Chai Pumpkin Pie

In this amped-up rendition of pumpkin pie, chai spices--cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, cloves--take the place of the usual pumpkin pie seasonings. You also could use about 1 tablespoon of chai spice blend, available in the spice section of some markets.

CRUST

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut up
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

FILLING

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 (15-oz.) can pure pumpkin
1 1/2 cups half-and-half

TOPPING

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

1. Whisk flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-size pieces. Add 3 tablespoons of the water; stir until dough begins to form, adding additional water 1 teaspoon at a time if necessary. Shape into flat round; cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, whisk brown sugar, cardamom, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cloves and salt in large bowl. Whisk in eggs and egg yolk. Stir in pumpkin and half-and-half.

3. Heat oven to 400°F. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 11-inch round. Line 9-inch pie pan with dough; crimp edges. Pour filling into crust.

4. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325°F.; bake an additional 35 to 45 minutes or until edges are slightly puffed and center barely moves when side of pan is gently tapped. Cool on wire rack. Store in refrigerator.

5. When ready to serve, beat cream in medium bowl at medium speed until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar; stir in crystallized ginger.

8 servings

PER SERVING: 495 calories, 30 g total fat (18 g saturated fat), 6.5 g protein, 52.5 g carbohydrate, 165 mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 2.5 g fiber