James Bond Has Nothing On Me

The other night I watched the episode of  “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” where he challenged Michele Albano to a pumpkin pie throwdown.  Both of the pies looked and sounded awesome, so I went to the website to download the recipes.  Yikes!!  No recipes!  What gives with that??  I figured that maybe I was too fast and the Food Network Elves had not had time to post the recipes, so I checked back a couple of days later.  Nothing.  Rats, it was getting close to Thanksgiving and I wanted to make Michele’s pie.  I needed to make Michele’s pie.  I checked back again the next day, nothing.  Now I was getting obsessed……..curiosity was killing the cat.  I needed to find that recipe.  I must find that recipe.  I HAD to find that recipe.

Okay, less than a week before Thanksgiving and still no recipe posted.  Time for drastic measures.  I would find it myself.  Since I had saved the episode I went back to see what ingredients were in her pie and the process.  Ingredients, check.  Process, check.  But how much of each ingredients?  Now the real “spy” work starts……to the Batmobile, Robin.  No, wait.  Wrong hero………..I must go to see if my very own Miss Moneypenny or Q were up to the challenge.  Ta Dah……Google to the rescue.

I typed in “pumpkin pie  maple  pecan struesel recipe”.  Lots of press release about the episode and lots of other people trying to find the recipe.  No luck.  Now I really am on a mission.  I must find this recipe, not only for myself, but for all the other foodie searchers out there.

Since Google failed me, I turned to my favorite website, “RecipeZaar”.  Using the same ingredients I found a recipe “Maple Pecan Pumpkin Pie  #392195”.  The ingredients were about the same, but no struesel.  I went back to the episode and Eureka! the measurements were given.  Using the recipe from RecipeZaar, a basic pie crust recipe, the actual struesel and some guessing on my part, I set out to see if my mission was successful.  Oh, there’s the catch.  I have never tasted Michele Albano’s pie, so there will be no way to know if I had her pie.  Guess the only thing to do is to change my mission from “finding Michele Albano’s Maple Pecan Pumpkin Struesel Pie” to “finding a pie that looked like Michele Albano’s Maple Pecan Pumpkin Streusel Pie and Tasted Really Good”.

Mission Accomplished!  James Bond may have gotten the girl, but I got something better.  A new, delicious pie.  One that I am proud to be able to serve.   You will have to forgive my photo abilities, but trust me.  The pie tastes ever so much better than it looks……..Joy Rising!

MAPLE  PECAN  PUMPKIN  STRUESEL  PIE adapted from RecipeZaar  #392195

2 hours/30 min prep time     Preheat oven to 400 degrees   Makes  two 9″ pies

Pie Filling:

  • 2 single pie crust  (either homemade or pre-made)
  • 2 can pumpkin puree – not the pumpkin pie mix
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 c whipping cream, not beaten
  • 1/2 c pure maple syrup (Grade B – I find this at Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves


  • 1/2 c chopped pecan
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 T cold butter

Decorative Topping:

  • 1 c pecan halves
  • 4 T pure maple syrup

Maple Whipped Cream:

  • 1 c whipping cream
  • 1 T powdered sugar
  • 2 T pure maple syrup

Pulling it all together:

  1. In a large bowl stir together pumpkin, sugar and eggs.  Add in the rest of the filling ingredients.
  2. Pour evenly into each of the pie shells.  Cover the edge with a 2″ strip of aluminum foil (this keeps the edges of your pie from browning too quickly).
  3. Place pie onto a cookie sheet and place on the base of your oven (if you cannot do this because of your heating element place the sheet on the lowest level of your oven) and bake for 15 minutes.  This method helps the bottom of the crust to bake more evenly.
  4. After 15 minutes lower the oven to 350 degrees and bake for another 25 minutes.
  5. While the pie is baking in another bowl mix together all the struesel ingredients.  Using your hands is not only acceptable, but encouraged.
  6. Remove the pie from the oven and cover the pies with the struesel mixture.
  7. Bake another 10 minutes.
  8. Check the pie by seeing if a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  If not, bake another 10 minutes and check again.
  9. Once the pie is baked remove from the oven and decorate the pies with the pecan halves.  Drizzle the pecans with the maple syrup.
  10. Put a bowl in the freezer for about 20 minutes.  In the chilled bowl pour in the whipping cream.
  11. Beat the whipped cream at high speed, scraping the bowl often, until soft peaks form.
  12. Add in the powdered sugar and whip for another minute.
  13. Gradually add in the maple syrup, continuing beating until stiff peaks form.  This will take another minute or two.

Cut the pies into 8 pieces each, serve with the Maple Whip Cream.  Enjoy!