In this updated version of the classic fall favorite, we've married the deep flavor of caramel with the richness of cream, mascarpone cheese and pumpkin to create what we think is a simply sensational holiday dessert.
Canned pumpkin purée works well here — or try making your own with our recipe.
As with most pies, this one is best on the day it's made, but it can be baked a day in advance of serving, cooled completely, then covered and refrigerated. Bring the pie to room temperature before serving.
Roll out the pastry dough to form a 14-inch round. Fit the dough into a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan, fluting the edge of the dough decoratively. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Prick the bottom of the pastry dough all over with a fork. Line the shell with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Transfer the pie pan to a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the weights and paper, and continue baking until the pastry is golden, about 10 minutes more. Cool completely.
To make the filling, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup of water in a heavy saucepan or skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil the syrup without stirring, washing down the sides of the pan once or twice with a pastry brush dipped in cold water to dissolve any sugar crystals. Cook, swirling the pan gently occasionally, until the mixture is dark, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the heavy cream — take care and avert your face, because the mixture will bubble! Stir until the caramel is smooth, then stir in the mascarpone. Bring the mixture to the start of a simmer.
Place the pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl. Add the hot caramel cream and whisk to blend. Add the eggs and whisk again to combine.
Pour the filling into the crust and bake the pie on a rimmed baking sheet until the center is just set and the edges are puffed, 45 to 55 minutes.
Cool the pie on a wire rack until it is completely set, at least 2 hours. To serve, cut into wedges and garnish with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, if you like.