My good friend Emilio of Bristol, Rhode Island, created this pumpkin pie recipe, and I make it every year. The apple butter and spices add a refreshing tang to the filling, and the optional Praline Topping gives it a buttery-sweet finish.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly flour your work surface; roll out one disk of dough into a 12- to 13-inch circle. Transfer dough into a 10-inch glass pie plate. Finish edges, then place pie shell in freezer while you prepare the filling.
In a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, warm together the pumpkin, apple butter, and butter. Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugars, flour, spices, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine eggs and evaporated milk. Gradually stir the egg mixture into the pumpkin mixture and whisk until thoroughly blended. Pour pumpkin filling into the frozen pie shell and bake 10 minutes. Shield crust with aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 35 to 40 minutes longer.
To check for doneness, shake the pie gently. If the center is not jiggling, it’s done (do not insert a knife into the pie, which can cause the surface to split). Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool slightly while you make the praline topping.
Combine corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter melts. Remove from heat and stir in pecans. Pour topping over the surface of the cooked pie. Cool completely before serving.
Praline Topping (optional)