Creamy Caramel Pie with Gingersnap Pecan Crust
A light and creamy caramel pudding pie with a gingersnap pecan crust. It’s a perfect pie for fall!
There’s just a little over two weeks till Thanksgiving, folks! I have been dreaming about pie for weeks now— apple pies, pumpkin pies, nutty pies, fruity pies, and creamy pies like this caramel pudding pie. There are so many options when it comes to choosing a pie (or two) for Thanksgiving, how do you decide?
There are a few staples I make every year, like my mile high apple pie and my classic pumpkin pie, and then I usually throw in something fun and new or different. This creamy caramel pie with gingersnap pecan crust is something I came up with a few years ago and I’m thinking it deserves to be on our dessert table again this year.
This pie starts with homemade caramel pudding, with some fluffy whipped cream folded in, and all of it spread into a fun crust made from gingersnaps and pecans. Gingersnaps and pecans are a match made in heaven all by themselves, but add to that a creamy caramel filling and a topping of fluffy whipped cream? It’s pretty amazing, and a creamy dream, to be sure.
From now on, other cream pies just won’t compare.
baking tip:How to cut perfectly clean slices of pie
Cream pies can be especially challenging to cut into clean slices. Here are a few tips to help you get beautiful slices every time:
- Chill the pie completely according to recipe instructions. Whenever possible, I actually like to make my cream pies a day in advance so the pie is as firm as possible.
- Use a sharp hot knife. Dip your knife into hot water for 15-30 seconds, then wipe dry and make a cut in your pie. Repeat this after each cut.
- Run your knife through a few times. Really make sure you’ve cut all the way through the crust.
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Caramel Cream Pie with Pecan Gingersnap Crust
For the crust:
- 5 ounces gingersnap cookies (140 grams, about 20)
- 1/2 cup pecans (57 grams)
- 2 tablespoons light or dark sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
For the filling:
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 4 cups whole milk (1 quart, 950 ml), divided
- 1/3 cup cornstarch (40 grams)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (250 ml)
For the topping:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (250 ml)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar (30 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chopped pecans , for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch pie dish.
- In food processor, pulse cookies and pecans until reduced to crumbs. In medium bowl, combine cookie and nut mixture with sugar, salt and butter. Press into prepared pie dish and bake until crust is golden, 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely.
- To make filling, whisk together 1/2 cup milk with cornstarch. Set aside.
- In heavy bottomed saucepan, place sugar over medium heat. Let sugar melt and caramelize, swirling pan if necessary to make sure it caramelizes evenly. Keep close watch to make sure it doesn't burn.
- When sugar has completely caramelized, remove from heat and slowly pour in remaining 3 1/2 cups of milk, whisk whisking constantly. Caramel will bubble and steam violently at beginning. Once all milk has been added, return pan to medium heat and whisk to dissolve any caramel that may have hardened. Boil for a few minutes until slightly thickened.
- Slowly whisk in milk and cornstarch mixture, vanilla and salt and stir until pudding is thickened.
- Remove from heat and cool over an ice water bath to room temperature. Alternately, refrigerate for 1 hour.
- In bowl of electric mixer, beat heavy cream to soft peaks, and then fold it into cooled caramel mixture. Pour into pie crust and chill for 2 hours or more before serving. For cleanest slices, let the pie chill completely for at least 6 hours (I like to make mine the night before serving).
- To serve, beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla to soft peaks. Spread on top of pie and top with chopped pecans.
This recipe was originally published in October 2014 in partnership with Go Bold With Butter.
17 Comments on “Creamy Caramel Pie with Gingersnap Pecan Crust”
This pie sounds awesome! Loving the sounds of this flavour!
Thank you Katrina!
This recipe sounds delicious! I can not wait to make it and share the recipe with my friends and family!
This looks sooooooo good! I want all of it in my mouth!
Hi Annalise, there is certainly NO WAY to overdo caramel recipes. I’m a girl from Germany and usually a silent reader, but this time I had to write you. Thanks so much for the 2-way instructions for making caramel. I totally hated making it, because it just never turned out for me. And after all the failed tries, i had to do the crusty dishes…but with your instructions I got the perfect caramel sauce done for the first time and now I’m addicted! Did it two times already. Maybe you wanna take a look on my blog, where I also spread word of your post.
All the best, Carina
I think I’ve caught the same caramel sickness you have! Obsessed with this pie!
This sounds absolutely delightful!
I agree that I don’t think you can overdo it with caramel! This is definitely a contender for my Thanksgiving pie lineup!! 🙂
This recipe looks truely amazing. The perfect dessert for Thanksgiving 🙂
Hi Annalise! Okay, I attempted the caramel step last night twice and failed both times.
As soon as I poured in the milk the sugar hardened up like a rock. Does it help if the milk is warm already? Maybe I am pouring it in too quickly?
Hi Sara! Yes, it definitely helps if the milk is warmed. Maybe you also overcooked the sugar? Sometimes a little bit of my caramel will seize or harden, but I just keep stirring over medium heat until it’s all melted and smooth again. Let me go back and make sure my instructions are clear.
Hi! I am planning to make this amazing pie for Thanksgiving. I have several family members who are allergic to tree nuts. Will the crust turn out ok without pecans?
Sure you can make this without pecans. Simply replace the nuts with more cookies, maybe about 1/3 cup additional crumbs. Happy baking!
Well, you never disappoint! This will definitely be added to my list of favorites. The recipe was easy and soo delicious, everyone loved it. I made the pie the night before and kept it in the fridge, but I made the whipped cream right before serving because I was worried it would separate if I made that the night before as well. Would Iitnhave been fine? Thanks for the recipe!
The whipped cream would have been fine overnight, but making it right before serving works too! So happy you liked this recipe!
I had high hopes for this because I LOVE caramel. This was such a fail. I followed the directions exactly, no substitutions or anything like that and ended up with caramel soup in a pie crust. Chilled overnight and never set. Especially disappointing because this was the only christmas dessert I planned. There was also more filling than what fits in a 9inch pie and yes I measured correctly.