Fall

Pumpkin-Mascarpone Pie With Chocolatey Cookie Crust

by:
November  9, 2021
4.3 Stars
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Molly Fitzsimons. Food Stylist: Ericka Martins.
Author Notes

Looking for a fun and delicious twist on pumpkin pie that’s no harder than the recipe on the back of the can of pumpkin? Me too, always, given how much my husband and two kids love this Thanksgiving classic. This pumpkin-mascarpone rendition checks all of the boxes for me: It’s easy to make (thanks to a simple press-in chocolate wafer crust and a foolproof filling), solves my biggest gripe with pumpkin pie (fillings that are dense, heavy, and one-note in flavor), and it gets my whole family’s seal of approval.

Mascarpone, like the one from BelGioioso, is a soft, silky, slightly sweet cow’s milk cheese that’s a traditional ingredient in tiramisu. Not only does it make the pumpkin filling lighter and creamier, it also helps to prevent those pesky cracks and fissures from forming in the filling. To gild the lily, I like to crown the pie with whipped mascarpone and shaved chocolate. Because the mascarpone stabilizes the whipped cream, it can be prepared hours in advance and is even good the next day. I may not share my family’s zeal for pumpkin pie, but even I can’t resist a big slice (or two!) of this tangy, creamy pie every time I make it. —EmilyC

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with BelGioioso Cheese. —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Pumpkin-Mascarpone Pie With Chocolatey Cookie Crust
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • makes One 9-inch pie
Ingredients
  • For the chocolate crust:
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) chocolate wafer cookies
  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (27 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • For the filling:
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of 100% pure pumpkin (425 grams)
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) BelGioioso Mascarpone cheese
  • 2/3 cup (135 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the whipped mascarpone topping:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (112 grams) BelGioioso Mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (14 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: chocolate shavings, for garnish (tip: Use a vegetable peeler or knife to shave thin, flat pieces from a bar of chocolate)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. To make the crust: In a food processor, pulse the cookies until they’re finely ground. In a medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, melted butter, salt, and brown sugar, and mix until integrated. Press mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. (Tip: Use the flat bottom of a measuring cup to firmly press the crumbs into the pan.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and chill the crust in the fridge or freezer for 20 minutes (or longer) while the oven comes to temperature.
  3. Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes, or until set. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. (Tip: If the crust puffs up at all while baking, flatten it using the bottom of a measuring cup immediately after it’s out of the oven.)
  4. To make the filling and bake the pie: In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and Mascarpone cheese with the remaining ingredients until smooth. (Note: Keep the Mascarpone cheese in the fridge until you're ready to use it.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust, smoothing it across the top. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350F, or until the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center (or reaches an internal temperature of 175°F in the middle). Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
  5. To make the whipped mascarpone and serve: Using a hand or stand mixer, combine heavy cream, Mascarpone, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat until soft peaks form.
  6. To serve, spoon the topping over the pie, and top with chocolate shavings (if using).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Fawn Livingston-Gray
    Fawn Livingston-Gray
  • EmilyC
    EmilyC
  • Joyce Pryor
    Joyce Pryor
  • zingyginger
    zingyginger
EmilyC

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

12 Reviews

Joyce P. November 30, 2021
After reviewing the comments, I believe I took a wrong turn somewhere but ended with an amazing custard like dessert nonetheless. My niece proclaimed, I don’t like pie and this is the best I’ve ever had! I’ll take it, and try again. Thank you for this amazing recipe.
 
Author Comment
EmilyC November 30, 2021
Yay, so happy to hear this, Joyce! Thanks so much for trying this and circling back -- appreciate it! : )
 
zingyginger November 29, 2021
Thanks for sharing this recipe - it was the first time in 10 years of bringing a dessert to Thanksgiving dinner my in-laws asked for an extra piece! I used a Diamond Chocolate Nut prepared pie crust but otherwise followed it to the letter. The chocolate from the crust & shavings were a nice counterpoint to the spices (reminded me of chocolate covered lebkuchen cookies). And the flavor of pumpkin still came through. It was hard to detect the mascarpone flavor, aside from the richness that it added to the pumpkin pie filling & that the whipped cream on top stayed firm for hours. I used Galbani (instead of BelGioioso) mascarpone since that was what was available - anyone know if they're significantly different? The one thing I'll try the next time I make it is cream the mascarpone very briefly with sugar - it was hard to get it to evenly blend with a whisk (I gave up & pulled out a hand blender to finish the filling). All in all, it's a keeper & will likely make it again.
 
Author Comment
EmilyC November 29, 2021
Hi zingyginger -- Thanks for your note. So glad you tried and liked the pie!!

So funny thing -- I tried making this pie with Galbani mascarpone and had the same problem! It wouldn't fully integrate. I also whipped out my hand mixer but, even then, there were small curds left. BelGioioso definitely works better and is silky smooth from hand whisking. I've also tried a few Italian brands and they've worked well, too. The Galbani was definitely an outlier...not sure why!
 
Aiwei L. November 27, 2021
This is a recipe keeper and I’m glad I stumbled upon it. I couldn’t don’t the chocolate wafers so I used Oreo cookies without the cream - worked just fine. I did bake the filling for 1 hour based on the review I read. Would definitely make it again. And that whipped mascarpone cream is to die for.
 
Author Comment
EmilyC November 29, 2021
So glad you tried and liked the pie, and yes, the whipped mascarpone cream is a must! : ) Thanks, Aiwei, for your note!
 
Fawn L. November 26, 2021
I’d love to hear of this actually worked for anyone. I wonder if it was even recipe tested. The crust and the filling did not set up and I have made plenty of pumpkin pies just fine in the past. I followed the recipe exactly and I’ve never had this kind of problem before. Such a disappointment especially because I made it for Thanksgiving. I made lots of other recipes from Food52 that have been great, so this was surprising
 
Author Comment
EmilyC November 26, 2021
Oh no, so sorry to hear this! I’ve made this pie countless times (including for my own Thanksgiving dinner this year) and it always sets up well! A few thoughts: did you use 2 large eggs? Smaller eggs could affect how well it sets. Also, maybe it needed more time in the oven if your oven runs cool? Did the sides set, just not the middle? If so, my guess is that it needed a bit longer in the oven.
 
Fawn L. November 26, 2021
I used large eggs and cooked both significantly longer than recommended. I also took he temperature of the custard and cooked if more even though it was above that temp. I’m glad it worked to you!
 
Fawn L. November 26, 2021
The crust was just a pool of butter. I’ve never made a cookie crust before but notice this has a lot more butter than most. Did you actually use a whole stick of butter for one crust?
 
Author Comment
EmilyC November 26, 2021
Hi Fawn -- It's really hard to say what went wrong. I do know from past experience that you if you overbake a pumpkin pie, the filling will break and become watery. Also, if you refrigerate the pie before completely cooling it, the same thing can happen. Not saying that's what happened in your case... I really don't know. I've made this about 10 times in the last 6 months, and I've never had the issues you've described, and it went through the Food52 test kitchen (including for the video attached to the recipe). Bummer that it didn't work for you, especially on Thanksgiving. I understand the disappointment.

Re: the crust, yes, the 8 tablespoons of butter is correct. I've never had an issue with pooled butter -- though the freezing for 20 minutes (or longer) is very important, as is cooling the crust completely before filling it with the pumpkin custard. Many cookie crusts call for 150 grams of crumbs and 5 tablespoons butter, but I wanted a crust that would completely line a standard pie plate (or even work in a deeper dish pie plate), so I increased the amount of butter and crumbs proportionally. So even though 8 tablespoons seems like a lot, it's not considering the volume of crumbs.
 
Fawn L. November 26, 2021
That is so helpful!! Thank you!! I’m guessing I probably should have refrigerated the crust longer and that I put the pie in the fridge too soon after baking. I won’t give up on it just yet. It looks like an incredible recipe!