If you’re in charge of dessert this Thanksgiving, tradition calls for pumpkin pie. Short on time or baking skills? Pick one up at the grocery store or local bakery and give it your own twist with one of our three easy hacks. It only takes a few minutes and a couple of ingredients, and you’ll have a gorgeous dessert to bring to the table. These tricks are also great for disguising a homemade pie that cracked (a common problem with custard fillings).
1. Brûleé it. The French really know what’s up when it comes to that crispy, crunchy sugar crust. For a sophisticated finish, simply sprinkle your finished pie with a generous, even coat of sugar and put it under the broiler for a few minutes (or use a kitchen torch, if you have one). It’s done when the sugar has melted and is dark brown in color. If you want to start from scratch, go with this Brûléed Bourbon-Maple Pumpkin Pie version via Bon Appétit.
2. Candy coat it. Everyone loves toppings. Pile your pie with whipped cream, and then drizzle store-bought caramel or chocolate sauce over the top. Feel free to finish with chocolate shavings, bits of toffee crumble, toasted nuts, cocoa nibs, or flaky sea salt. Use Handle the Heat’s Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake for inspiration.
3. Meringue it. Clouds of pillowy homemade meringue atop creamy pumpkin pie will make any mouth water. Try Martha Stewart’s recipe for Deep-Dish Pumpkin-Meringue Pie and skip ahead to the meringue step. Pro tip: Room-temperature egg whites will produce the most volume. Toast it with a torch or broiler if you know what’s best for you.
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(Photo via Handle the Heat)