixture just a few times until combined and butter is pea size. Slowly add 1/3 cup ice cold water, as food processor mixes. Process just until combined with a few crumbs. Chill dough 1 hour before rolling.
PUMPKIN PUREE: I enjoy smoking pumpkins each season and eating the pumpkin flesh with seasoning and honey or maple syrup. But when it comes to smoking a pumpkin pie the smoked pumpkin on top of the smoked pumpkin pie tasted a bit too much. I’d suggest if you want to give it a double shot of smoke by smoking the pumpkin then the pie then don’t use wood chunks just lump charcoal. If you feel adventurous smoke fresh pie pumpkins then puree!
A can of 100% pumpkin is a great choice and takes the smoking in the pie shell in a very tasty way. When you buy canned pumpkin make sure you purchase pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie mix. The premix has seasoning and sugar.
MILK: I’ve tried milk, sweetened condensed cream, heavy cream and evaporated milk in different pumpkin pies. My favorite was sweetened condensed milk which surprised me; it wasn’t too sweet. All forms of milk helped to create moisture so if you only have one source of milk then use it. I’ve not tried making pumpkin pie with a plant based milk substitute.
SOUR CREAM: I am a recipe developer so I work at crafting a balanced flavor in every dish. Sour cream is not a common ingredient in pumpkin pie but after experimentation I found it balanced the sweetness in the condensed milk while adding creaminess to the filling. A substitution is full fat yogurt.
FRESH LEMON: Have you ever tasted a pumpkin pie that is bland? You know, it doesn’t dance on your taste buds? I have! After adding the spice blend and milk to the pumpkin mixture, I taste the filling. It still needs to wake up! An acid will always brighten almost any combination of ingredients. Fresh lemon juice adds acid to balance the sweetness. Fresh orange juice would do the job too especially if you add the zest. The next time I make smoked pumpkin pie I want to wake up the filling with fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or ancho powder! Seriously, I will!
FRESH GINGER ROOT: When working with ingredients ground spices are nice but I absolutely prefer fresh! Freshly grated ginger root will bring a bit of heat and a note of freshness. However, 1 teaspoon dried ground ginger can fill in as a substitution.
DARK BROWN SUGAR: Dark brown sugar brings depth of sweet flavor. If you don’t have some handy use 1/2 cup light brown sugar or 1/3 cup white sugar with 1 tablespoon molasses.
SPICE BLEND: 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie or apple pie spice blend will substitute the spices in the recipe below. Different labels of pumpkin pie spice blend have different combinations of spices. Generally, the spice blend is predominantly cinnamon and ginger then there are hints of nutmeg, clove, and/or allspice. If you want to play around with your own pumpkin pie blend try 1/4 teaspoon of any of there: cardamon, black pepper, red chili flakes, ancho chili powder, star anise, or Chinese 5-spice.
VANILLA EXTRACT: If you are out of vanilla extract simply eliminate any extract. In addition a pumpkin pie filling can be enhanced with 1/4 teaspoon almond, maple or orange extract. However don’t add the same exchange of vanilla extract as other extracts.
PRALINE TOPPING: The praline topping gives that added nutty crunch to this pie. If you love pralines or pecan pie then definitely add it. Or if going nuts is not your thing then omit this step. If you are in a hurry and have that huge can of glazed pecans from the Warehouse Store then place those on the pie after it bakes and cools.
HOW TO MAKE SMOKED PUMPKIN PIE
FILL THE ENTIRE FIREBOX WITH LUMP CHARCOAL: I fill my firebox just up to the air holes with Primo Lump Charcoal.
OPEN THE VENTS: Fully open both vents; the bottom draft door and the top daisy wheel.
LIGHT THE LUMP CHARCOAL: Insert two fire starter cubes at opposite ends of the charcoal or use an electric starter. Do not use lighter fluid. I like using Primo Quick Lights fire starters.
WAIT 10 MINUTES: The lump charcoal will begin to burn with hot red coals at first then have parts of gray as the heat stabilizes. Place your hand inches above the coals, if the heat is too hot to keep your hand after 2 seconds you are ready to go.
INSERT DEFLECTOR RACKS AND PLATES: Place two deflector racks to the highest position, and top with deflector plates. Close the dome lid. If you are adding a wood chunk or two now is the time!
INSERT THE FREDSTONE STONE: Adding a baking stone, like the Primo’s Fredstone, on top of the deflector plates, will create a consistent bottom heat that develops an outstanding bottom crust. We all have had soggy bottom crust pumpkin pies - yuck! If no stone is available then invert a rimmed baking pan directly on the deflector plates, and place the pie pan on top.
REGULATE HEAT: When the grill heat reaches 350°F, close the top daisy wheel to one-third open. Wait 1-2 minutes for the temperature to stabilize at 375°F. Adjust the bottom vent to keep the target temperature.
On my Primo Oval XL 400 the bottom vent was 1-inch open. The daisy wheel was closed with all of the “petals” fully open.
PREPARE PUMPKIN PIE: Press the pie crust into a greased grill safe pie pan, and pour in pumpkin pie filling. The pie dough crust does not have to be pre-baked before filling.
BAKE PUMPKIN PIE IN PRIMO CERAMIC GRILL: Place the uncooked pumpkin pie in the center of the Freestone baking stone. Bake the pie for 40 minutes or until the center of the pumpkin filling has reached at least 175°F. I turned my pie half way through the bake to help create even cooking.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SMOKED PUMPKIN PIE
Do I have to add the praline topping? No you do not! The pumpkin pie filling is simply delish on it’s own! Just add extra whipped cream!
Can I bake a gluten-free pie crust with the pumpkin filling? Yes, gluten-free pie crusts bake perfectly on a grill. Message me and I will tell you my favorite store bought gluten-free pie crust.
Can I bake two pumpkin pies on the grill? Yes, there is room for two pies on my Primo Grill Oval XL. Rotate the pies halfway through the bake time.
What other flavor additions do you suggest for pumpkin pie? Spike it; 1 tbsp rum, brandy, orange liquor, or cinnamon whiskey is tasty! Many people enjoy a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper. I enjoy the orange zest in the filling.
How do I store pumpkin pie? Leftover pumpkin pie can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Can I make Maple Smoked Pumpkin Pie ahead? Smoked pumpkin pie can be made 1 day ahead. The smoky flavor actually sets in more. If making this pie a day ahead I’d suggest not adding wood chips. Store the pie in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Do not make and add the whipped cream until serving day.
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PRALINE PUMPKIN PIE
1 9-inch pie dough prepared or homemade
2 cups (15 oz) can pumpkin puree or 2 cups freshly smoked pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup full fat sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie or apple pie spice
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger, optional
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Sweetened Whipped Cream
Praline Topping (optional)
1 cup pecans roughly chopped
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Build an indirect cooking zone by filling the firebox with Primo’s 100% natural lump charcoal to the air holes. Ignite the charcoal with Primo’s Quick Lights or an electric fire starter. Open the top and bottom vents. Leave the lid open for the first 5-10 minutes.
Arrange the deflector racks and plates. Insert the Freestone stone or a baking stone. If no stone is available an inverted rim pan will do. Close the dome lid and heat grill to 350°F.
Adjust the bottom and top vents to maintain 375°F heat for baking the pie. On a Primo Oval XL 400 the bottom vent will be 1-inch open, and the daisy wheel about 1/4-inch open. Turn the wheel’s smaller air holes as need to regulate the heat.
Use a rolling-pin to prepare an 11-inch pie dough circle. Transfer the dough to a greased 9-inch pie pan, gently press the dough to the bottom of the pie pan. Crimp the dough edges, with a fork or fingers, to form a rim.
In a food processor or blender, combine pumpkin, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, dark brown sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla extract, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spices, ginger, clove and salt; blend for 2 minutes.
Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the prepared pie shell.
Bake the pumpkin pie in the center of the baking stone for 40 minutes, rotating the pie pan with grill gloves halfway through the baking time.
Meanwhile, make the pecan topping. In a small bowl, combine all Praline Topping ingredients, and stir well. After 20 minutes of baking the pumpkin pie, rotate the pie pan and gently spoon pecan topping on top.
Bake the pie an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the center is at least 175°F to 185°F on your meat thermometer!
Cool for at least an hour on the counter. Transfer pie to the refrigerator to chill before adding the whipped cream.
After the pie has completely cooled it can be placed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator.
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe:
Step 1: In a large bowl processor bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg; pulse to mix.
Step 2: Add 1 cup salted butter (cut 1/4-inch square slices); pulse a few times until butter is broken into pie size pieces.
Step 3: Slowly add 1/3 cup ice water while running food processor. Mix just until dough begins to come together.
Step 4: Form dough into disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour. Roll dough out and form into pan. No pre-baking is necessary.