Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Marshmallow Topping

Pumpkin pie recipe with toasted marshmallow topping

Pumpkin pie recipe with toasted marshmallow toppingWhen I was growing up, I would not eat pumpkin pie. My mother never made it but they served it at our school cafeteria in New England and the orange filling looked a little jelled. It certainly wasn’t as appealing at the Boston Cream Pie on plates just next to the slices of the pie, with the glossy chocolate icing and the cool vanilla pastry cream piled up in the center. It was a no-brainer.

Pumpkin pie recipe with toasted marshmallow toppingInterestingly, I don’t think I’ve ever made Boston Cream Pie, perhaps because it’s something that’s so mythic to me, and I hold it on such a high pedestal, that I’m not sure I could make one that meets my own unreasonable standards. But another, and perhaps a more important reason, is that if I made it, I would eat the whole thing in one sitting.

Pumpkin pie recipe with toasted marshmallow topping

Another thing I wouldn’t eat when I was growing up was lobster for an unspecified reason. (Which I am still kicking myself about to this day.) It’s such a shame because even though there is a drop in prices in the U.S., they were very, very inexpensive back in those days.

In France, prices are steep: A live lobster can set you back up to €70 per kilo, which is roughly $30 per pound. I can’t imagine how a family of four – or even two people (no matter how much in love they were and wanted them for a romantic evening) – could swing paying $45 per lobster, per person.

Pumpkin pie recipe with toasted marshmallow topping

But Europeans can’t imagine putting marshmallows on sweet potatoes or squash, as some of us do around the holidays. I can’t say that it’s a dish that I am happy to defend. I never really took to this uniquely American mélange of candy meets courge (squash), instead scraping off the toasted marshmallows and just eating those, leaving the orange paste behind.

Pumpkin pie recipe with toasted marshmallow topping

But in dessert, it works. True, there aren’t many pumpkin-based desserts in the French pastry canon, although melons do get candied in Province, and their candying syrup is the base for calissons d’Aix, almond paste candies that are a specialty of the region. Yet while mine was cooling, Romain went over to it, picked it up and took a good sniff (how do you say “nosy” in French?), inhaling deeply.

Pumpkin pie recipe with toasted marshmallow topping

He hovered around for a while, and I was so rushed to get him a slice that I probably could have toasted the marshmallow topping a little further. My next kitchen, I think, might have to have a door.

Pumpkin pie recipe with toasted marshmallow topping

For the holidays, I often make a plain pie using butternut squash since it has less moisture and is more flavorful than many of the varieties of pumpkin that are available. But I realize there are many classicists out there, so you can use whatever puree you want as the base for this recipe, although I recommend if going with pumpkin that you find an heirloom sugar pumpkin as those are the best of the lot, in my experience.

However there’s no shame in using shortcuts. Canned pumpkin, which is actually not made with pumpkins as we know them, but squash. It’s actually fine to use and shaves a bit of work off this project. Since you’re making a homemade crust, pie filling, and marshmallow topping, cutting out some of the work isn’t the end of the world. And take it from me, any less stress you can have this time of year, is worth mitigating.

Pumpkin pie recipe with toasted marshmallow topping

The good news about this pie is that unlike whipped cream or meringue, the marshmallow topping doesn’t weep or seep liquid onto the pie, so it can be heaped and toasted in advance. An extra bonus? It’s tastes great, too.

Pumpkin pie recipe with toasted marshmallow topping

Pumpkin Marshmallow Pie
Print Recipe
Makes one 9-inch (23cm) pie, 8 servings
You can use canned pumpkin for this if you wish. Make sure you get 100% pure pumpkin, and not “pumpkin pie filling,” which is spiced and sweetened already. If you want to make your own sugar pumpkin or squash, puree that’s fine to use too. If you don’t want to use the Cognac or liquor in the filling, you can leave it out and increase the vanilla extract to 1 1/2 teaspoons. A nifty trick is to warm the pumpkin pie filling before adding it to the baked pie shell. It’ll take less time to bake in the oven, resulting in a smoother pie and crisper crust. Tip: If you have an immersion blender, you can mix the pumpkin pie filling in a saucepan, the same one you use to warm the filling before baking. Overcooking a pumpkin pie will cause it to crack while cooling, which isn’t the end of the world, as some people think it is. (Hey, it’s only food…) It will still taste good and the marshmallow topping will cover it up nicely, so no one is the wiser if it happens. Lastly, if you’re just looking for a great pumpkin pie, you can use this recipe without the marshmallow topping. Just add some whipped cream or serve it with a favorite ice cream, such as cinnamon ice cream or vanilla ice cream.
Pie Crust
1 1/4 cups (175g) flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (115g) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
3-4 tablespoons ice water
Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 3/4 cups (425g) pumpkin or butternut squash puree
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (125ml) whole or lowfat milk
3 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cups (160g) packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Cognac or brandy
Marshmallow topping
1 envelope (7g) unflavored powdered gelatin
1/4 (60ml), plus 1/3 (80ml) cup cold water
1/3 cup (80ml) light corn syrup
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1. To make the pie dough, mix the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a food processor. (The dough can also be made by hand, in a bowl with a pastry blender, or using your hands.) Add the chilled butter and mix the dough until the butter is broken up into small pieces, about the size of peas.
2. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and mix until the dough begins to come together. If necessary, add 1 more tablespoons of water, if the dough needs it to come together. Turn the dough out on a work surface and give it a few turns with your hands. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, or between two pieces of parchment paper, until it’s about 13-inches (33cm) in diameter. Brush off any excess flour and transfer it to a 9-inch (23cm) pie plate or pan. Fold the overhanging edges under, and crimp the dough around the rim of the pie plate.
4. To bake the pie dough, preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Prick the pie dough a few times with a fork. Line the pie dough with aluminum foil and fill halfway with beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake the pie dough until the dough is golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Lift out the foil with the weights, and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until the dough is well-browned. Turn the oven down to 350ºF (180ºC).
5. While the crust is baking, make the pumpkin filling by mixing together the pumpkin puree, cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and nutmeg, salt, vanilla, and Cognac or brandy in a blender or with an immersion mixer.
6. In a medium saucepan, gently heat the filling, stirring constantly, just until it’s warm to the touch. Do not overheat as you don’t want to scramble the filling. (Eggs begin to cook at approximately 140ºF, 60ºC.)
7. Pour the warm filling into the prebaked pie shell and bake until when you jiggle the pie, the center looks just about set, about 45 to 50 minutes. The pie should puff up a little but still be slightly jiggly in the middle. To be safe, start checking it about 10 minutes before the suggested times. Let pie cool completely on wire rack. Once cool, the pie can be chilled (for up to two days), or left at room temperature for serving.
8. For the marshmallow topping, sprinkle the gelatin over the 1/4 cup cold water in a small bowl. In a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the remaining 1/3 cup water with the corn syrup and sugar. When the sugar syrup has reached around 210ºF (99ºC) degrees, begin whipping the egg whites until frothy. As the syrup inches up to 245ºF (118ºC), increase the mixer speed to high and slowly dribble the syrup into the whites as they are whipping, being careful to avoid pouring on the whip. (You don’t want the syrup flinging away and sticking to the sides of the bowl.)
9. Scrape the softened gelatin into the warm pan that was being used to make the syrup, and stir until dissolved. Slowly drizzle the gelatin into the whites as they are whipping, being careful to avoid pouring it on the whip. Add the vanilla and continue to beat for 5-10 minutes, until room temperature.
10. Preheat the oven to 450Fº (230ºC) and put the rack on the upper third of the oven.
11. With a spatula, swirl the marshmallow over the entire top of the pie, making billowy peaks and crannies. Bake the pie for 4 to 5 minutes or until the top is deep golden brown. (As mentioned, you can get it a little darker than the one I made for this post.) Be sure to watch it carefully as each oven is different. Let cool before slicing.

Notes: The corn syrup is necessary for the marshmallows for them to have the right texture. The most widely available brand no longer has high-fructose corn syrup in it.

Some may ask about using agar-agar in place of the gelatin. I’ve not used it so can’t advise, but you can read more about gelatin and substitutions (including using sheets of gelatin) at my post: How to use gelatin. There is kosher fish gelatin although I’ve not used it.

The best way to slice the pie neatly is to use a thin, sharp knife dipping in a glass of warm water. After making each slice, wipe the blade clean and dip it again in warm water, shaking off most of the excess water before making the next slice.

Do-ahead tips: The dough can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated, or frozen for up to two months. It can be rolled out and placed in the pan before being frozen if you wish. Don’t defrost it before baking: just line with foil, fill with pie weights, and bake. It may take a few extra minutes to bake.

The filling can be made up for two days in advance and warmed slightly before adding it to the baking pie crust.

The pie can be refrigerated with the marshmallow topping on it, browned or not. Browning the pie in advance and chilling it will make the topping a little tough and harder to slice. If not browned in advance (which I recommend), you can brown it at your convenience. The pie can be served at room temperature or chilled.

Related Recipes

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Homemade Marshmallows

Sweet Potato and Apricot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cranberry Raisin Pie

Pecan Pie with Bourbon and Ginger

French Apple Pie

Calissons d’Aix (Video, FiveEuroFood)

 

 


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78 comments

  • Gayle
    November 19, 2015 10:35pm

    absolutely agree about Boston Cream Pie….I could eat the whole thing no worries

  • Helen
    November 19, 2015 10:39pm

    Oh, my, what a pie! I don’t generally like anything marshmallow but this I might try. Beautiful post as usual, thanks. BTW, I also wish, at times, to have a kitchen door.

  • Lisa McNamara
    November 19, 2015 10:44pm

    Two things: this pumpkin pie recipe reminds me of the one that Richard Sax included in his wonderful book, along with the story that makes me shed a tear every Thanksgiving when i think of it…and of him.
    And on a happier note, i, too, am a Boston Cream fan. I used to make it using, i think, the Joy of Cooking recipe (it was ages ago!), but recently have found (and i am not alone in this) that Safeway, here in the good old US, makes the best BCP around. It is perfection. And what’s better (and truly dangerous) is that occasionally, on $5 Fridays, they sell them for five bucks. I doubt i could even bake one myself for less than that (never mind the time it takes!) but those are red-letter days here in my household! So next time you visit SF, be sure to stroll by Safeway in search of one. I promise you will not be sorry.

    • Christine
      November 19, 2015 10:55pm

      Oh, I am so sorry to hear that about Safeway’s BCP. I have successfully avoided purchasing them but I may no longer have any will power. We have two stores in the area here in the Pacific Northwest.

      This pumpkin pie looks fabulous, though. I was just reading Ruth Reichl’s recipe where she puts the canned pumpkin on a SilPat and toasts it. There are two of us and only so much pie that can be eaten.

    • AlexC
      November 22, 2015 4:37am

      As a former baker I can attest to the greatness of several of Safeway’s baked items in SF. A few are shockingly good.

      • Sarah B
        December 3, 2015 7:21pm

        Not to pile on, but hey, I’ll pile on – I totally agree, the BCP at Safeway IS truly, shockingly good :) Strangely though, I always find myself thinking, when I buy a BCP, “why can’t safeway figure out good french baguettes?!”

  • November 19, 2015 10:57pm

    How sneaky you are – a marshmallow casserole in a pie shell. This takes the cake! (Pardon the pun) I do a mean Pumpkin Mousse Torte finished with whipped cream around the edges – hmmmm marshmallow huh?

    • Donna
      November 19, 2015 11:24pm

      I need to bake two desserts for the Thanksgiving table…this perfect pie/topping combo from Master David…and would simply LOVE to become privy to your Pumpkin Mousse Torte personal classic….I have invités who are much more open to pumpkin in mousse or cake form than in a crust!

  • November 19, 2015 10:59pm

    What a beautiful pie! I’ll bet the marshmallow topping would get along very well with my dad’s chocolate cream pie, too.

  • Nikki
    November 19, 2015 11:01pm

    Is a Boston Cream Pie the next recipe to come along?
    I also love a GOOD Boston Cream Pie and can not stand the marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes. I prefer my sweet potatoes baked and forget the goop that usually goes with them.
    Now this marshmallow topping looks spectacular!
    And no to no door on the next kitchen, that would be an excuse not to help with the dishes.

  • November 19, 2015 11:31pm

    David I was just looking for a pumpkin pie recipe and this will be it. I love the idea of a marshmallow topping – it’s brilliant!!!

  • amy
    November 19, 2015 11:34pm

    I am a big fan of your writing, opinions, and recipes -especially the apple jelly. my family probably gets tired of “David Leibovitz says.” The reason i am commenting is that i heard the manufacturer of canned pumpkin on NPR one year and he essentially said that canned “pumpkin” is butternut squash which i believed because when i tried steaming pumpkin for a pie- yuck…

  • November 19, 2015 11:53pm

    I, too, dream of a kitchen with a door so I can be all alone, quiet, no people or small animals in my way while I cook. Never going to happen.
    I need to find out what all this fuss is about Boston Cream Pie. I’ve never tried it. But I sure do love marshmallows! Can’t wait to put this fluffy marshmallow heaven on top of my pumpkin pie. Beautiful!

  • Corrie
    November 19, 2015 11:54pm

    The instructions say to mix the crust in a mixer, but the pictures look like a food processor was used. Which do you recommend and why? Love you blog and books. As an American living in Paris also, your tips on finding ingredients has been extremely helpful.

  • Kim
    November 19, 2015 11:59pm

    This is such perfect timing! I’ve spent the last couple days looking to see whether you had a pumpkin pie recipe and couldn’t find one, so was about to try the butternut squash pie recipe from ‘Ready for Dessert’. Now I’m not sure which one I should try.. probably both? :)

  • Meryl
    November 20, 2015 12:32am

    I am wondering if this would work with Marshmallow Fluff. I am lazy and my parents keep kosher, so Fluff would be a good and easy substitute. And I am too busy cleaning to even think of searchng dor fish gelatin.

    • November 20, 2015 1:04am
      David Lebovitz

      I like Fluff but haven’t had it in a long, long time. If I recall, it’s somewhat thick so if you use it, you might want to not lay it on so heavily. If you try it – let me know how it works out!

      • Monica
        November 20, 2015 5:14am

        In my experience the jarred fluff will brown nicely, and of course taste sweet and delicious, but it won’t mound high into the beautiful peaks of your topping. As it heats it loses all its’ volume, but still looks tasty and golden brown.

  • Amy
    November 20, 2015 12:46am

    David, why do you prefer butternut instead of a hubbard or kabocha-style squash? I’ve near-universally found the latter two both more intensely flavored and more densely textured than butternut (or, heaven forbid, sugar pumpkin). I’m of a mind that the number one reason for people not to like pumpkin pie is that they’ve never had it made with a flavorful squash. Canned pumpkin and a lot of fresh squash just don’t taste like much.

    • November 20, 2015 1:07am
      David Lebovitz

      I very rarely used canned but sometimes for the sake of recipes, I offer it as an option since not everyone wants to cook and puree fresh pumpkin. I don’t find canned pumpkin all that bad and used it for this pie and it came out great. I roast pumpkins and squash all the time to eat for dinner (kuri are currently a favorite). I like to offer options, but people have their favorites and some varieties aren’t widely available in certain parts of the U.S., and the world.

  • Patty
    November 20, 2015 12:54am

    I love Boston cream pie too. Joanne Chang has a good recipe in her flour cookbook.
    She freezes it before pouring warm ganache over it, so I cut it in half and only ganache 1/2 at a time.
    David do you think freshly baked sweet potato could be substituted for pumpkin without adversely affecting the consistency?
    Thanks, Happy Thanksgiving

    • BananaBirkLarsen
      November 20, 2015 7:13am

      My family always used baked sweet potato for our “pumpkin” pies and, personally, I think it’s better. Creamier and with a fuller flavour, and much easier to deal with than whole pumpkin or squash (No seeds! No guts! Easy to peel!) This year I’m doing 50/50 sugar pumpkin and sweet potato.

  • Susan
    November 20, 2015 12:57am

    I have found that if you take the canned pumpkin and reduce it on the stove, it makes a less squashie textured pie. If I reduce it too much, I can add some mashed sweet potato to it and it works fine. (I just use that canned Princella sweet potato; they’re inexpensive.) Why not marshmallow topping instead of whipped cream? We do it as a side dish at dinner!

    Boston Cream Pie…my favorite cake/pie! The Safeway one mentioned above is okay if you scrape the chocolate topping off. It’s too thick and has a shortening-ie mouth feel as well as weak (fake?)chocolate flavor to it. I almost never get anything chocolate when out; you never know what shortcuts are taken, especially at grocery store bakeries.

  • amira
    November 20, 2015 1:22am

    hello, merci for the recipe! Question: do I need to cool the pie crust before putting the filling in it? Also, do I grease the pie tin before putting dough in it?

  • Susan Bovee
    November 20, 2015 1:27am

    OMG. You’ve really done it now! First, everyone I knew as a child did not bake the crust blind, nor did they use your delectable spice mixture in the filling, nor warm it before baking the filled pie! I am now in pie heaven! Then, you put a homemade marshmallow topping that sounds out of this world. I bow before you. I am not worthy. I am not worthy. TYTYTYTYTY

  • Deborah W.
    November 20, 2015 2:36am

    David,

    First of all, this looks delicious and thank you for the recipe. I’ve been wanting to ask this pie question for years to a forum of folks who might know. I’ve baked pies occasionally for years, even spent a summer perfecting my house version of apple pie. But I have never, EVER, been able to avoid shrinkage when baking an empty pie shell. And I can’t help but think of the Seinfeld character George Costanza whenever I mutter that dreaded work…..shrinkage. It’s equally embarrassing (and frustrating) as a baker to baby it along with chilling, aging, pie weights, tender treatment, etc……and still end up with your crust crawling to the bottom of the pan. I’d love to know how folks get that crust that clings to the side of the pan in which you can put all of the filling. Best Regards.

    • November 20, 2015 3:34am

      This might help. Someone who worked for 20 years in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen said it was the best crust he ever made. You will find it and a photo tutorial at http://pastrieslikeapro.com/2013/06/no-fail-pie-crust

      The key is to line the crust with foil and fill it with beans or weights to to very top so it can’t slide down until it is set.

      • Deborah W.
        November 23, 2015 7:47pm

        Thank you David and Helen for the advice and recommendations re the dreaded shrinkage. I’ll give it a go and remain hopeful…..Merci!

  • November 20, 2015 3:04am
    David Lebovitz

    Patty: Her recipe I’m sure is great. I’m still attached to the traditional round shape, which I hope someday to tackle.

    Deborah: Mine didn’t shrink but generally it’s best to bake them as I do, with pie weights. Letting the dough rest before rolling, and after, before baking is another. High temperatures also help the dough “set” faster, so some people bake theirs at 400ºF.

    Susan: Thanks. That’s an interesting tip!

    amira: No, just pour it in. In fact, it’s better if the crust is hot so the pie/filling bakes faster.

    Corrie: I use both. The problem is that there are a gazillon ways to make pie dough and not everyone has a machine so I try to offer most/all options. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Patty: Most likely, yes. I haven’t tried it but I swap out sweet potatoes for squash frequently.

  • Pam
    November 20, 2015 4:52am

    I saw black pepper as ingredient really interesting! Also noticed the metal pie plate, I guess that browns
    better. Thanks am going to try it!

  • Susan
    November 20, 2015 7:06am

    S’mores came to mind when I saw the topping. I’ve never made a chocolate pie but I’m about to make one with a graham cracker crust and marshmallow topping. I may try pumpkin pie with some butternut or Hubbard squash too. Thanks!

  • Maria
    November 20, 2015 7:49am

    Maida Heatter has an excellent Boston Cream Pie recipe, if you’re looking. Thanks for this one. Here in France, I buy my “pumpkin” purée at Picard, and though it says “purée de potiron,” the picture on the box is clearly of a butternut squash :-). Thanks for the explanation and all the pumpkin pie tips, which will be helpful as I bake my pies this morning!

  • November 20, 2015 1:45pm

    OMG David. (Do you say OMD in France??) Your reason for not making Boston Creme Pie is my reason for not making any pie. But this one is a little bit irresistible.

  • November 20, 2015 2:37pm

    I love the way French people respond to a new food. First they inhale deeply, then break it apart and inspect closely, then thoughtfully taste, then pronounce judgement. They ask how it is made, what the ingredients are. It can be intimidating the first time it happens to you, but it is a wonderful opportunity to interact with the French, about something fundamental to the French lifestyle. That photograph of Romain smelling the pie is architypical French behaviour.

  • Linda
    November 20, 2015 2:37pm

    It ought to be “melons get candied in Provence”, I assume? Because I haven’t seen any candied melons floating around here en province…….except for the fruits glacés in the pastry aisle of the supermarket that always makes me think of chopped-up gummy bears %6

    Okay, I’m just nitpicking….on a (somewhat) related subject, though…how ’bout a fruitcake recipe for Christmas??? Please? (I was looking for a pain d’épices recipe the other day – I’ve already made yours half a dozen times and it is AMAZING, but I wanted to try one that would take months to age – and came across Julia Child’s, with almond flour, rum, 100% rye flour and…candied fruit.
    And…I found it kinda bland.

    If anyone can come up with a magnificent fruit cake, trust it to be you…(smiles flatteringly)

    • November 23, 2015 4:51pm

      Linda, I LOVE fruitcake and the best recipe I’ve ever found is from the Bourke St Bakery (an amazing bakery in Sydney, Aus). The recipe should be available online somewhere if you google it or it’s in the Bourke St Bakery cookbook. It calls for leaving fruit to soak in alcohol for 5 weeks before baking but I find 1-2 weeks is fine so you still have time to make it before christmas. It’s SO good!

      • Linda
        November 25, 2015 4:42pm

        Anna – thanks!
        There’s something so deceitfully virtuous about baking a a slab of dried fruit with just enough cake to hold it together…….for others, of course ;)
        And now I’ve got to choose…*sigh* because it would be terrible to have too much dessert…

        Oh, and David – have you ever tried St. Moret or Carrefour/Monoprix/Auchan fromage à tartiner in cheesecake (or rather, your cheesecake brownies)? Eyeballing the labels, it seems the main difference is in the sodium content…but I’d like some reassurance before melting a slab of expensive chocolate…..

        Thanks again!!!

  • November 20, 2015 2:57pm
    David Lebovitz

    Linda: There is a fruitcake recipe here on the site, at the link. There is also a recipe for fruitcake bars on the site. You can find it using the search engine at the top of the site.

    Susan: It’s amazing how curious people are. I get asked a gazillion questions about everything – how it’s made, what’s in it, why, the history, etc… You’re right that we get used to it and when he picked up that pie and smelled it, that’s very French : )

    Maria: I didn’t know they had puree at Picard but it makes sense. Le butternut has become popular in France over the last few years, which is nice because I love them, especially for soups and oven-roasting.

  • Donna in CT
    November 20, 2015 3:51pm

    David,
    As a sub for the brandy or cognac, I use applejack (as an American), but certainly wouldn’t sneeze at Calvados.

    My family loves pumpkin pie, and always insist upon there being leftovers to have for breakfast the next day. I love the marshmallow topping idea.

    The warming, and even cooking, of the canned pumpkin, is a good idea-the cooking takes away the “canned” taste and caramelizes it a bit-yum.

  • November 20, 2015 5:00pm

    Honey-Bunches, can you dance on over here and make my crust and marshmallow?
    I do fairly well when it comes to pastry making with the BIG exception of a pie crust. Just the thought of making one causes me to have a headache and a panic attack. I’ve tried several suggestion, from vinegar, lemon juice, etc., and I do use K.A. Pastry flour.
    Now, about this marshmallow item. BRILLIANT! And here comes the migraine and the second attack. But, I must try. I don’t want to use the plastic tub if I have 2/3rds of a virgin pie.
    Romain can come over and keep me company. Generally I don’t allow folks in the kitchen while I bake, but I’m making an exception. I’ve decided to nickname your sweetie too. Romain, you are my, Lucky Charms.❤️
    (Thinking of you and all of Paris, daily.)

  • November 20, 2015 5:55pm

    I’m not one for marshmallows with pumpkin or pumpkin like things, but I’d make an exception for this pie. It looks like the perfect way to gild the lily.

  • Amelie
    November 20, 2015 7:44pm

    Nosy in French = fouine ! A lovely word I use often for my brother who puts his metaphorical and literal nose in everything.

    Also, and probably more importantly, this pie looks delicious!

  • m'liss
    November 20, 2015 9:22pm

    I’m an easy sell for anything you bake, but your photo of Romain seals the deal.

  • Bob
    November 20, 2015 9:26pm

    I’ll stick with whipping cream on my pumpkin pie, but the marshmallow topping does have an alternate use. Graham cracker crust, chocolate filling, and marshmallow topping. High class s’mores.

  • constance france
    November 21, 2015 2:03am

    i see shortening in the pastry photo but not in the recipe

    • Nikki
      November 21, 2015 2:37am

      4 ounces of butter is listed in the ingredients.
      I bet it is the fact that the butter looks so white that it might be mistaken for shortening.
      this dough does look lovely.

      • November 21, 2015 3:38pm
        David Lebovitz

        Yes, it’s butter. The winter light perhaps gives the impression that it’s not. But it’s definitely butter that I used.

  • connie
    November 21, 2015 2:26pm

    4 ounces of butter is half a stick there is more than half a stick of butter in photo i still see shortening

  • Diane Leach
    November 22, 2015 1:22am

    Lovely shot of Romain. It made me smile.

  • November 22, 2015 8:04am

    I also didn’t like pumpkin pie when I was little (or pecan pie); but now, I can’t get enough! I was looking for a new pie recipe for Thanksgiving, and I think this is the winner! Thanks for posting.

  • JudyMac
    November 22, 2015 5:02pm

    I’ve been eating Pumpkin Pie for many, many years (in the South, of course), but I don’t think I would ever grace the top with anything but freshly whipped cream. It’s just a Southern thing. :-)

  • Kathleen
    November 23, 2015 1:04am

    Wish I lived near a Safeway! Like you, I could eat BCP all by myself! Tried to make, but never was what I want it to taste like. Your pie looks great. Hope you are well. So sad about recent events in France.

  • sarahb1313
    November 23, 2015 7:16pm

    So, this looks great!! I made a NYTimes recipe last week that just had the one cup of heavy cream, and I must say, it was the very best pumpkin pie that I have both ever made and eaten. So I am now just curious as to why the extra 1/2 cp milk- what do you think it will add? Just trying to figure all this out!!

    BUT, my big question is how do I get my darn crust to NOT slump when I am prebaking it?!? I think I may not have had as much flour… I think the recipe was 150gm flour to 10tbsp butter. It tasted great, but driving me nuts!

    (And BTW, the ginger pecan pie was a huge hit this weekend… YUM!!)

  • A
    November 23, 2015 8:23pm

    Melissa Clark of the NYT has a “pumpkin pie” recipe that is made with butternut squash. It’s very good, so I bet yours, with the marshmallow atop is superb.

  • November 23, 2015 10:04pm
    David Lebovitz

    A: I haven’t looked at Melissa’s recipe but I use butternut squash frequently and have a Butternut squash pie recipe in my book, Ripe for Dessert.

    sarah1313: I used to use all cream then I realized that in the U.S. cream is usually sold in 1 cup cartons and not everyone wants to have 1/2 carton of cream leftover. I also decided that cutting it with some milk was a way to lower the fat a little without sacrificing flavor or texture. Shrinking crust are often caused by overworking the dough and/or not letting it rest between rolling and baking.

  • November 24, 2015 12:54am

    I think I just died and went to heaven! Can’t wait to try this recipe! Brilliance!

  • Jung
    November 24, 2015 1:31pm

    I am very intimidated by the marshmallow topping and would leave it out except I want to include it as a special treat for my son, who doesn’t normally like pumpkin pie. Is it possible to melt down marshmallows (made fresh by my local baker) as you would do to make rice crispy treats and then whip to get those beautiful billowy peaks? I would think the answer is no but thought I would ask as it would make my life so much easier!!

    • November 24, 2015 1:48pm
      David Lebovitz

      You could try that although since I haven’t done it, I can’t say if it would work. My advice would be to just top the pie with regular marshmallows and broil or grill those on top of the pie, rather than melting them down.

    • CM
      November 24, 2015 6:26pm

      I’ve made David’s egg-free marshmallow recipe (due to an egg-allergic child in the house) and have successfully used those, heated and mixed with some milk to thin them out, to top a cake. I got it to a spreadable consistency, then spread with an offset spatula (without whipping first) and torched the top.

  • Mae
    November 24, 2015 1:48pm

    I just want to know if Romain liked it! Or was that implicit?

  • Linda
    November 25, 2015 4:52pm

    Oh and am I allowed to ask what your fruitcake disaster was??

  • nancy
    November 26, 2015 5:32am

    Epic fail on the marshmallow creme. No way you can do this by yourself and get it right. Not to mention that my candy thermometer went from F to C mid process. I now have egg white all over my kitchen and will never do this again. I buy. I did drown my sorrows in your fabulously delicious pumpkin pie. Wow. Erp. Two clean thumbs up.

    • November 26, 2015 1:14pm
      David Lebovitz

      The marshmallow topping is based on a marshmallow recipe, which is basically a meringue to which a sugar syrup is added, then a bit of gelatin, to stabilize it. Not sure how you got egg whites all over your kitchen but when whipping whites, make sure there are no traces of yolk or fat in the whites, which can prevent them from whipping to a fluffy meringue. Serious Eats has a complete step-by-step post on How to Make Italian Meringue.

  • Roy G
    November 27, 2015 2:33am

    Happy Thanksgiving! Your work has made ours happier. Thanks.

  • Joseph
    November 27, 2015 3:26am

    I made this for thanksgiving and it was a huge success. I upped the pie filling and crust by 1/4 to make a deep dish pie. Everything turned out great and the marshmallow topping wasn’t too sweet. Really fantastic recipe.

  • Ian
    November 27, 2015 6:40am

    Thank you for the fabulous recipe! I have made the pie which looks fabulous and am in the middle of making the marshmallow topping (wish me luck). Is the purpose of putting the gelatin into the warm pan to get it to liquify? Because when I poured the powder over the water and turned my back it absorbed all the water and became a jelly puck.
    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and happy thanksgiving!

    • Ian
      November 27, 2015 7:02am

      Never mind, I answered my own question by following the directions. And more importantly homemade marshmallow may be the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten.
      Cheers!

  • Anna
    November 27, 2015 12:26pm

    David (or someone else) could you tell me if the gelatin is in a sheet form? Or powdered? I can only find sheets where I live.

  • Claire
    November 28, 2015 3:13am

    Thanks for the tip on using Butternut Squash!! I was actually thinking of using the plentiful Kabocha that we have here recently.

    And sorry, no matter how you wrote it, how pretty the picture, I cannot stand marshmallow on *any* baked goods (and neither does my 4 year old). I’ll save the effort of making homemade marshmallow for something else.

    • Amy
      November 28, 2015 3:25am

      Claire, use the kabocha! They’re mountains better for pies than butternut: denser flesh, deeper flavor.

  • Annita
    November 29, 2015 7:30am

    David, have you heard of this bizarre thing called “piecaken” where you cook a pie inside of a cake? It’s supposed to be the new Turducken….

  • November 29, 2015 7:24pm

    Hi David. I grew up in central Illinois where Libby grows the pumpkins. It is interesting to read that it is actually a proprietary squash as during the annual Pumpkin Festival there were PUMPKINS all over the place. They were messing with us!
    And thank you for the lovely photo of Romain!

    • November 29, 2015 7:26pm

      I forgot to mention that rainfall has increased in Central Illinois so that the harvest has fallen by half this year. Canned pumpkin will be going up in price.

  • Marlene
    December 3, 2015 4:25pm

    Hi, David. I made this for a Thanksgiving. The filling was awesome, the pie looked beautiful, but when cut, the topping deflated, stuck to the knife, I just scraped it off. I tried using a hot knife to cut through it, but no luck. Any ideas as to my mistake? Thanks.

    • December 3, 2015 7:29pm
      David Lebovitz

      Not sure how the topping deflated because it should be somewhat “cooked,” and be like a soft marshmallow. I gave a tip for using a hot, damped knife to slice it in the post. But you might try next time to spray the blade of a thin sharp knife with non-stick spray, which might help keep the shape. Most of those beautiful clean slices we see in magazines are done by food stylists (and sometimes, a bit of Photoshop), which is why their slices look so perfect!

      • Marlene
        December 4, 2015 1:36am

        Thanks David. Maybe I didn’t cook it enough. Will try again