Black-Bottom Pumpkin Pie

Recipe from Randy Gehman, Four Seasons Resort and Club at Las Colinas, Irving

Crust

1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) cold, unsalted butter
2/3 cup Crisco
2 2/3 cups (11 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

Place all ingredients except water in a mixer with a dough hook. Blend until coarse and lumpy. With machine running, slowly add water until dough holds together (you may not need all the water). Form dough into a ball, flatten into a disk about 5 inches in diameter, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour to firm up.

Black-Bottom Filling

1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
8 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped to size of chocolate chips

In a saucepan over high heat, bring cream and ginger to a boil. Immediately remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes. Put chocolate in a mixing bowl. Bring cream and ginger to a boil again, and strain cream into bowl of chocolate (discard ginger). Stir mixture until smooth.

Pumpkin Filling

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (1 ounce) all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground ginger
1 can (approximately 15 ounces) or 2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin-pie filling)
2 large eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, salt, and spices. Whisk in pumpkin and then eggs, one at a time. Stir in evaporated milk and vanilla.

Five-Spice Pecans

2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder, available at Central Market or Asian markets
3/4 cup pecan halves

Bring about a cup of water to a boil. Measure out 2 tablespoons into a bowl, dissolve sugar in it, then whisk in five-spice powder. Toss pecans with mixture and put in a sieve to drain.

To assemble: Place a cookie sheet in the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out crust, place in a 9-inch metal pie pan, and pour in black-bottom filling. Freeze for 10 minutes to firm up, then fill remainder of pie shell with pumpkin mixture. Decorate by arranging 2 concentric circles of spiced pecan halves around edge of pie. Bake on preheated cookie sheet until crust is golden brown, about 50 minutes. Cool for at least 2 hours before serving.

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