Decadent Dessert With A Spicy New Twist

Actress and baker Arlene Lott shares her favourite holiday recipe

She began her career on one of Canada’s most iconic television shows, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High and School’s Out! as the perpetually keen Nancy Kramer. Not only is she an accomplished actress but she is also a sought after art director and graphic designer featured in productions like Coroner, Orphan Black and more recently 13: The Musical.

But today Arlene Lott can teach a lesson or two of her own on how to create stunning baked treats.

What many fans may not realize is Lott is also a master baker creating decadent designer bespoke cakes, pies and desserts. She is a regular on CBC, sharing her holiday recipes and latest baking creations.

“I’ve always been a Pumpkin Pie lover, and I love to use a flavour profile that’s closer to Gingerbread,” she says. “I had the idea for adding pepper to my recipe after I had some cookies from a dear friend who is Estonian – they have a spicy cookie called “piparkoogid” and ever since I tried them, I’ve added pepper to my Pumpkin Pie for a little heat. It plays nicely off the sweetness of the dessert and smooths out perfectly with the Chantilly Cream.

I’ve been making this recipe for close to 30 years now, so it’s a staple for the whole holiday season from October through New Year’s!

Enjoy a new twist on a holiday classic with this delicious Peppered Pumpkin Pie.

Peppered Pumpkin Pie

Assuming you have your own pastry recipe – (enough for a standard 9″ pie – you might want to double this if you have a deep dish pie).

Any leftover filling can be baked off in 1/2 cup ramekins for your GF friends or eaten for breakfast… whatever… there’s vegetables in there!)

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

400mL Pumpkin Puree (roast your own or buy a can)

1.5 Tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp dried ginger

1/2 tsp cloves or allspice

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 eggs

2 Tbsp cornstarch

Splash of bourbon (like Maker’s Mark) – optional

Pinch salt

3/4 cup whipping cream (35%)

Whisk eggs and sugar together till well combined. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Add in the spices, corn starch, bourbon and salt and blend well. Slowly add in the cream and blend until smooth.

Prepare crust and brush edges with beaten egg. Fill with pumpkin pie filling. For a standard 9” pie place, start the oven at 400º and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350º and bake approximately 30 more minutes or until the outer 3″ of the pie is set and the centre is still a little bit jiggly when you nudge the pie plate.

Turn off the oven, open the door to the oven about an inch and let the pie sit in the oven till it comes down to room temperature – about 30 more minutes. Remove from the oven and keep at cool room temperature till serving. Best made the day you’re eating it. If you must make it ahead, refrigerate after it’s fully cooled.

Serve with Chantilly Cream

2 cups 35% whipping cream

1/2 cup superfine white sugar or icing sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

Have your bowl and beaters and cream as cold as possible. Whip Cream, slowly adding in sugar, until you almost reach your perfect consistency – then add vanilla bean paste and finish whipping.

Put this on, literally, everything.