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Is This Pie a Winner?

*UPDATE* (11/05/09)  My recipe is now up on the Bon Appetit site and the link below DOES work. Thank you all so much for your support AND your votes!!!  I wish I could send each one of you a slice of this pie!

I received an email the other day from the editor of Bon Appetit’s [1] web site, Emily Fleischaker, inviting me to submit a for  the magazine’s Holiday Dessert Bake-Off.  It’s part of an annual feature they do called “Bon Appetit’s Blog Envy”. The Bake-Off is only open to food bloggers, and the grand prize is a trip for two to NY and dinner at Le Bernardin restaurant with Editor-in-Chief Barbara Fairchild and Restaurant Editor Andrew Knowlton.  (Did I mention how cool I think Andrew Knowlton is?)  So, of course I decided to enter. 

I began thinking about which of the desserts in my holiday repertoire was the most amazingly decadent and delicious of all and this pie immediately came to mind.  It has an impossibly rich and creamy cream cheese and pumpkin filling with gorgeous, luscious, thick caramel ribbons running through it.  It also has lots of crunchy little toffee bits mixed in and is covered with a layer of even more dulce de leche.  This gingery pumpkin cheese pie with  toffee bits and caramel swirl is by far the most popular dessert in my holiday arsenal.  It is sheer heaven on a plate!

I’ve altered my original recipe a bit since then. Instead of sugar cookies, I now make the pie with a spicy, crunchy gingersnap crust.  I also swapped out the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in the recipe for pumpkin pie spice.  But, in my opinion, these changes make this pie even better, if that is possible.

So, here’s the deal.  I’ve entered my pie in the Bon Appétit Holiday Dessert Bake-Off, and I really need your help to win.   Please go over to the Bon Appétit Blog Envy Bake-Off site [2] and vote for my Gingery Pumpkin-Caramel Cheese Pie! Once you’re at the site, you’ll have to click on the”vote on the next batch” button until you get to the Pies category.

Please please please, vote for my pie!!!  I’ll love you forever!  I’ll be your best friend!  I’ll bring you a doggie bag from Le Bernardin!


Gingery Pumpkin-Caramel Cheese Pie


For the crust:

3 cups gingersnaps, crushed into coarse crumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar ( Use more or less according to your taste)
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup toffee bits
2 cups dulce de leche or caramel sauce of your choice, divided. (You may have to soften the dulce de leche to make it “swirlable”. I microwaved mine on 50% power for about 20 seconds.)


In a medium bowl, whisk together cookie crumbs, cinnamon and salt.  Add melted butter and mix until well blended. Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Beat cream cheese and sugar together on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla, and beat until completely combined.

Mix in the toffee bits and swirl in 1 cup of the dulce de leche or caramel sauce using a knife or offset spatula.

Pour the filling into the pie plate and smooth it out. Refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours or overnight.

When thoroughly chilled, spread the second cup of dulce de leche or caramel sauce evenly over the top of the pie.

If desired, use another 1/2 cup of dulce de leche to pipe rosettes or other design on top of the pie.

Chill until the topping is firm.