This is a pie featured in The October 2012 issue of Sunset Magazine. This particular issue has lots of other great pumpkin ideas and mouth-watering photos in case you’re struggling to find ways for using a bumper crop of pumpkins…

With it’s brown sugar and bourbon this filling is a unique standout, but I’d still consider it a classic. The unexpected addition of pumpkin slices adds richness and beauty, but the flavor of the spiced apples plays the starring role.

A beautiful, delicious celebration of fall flavors : )


Half recipe of Basic Pie Crust  Sunset Magazine includes their own crust recipe, but Martha Stewart’s recipe is my favorite particularly for free-form pies. It truly has the perfect texture and no greasy artificial aftertaste like a shortening crust. And it is pleasant to work with and sturdy enough to keep the liquids inside in the pie – important when there is no pan holding the pie together.

1 1/2 lbs sliced, peeled baking pumpkin or kabocha squash
3 large Granny Smith or other tart cooking apples (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbs flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs bourbon, whiskey or dark rum
2 Tbs coarse decorating or turbinado sugar

Set dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a large round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill until ready to fill.

Preheat oven to 375F and position rack on the bottom rung.  Lay pumpkin slices on a greased baking sheet.  Roast, turning once, until tender when pierced, about 10 minutes.

Mix apples, spices, salt, flour, both sugars, and bourbon until evenly coated. Add pumpkin and toss very gently – just enough to combine.

Pour filling into center of the dough, leaving a 1-1/2 inch border. Fold edges over fruit, allowing dough to pleat as you go. Dip a pastry brush in water and brush folded edges of dough. Sprinkle edges with coarse sugar.

Bake until browned and bubbling, about 1 1/4 hours. Let cool before cutting. Repeat – let cool before cutting or risk a fallen, runny mess.

Some notes before you get started: 

  • Rushed multi-tasker that I am, I did not make the dough and have it ready beforehand. As a result, my filling mix really liquified while it waited for me to make the crust. Don’t worry if you have too much liquid, simply strain it into a bowl, fill your pie with the fruit, dot the opening with a little butter and bake.  When you remove the pie, pour the liquid into the pie’s opening – it will thicken as the pie cools and will stay where it belongs – inside the pie.
  • Preparing the ingredients exactly as directed in the Sunset recipe will also help your pumpkin stay pretty and orange. Because mine rested in the juices so long, my filling was much darker than the Sunset photo. I won’t win the food stylist award, but nobody’s complaining – pie’s still delicious and looks good enough to share!
  • Begin checking on the pie after about 50 minutes just to be sure your crust isn’t overdone.