A Thanksgiving Dessert Twist: Black-Bottom Maple Pumpkin Pie

Written by Shaina of Food for my Family.

Sheets covered the couches to protect them from the greasy little hands that would scoot away from the table and be wiping their hands on them faster than you could spread butter on your roll. The kitchen was always bustling, but it was full with only one body, that of my grandmother.

She would hurriedly but with great precision move pots and pans from stove top and oven to serving dishes, all lined up with serving utensils and ready to be whisked away as if by angels out to the dinner table.

Still, if you stood silently and perhaps offered to take a dish to the table for her, you could observe the magic from the corner of the room. If you happened to do so, you’d notice first that the encore to the meal was nowhere to be found.

A plate with carved turkey, homemade gravy in a decorative boat, the dressing in its bowl, a gelatin mold, cranberry sauce, vegetables and baskets upon baskets of rolls to be slathered in bright yellow butter, but the room was void of any sweet eats.

Photos by Shaina Olmanson

It wasn’t until the food had been placed on the table, the grace and thanks given that my grandmother would steal back through the house to her bedroom, where she had carefully stashed the pies, hidden from sight until the end, almost as if unveiling a work of art for the first time.

For many, the pie plays just as an important role in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner as the turkey. Make yours extra special this Thanksgiving. Create it yourself, unveiling it at just the perfect moment, when the dinner guests are full and happy and have forgotten all about the dessert that should follow the meal.

A hidden layer of chocolate in an unassuming pumpkin pie, a ring of roasted pecans and keeping it a secret until the very end just might do the trick.

Black-Bottom Maple Pumpkin Pie
4.4 from 11 reviews
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 8-10 servings
Maple-sweetened pumpkin pie with a chocolate layer sandwiched between sweet pumpkin and the crisp and flaky crust.
  • Pie dough for one 9" pie crust
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups pumpkin purée, homemade and strained
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8-10 whole pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Roll out the pie dough and press into the bottom of a 9" pie plate. Chill until dough is stiff. Using pie weights or dry beans to hold the pie crust down and bake for 10 minutes. Take the pie weight off and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream just to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate until completely melted. Spread the chocolate into the pre-baked pie crust. Let stand in a cool place to allow chocolate to partially set.
  3. Mix together the purée, syrup and salt together in a food processor or mixer. Beat in the cream cheese. Add in eggs and egg yolk and beat until incorporated. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. Pour the pumpkin mix slowly over the chocolate and bake at 350º F for 60-70 minutes until a knife inserted 1" from the edge of the crust comes out clean.
  4. Place pecans along the outside edge of the pie for the last 10 minutes of baking. When the pie is done, remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I’m linking up to TidyMom‘s Love the Pie event!

What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner? Do you wait the whole meal through for the pie, or is there a dish somewhere in the middle that has your heart?

About Shaina

Shaina Olmanson is the home cook and photographer behind Food for My Family, where she shares recipes, tips, opinions and her philosophy on food as she wades through the process of feeding her family, her friends and anyone else who will let her. She strives to teach her four children how to eat well: seasonally, locally, organically, deliciously and balanced.

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  1. Cream cheese…maple syrup, flavorful spices, this must have been a real treat!
    Sanjeeta kk’s last post: Wholewheat & Veggie Savory Cake – A Healthy Breakfast Treat

  2. Ok, that’s it. I love you. What an awesome recipe.
    Carrie’s last post: LOVE the PIE…Apple Pie with homemade Filo Crust

  3. This is awesome! I wonder if I can convince my mom to make this in addition to her normal pumpkin pie (a recipe that comes from my Nana). Yum!
    Heather’s last post: heifer international

  4. I love reading your writing Shaina!!

    and this pie looks AMAZING!!!
    Thanks for linking up your beautiful pie!
    TidyMom’s last post: 3rd annual Love the Pie Party! Link Up & Giveaways #LovethePie

  5. Delish!!! I’ll take two. Do you deliver?
    Amy’s last post: A Baileys Friendsgiving

  6. Okay, so don’t judge me, but I just don’t like milk or dark chocolate with pumpkin. But I totally love this idea, and I want to put a layer of white chocolate on the bottom of my pumpkin pie!

    For me, Thanksgiving is really about the green bean casserole. I love the rest of it, but I could seriously eat a casserole dish of the stuff by myself and forgo the rest (except I need a little turkey gravy to mix in with the casserole!) until it comes to pumpkin pie.

    It’s gotta be pumpkin, and it’s gotta be covered in whipped cream. Oh, Thanksgiving.
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies’s last post: International Delights Caramel Macchiato Scones

  7. Beautiful and so smart!! I would never have thought to do that, and now I must try it! :)
    Amanda’s last post: Comment on Trying to Live a Life:Beautiful by Laura

  8. Beautifully written, Shaina! I often wondered how our grandmas got it all done for Thanksgiving (because they DEFINITELY wouldn’t accept help) – and now I know there’s a special kind of magic that lets us whisk it all up in the kitchen. Is it in the genes?
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories.’s last post: Try a Dry Cider this Thanksgiving

  9. My mom’s cherry pie always has my heart. That’s the pie that you have to be quick about; it goes fast!

  10. Oh. My. Yum. This looks amazing!

  11. Oh my word… this sounds great!!
    Laurie {Simply Scratch}’s last post: :Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal:

  12. What a lovely picture you’ve painted. The pie looks delicious! My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is refrigerator mashed potatoes–but I only get to have them if we eat with my family. My in-laws don’t see the magic in them that I do.
    Carrie @ poet in the pantry’s last post: More Kerrygold Butter Love

  13. Wow! Absolutely beautiful! I’d love to see this on my Thanksgiving Dessert Table!

  14. What a stunning pie! Looks amazing.
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction’s last post: From Pumpkin to Pie

  15. Lauren Nicole says:

    This is brilliant! I’ve always only sort of like pumpkin pie, but add chocolate and I’m so there!

  16. What a stunning and delicious pie, Shaina!
    Kristen’s last post: Breakstone’s Sour Cream Holiday Showdown {Recipe: Salmon with Creamy Herb Sauce}

  17. Lovely story Shaina! And this pie looks scrumptious! Thank you for sharing.
    Successful Woman’s Resource Center’s last post: How to do less laundry

  18. What a cute story!! I love that your grandma would hide the pies … (adorable!!) The mixture of classic flavours to create this master piece is simply sensational.
    Living The Sweet Life’s last post: Coconut Milk Bread & Salted Cod Salsa

  19. What a fun post. Even though I’m a huge chocolate + pumpkin fan, I’d try a slice of this pie!
    Tracy’s last post: Pomegranate White Chocolate Mousse Pie, Redux

  20. I meant to say, even though I’m *not* a huge chocolate + pumpkin fan. :-)
    Tracy’s last post: Pomegranate White Chocolate Mousse Pie, Redux

  21. What a beautiful pie! I love that your grandmother hid the pies, Shaina. Thanks for sharing the heartwarming story. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! xoxo
    JulieD’s last post: How to Make the Perfect Mashed Potatoes

  22. I love the way you told this story Shaina, and this pie looks beautiful and delicious!
    Winnie’s last post: Red Kuri Squash Pie

  23. Looks delicious on the picture and I bet tastes just the same!

  24. Beautiful pie! I love the idea of adding the black bottom and I can’t wait to try this.
    Tickled Red’s last post: Brussel Sprout-Sweet Potato Au Gratin

  25. Love the look of this, and I’m not a pumpkin pie fan! I may just celebrate US thanksgiving too this year…
    Julie’s last post: Mulligatawny Soup with Chickpeas

  26. I love that your grandmother hid the pies, Shaina. Thanks for sharing the heartwarming story. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Thanks for sharing, keep up the good work.
    Beth Smith’s last post: How can i win the lottery?

  27. I shared this on my blog with a linkback for the recipe: http://for-the-love-of-pie.blogspot.com/2011/11/black-bottom-maple-pumpkin-pie.html


  28. Gorgeous pie – beautiful story. I totally think the pie is just as important as the turkey!
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction’s last post: Tips For Making Perfect Pumpkin Rolls

  29. I want to try this pumpkin pie..Thanks for sharing awesome photo..
    Pamie’s last post: flat rate movers nyc

  30. Yes! This looks fantastic. I have similar memories of my grandmother at Thanksgiving. I have the recipe for her pumpkin pie and I think I’ll try adding chocolate to it.
    Jay Geneske @ Local Me’s last post: Roasted Sprouts and Golden Beets

  31. chocolate and maple syrup?!? so unique!

  32. What a wonderful way to make a pumpkin pie something utterly special!

  33. This is a great recipe! i made it last night and it was very yummy.

  34. I DID IT!!! And it was such a hit!! It was like a big Tday surprise, since I did not give it away til it was on the plates!! Also piled on the homemade whipped cream, and used walnuts (chopped), since I had a big batch on hand. And I used a store bought (WF) graham cracker crust which I baked for about 5 minutes on low … really delish!
    Thanks so much.

  35. With just a look of the pie, I think that it would be a star when I start making some for my friends and families. I think the hidden chocolate layer will be the great hit! Thank you for sharing the recipe! I’m so excited to make one! :p
    Angel Collins’s last post: Feel Good Friday: Green Gifts Book List

  36. I’m excitedly making this pie right now in preparation for an early Thanksgiving celebration with some family today. I had a question though – when I prebaked my crust in the pan with weights, the sides shrunk in some so they’re not really sitting fully in the pie pan now. I’m sure it will still end up tasting delicious but definitely not as beautiful ass I hoped for. What did I do wrong?

  37. I made this pie, and while both layers of it were delicious — I mean really outstanding, the amounts called for don’t seem correct, unless we’re talking about a deep-dish pan here. I ended up with both too much chocolate and pumpkin layer. Anyone else have this experience? When I bake, I weigh all my ingredients on an accurate scale.

  38. Ive made this pie twice now…its my dad’s fav!!! Thank you for a wonderful recipe!!!

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