Burnt Caramel Pumpkin Pie

This is my favorite pumpkin pie recipe ever. The first time I made it,
I accidentally baked my cell phone when I blind-baked the crust--
that's how excited I was about it. it was totally worth it. Use the
leftover pumpkin to make Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Cookies!

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup can unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated peeled ginger
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs

1 Awesome Pie Crust, partially baked and cooled, still on its baking

Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Heat the oven to 350°F.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the sugar evenly over the bottom of a nonstick
skillet. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and cook until the
sugar starts to color. Swirl the skillet--do not stir--so the sugar
colors evenly. Continue heating the sugar until is a very deep golden-
red color. (It will just start to smoke and the bubbles in the sugar
will be large-ish.)

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stand back and add the cream. (it was
steam and bubble and hiss and generally look terribly, terribly
wrong.) Whisk the mixture until it's smooth again, then whisk in the
rum and butter. Pour the caramel into a heatproof bowl and let cool 15

In another bowl, whisk the pumpkin until smooth, then whisk in the
remaining sugar, then the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt, then the
vanilla and eggs. Mix until blended. Whisk in the caramel.

Pour the filling into the crust, then lift the pie pan about a half
inch from the baking sheet and drop it to remove any air bubbles (do
this a couple of times).

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until filling is set (tap the pan gently; the
center of the pie should not jiggle).

Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely. Serve with lightly
sweetened whipped cream.

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