“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”
Laurie Colwin

An exciting new cookbook, Park Avenue Potluck CELEBRATIONS is being published today. When Kelsey @ The Naptime Chef invited me for the virtual “dinner” party for the books’ publications, I was delighted, and said yes quickly. Kelsey and I had met earlier at Monica Bhide’s virtual dinner for Modern Spice, and we hope one day we meet in real time too.
Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations is a beautiful user-friendly cookbook, and is once again, a fundraising vehicle for cancer care and research. This book is the highly anticipated follow-up to the best selling cookbook, Park Avenue Potluck.
Created and authored by members of The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), the new cookbook is to be released nationwide in October 2009 and offers advice on how to celebrate in style with a compilation of sensational recipes, entertaining ideas, party-planning tips, and personal anecdotes from New York’s most celebrated hostesses. Award-winning food writer and contributing New York Times columnist, Florence Fabricant authors and edits each recipe as well as contributes to the book.In addition to having fun, this virtual dinner party will be supporting the fight against cancer. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Park Avenue Potluck CELEBRATIONS will provide funding for The Society’s patient care, research and education programs at MSKCC. Founded in 1946 by a group of pioneering women, The Society strives to bring comfort and care to improve the quality of life of patients treated at the Center.

Kelsey offered me a choice of making a drink, appetizer, side dish, entrée or dessert. I tried very hard not to follow my heart, and go for an appetizer or main course, but that didn’t happen. Heart won over the head. Dessert it had to be, and what better choice for Fall than this fabulous Praline Pumpkin Pie from this beautiful book.

I have to admit this is my first go at making pumpkin pie, something I’ve wanted to do for long, and now can see what we’ve been missing. India is not a ‘pumpkin puree in a can’ country, and if we need pumpkin puree, we just need to do it from scratch. The recipe was exciting enough to get me to do just that. Making pumpkin puree is simple as can be, and what’s better than fresh pumpkin puree whenever you want it, and at a fraction of the cost.

Bought a 500-600gm pumpkin, halved it, took the innards out & roasted it in the oven at medium heat, cut side down, for about 35-40 minutes. Scraped the roasted pumpkin, hot, from the peel, & mashed it immediately with a fork. I added the sugar & the pie spices into it at this time itself . The favours were beautiful. The puree can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a couple of days. Yield approximately 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree.

The pie was delicious beyond belief. This was the first time I’d seen a pie recipe with a praline topping, and was slightly skeptical in the beginning. One bite transported us to pie heaven, and banished all doubts. The caramelised walnuts with brown sugar & butter took it to an all new level. The combination of flavours made for a perfect fall marriage. Unsweetened whipped cream added the guarantee of luxury! I’m not to good at making pie shells from scratch, so this was my second attempt. The first pie shell was used in another pie, which I shall post later. I hope to get a crash course in making pie shells soon.

Praline Pumpkin Pie
from Park Avenue Potluck CELEBRATIONS
Makes 8 to 10 servings
½ recipe Pastry for Pies (page 185)
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons canned, frozen, or freshly cooked unseasoned pumpkin puree
¾ cup granulated sugar
1¾ cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons whole milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons dark rum
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Roll out the pastry and line a 9-inch glass pie pan. Trim the edges and crimp with a fork. Line the pastry with a sheet of foil and pile in pastry weights or dried beans. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove the foil liner and weights and bake for another 10 minutes, until lightly colored.
Remove from the oven and cool.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Brush the bottom of the crust with the jam. Place the pumpkin puree in a large bowl and beat in the granulated sugar, 1 cup of the cream, the milk, eggs, rum, spices, and salt. Pour into the prepared crust, place in the oven, and bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes longer, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a rack.

Preheat the broiler. Combine the brown sugar, pecans, and melted butter in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the pie. Cover the crimped pastry edge with a strip of foil and broil for a few minutes, just until the topping bubbles, watching carefully so it does not burn. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool completely, about 1 hour.
Whip the remaining 1 cup cream and serve it with the pie.

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  1. Arwen from Hoglet K says:

    I love pumpkin pie, but the praline topping sounds brilliant! Adding an extra crunch would be perfect.

  2. The Cooking Ninja says:

    That's one beautiful pie there. Wish I had your recipe a week ago when we had a big pumpkin in our fridge. :)

  3. MeetaK says:

    oh this is a decadent and classy take on the pumpkin pie. love it deeba!

  4. Mel @ says:

    You are so thoughtful and I especially love the star effect of the crust :) you rock!

  5. Happy cook says:

    Engery you have for baking shocks me :-)
    Looks so so delicous.

  6. sunita says:

    Love the pie. I too make puree from scratch; tastes so much better :-)

  7. Mowie @ Mowielicious says:

    Another great post Deeba! Those look divine, rich and decadent. Gorgeous photos, love the ribbons and the lantana, perfection!

  8. Your pie is perfect! Love it.

  9. Deborah Mele says:

    Wow Deeba, that is one gorgeous pie! I may have to try it out for the American Thanksgiving when my son and family are here in Italy visiting. Hope I can find pie pumpkins though as we do not have canned pumpkin here.

  10. pve design says:

    Now that is what I call the Great Pumpkin pie!
    I am making this for Thanksgiving!

  11. GarlicBOSS says:

    Deeba, this Praline Pumpkin Pie looks like it taste delicious…thanks

  12. Miakoda says:

    I've been looking for an excuse to buy a whole pumpkin (need the seeds for my semi-pet, semi-wild squirrels). Making my own puree and then this lovely looking pie sounds perfect. I'll try this sometime when there's enough of a crowd to devour it all! :)

  13. Wow, you always go the extra mile Deeba – those little diamond pastry cut-outs surrounding the edge of the pie …such attention to detail! Love the sound of this pie.

  14. Judy@nofearentertaining says:

    Beautiful pie Deeba!!! I love pumpkin pie but that praline topping would take this right over the top, exactly where I like to be!!!

  15. La Table De Nana says:

    What a pretty post!!

  16. Barbara Bakes says:

    What a great idea! Now I won't have to make a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie for Thanksgiving. I'll just make a pumpkin praline pie! Your pie is gorgeous!

  17. Great, luscious pumpkin pie. Looks so delicious and it sounds so flavorful. I love this kind of pie and now want to taste this one! Mmmm, creamy yummy good! Always always beautiful!

  18. Kelsey B. says:

    This is gorgeous Deeba – thanks for your participation, you are the best!!

  19. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    That pie is incredibly tempting and devilishly scrumptious looking!



  20. Chow and Chatter says:

    oh wow Deeba is so cool to be doing the potluck with you, this pie is amazing and I love the decoration of it, what did your family make of it

    so happy to know you


  21. Karena says:

    Deeba this sounds delicious. Your site is wonderful! Thank you for visiting me.

  22. Table Talk says:

    Wonderful when a cookbook benefits carity, and even better when the recipes are delicious. The pralne topping on this dessert would make a lovely textural contrast to the pumpkin!

  23. Nizsha says:


    The pie looks yummy.And the pictures make it all the more irresistible.I couldn't imagine baking a pie in India.I usually visit Hyderabad for my vacation and I find it so difficult to get some ingredients for baking.You're doing such a great job :)

    I've cooked the spicy lamb black pepper/gosht kali mirchi and it turned out perfect.It was such a good idea actually since I'm living in NJ and the winter's just beginning to set in.So all that black pepper is quite healthy as it is rich in vitamin C.

    Keep up the good work and keep inspiring us :)

  24. cathy/ShowFoodChef says:

    As always – LOVED your pictures and that pie crust is beautiful; looks very flaky and makes my mouth water.

  25. What a gorgeous pie. The praline topping is a fantastic addition.

  26. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Such a delightful pie, the praline toppings sounds amazing! Nice to see you at the "party"!

  27. Natashya KitchenPuppies says:

    Gorgeous! Sounds like a great book for a great cause. I love your pie pics.

  28. Debra says:

    Awww… that looks so good. Wish I could have a slice of that right now! Thank you for your sweet comment-always so appreciated.

  29. Jennifer (Savor) says:

    Deeba….at first I was in awe of the pie on Kelsey's site (love the tie) but gosh, again, your photos ahve blown me away

  30. Murasaki Shikibu says:

    This looks lovely. I wish I could have a piece. :)

  31. Your pumpkin pie looks really good (and I don't even like pumpkin pie). I like the praline topping. Wow, I think it's amazing that you made your own puree. I don't think I would ahve been able to, since canned pumpkin is so easy to buy here. I'm sure the flavour of fresh is so much better through!

  32. Deeba…I love the praline topping idea. I will try this for sure on Thanksgiving for something different.
    My coworkers from India surprised me on my birthday 2 weeks ago by making black lentils with red kidney beans, raita and biriyani chicken and rice. It was a feast…3 men and they did it all themselves. My coworkers and I were so impressed and it was DELICIOUS! Peace my friend…you did a beautiful job with this pie!

  33. Joyce says:

    Hi Deeba! Oh my goodness this pie looks heavenly. Thanks for sharing. You are so sweet for stopping by my little corner of the world. I appreciate it and your wonderful comment. Stop by again. xoxo

  34. Megan Gordon says:

    Deeba-you outdid yourself with this post! Amazing photos and presentation. Truly beautiful work. I love the ribbon cut-outs on the pie. This may be up on board for Thanksgiving at my house this year…fun to see what you "brought"!

  35. Helene says:

    First time I see rum & apricot jam in a pumpkin pie. What a delightful pie you made. Hugs xo

  36. MaryMoh says:

    Another awesome dessert to die for. I won't go for a piece but the whole thing!! Looks too tempting.

  37. Happy Deepavali (or Diwali). Should have wished you earlier but better late than never huh. Love the pumpkin pie and I love your photos too. I'm beginning to hate how lovely your photos always look…. LOL! Hugs and Kisses!!

  38. Asha @ FSK says:

    Gorgeous Pie.. love the little diamonds and the ribbon rocks!!! :))

  39. George@CulinaryTravels says:

    A truly beautiful pie. I will definitely make it.

  40. pigpigscorner says:

    Beautiful! This looks too gorgeous to skip!

  41. pinkstripes says:

    Your praline pumpkin pie is to-die-for. Love it. It looks so pretty.

  42. Bellini Valli says:

    This is the way I love my pumpkin pie. What a fun time you must have had at your virtual potluck!!

  43. Sarah, Maison Cupcake says:

    Fantastic! I'm due to make my first pumpkin pie before this Halloween and I think I might put pecans on it now. Lovely lovely stuff.

  44. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    I'd like to place an order for one of these pies for my Thanksgiving dinner please. :)

  45. thank your making praline pie so appetizing. i can't really do it otherwise. a bit toooo sweet for me. anything with pumpkin changes that! :)

  46. Lea Ann says:

    This is beautiful. I love the ffect with those little squares of dough.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I have subscribed to yours. I'm not much of a baker, but love to read about those who are good at it.

  47. meeso says:

    And just when you thought a simple pumpkin pie was good enough… I'm being tempted right now :)

  48. Gloria says:

    Your pumpkin pies look absolutely lovely! I love them and I love your calabazas in the blog (the pumpkins garnish) your pictures beauty as always!! huggs xoxoxoxo

  49. Spice Rack says:

    Hello, your blog really looks good. It expresses the thought very well. There are some pumpkin dishes that I knew but not this one. When I think of pumpkin dishes, the cooking style that comes in my mind first is through sauteed pumpkin, I just add it with some herbs and spices from my lovely spice rack and it's done. Thank you for this post.

  50. Looks so prefect for the fall and pictures are priceless.
    We are planning to host virtual potluck with halloween theme.
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