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1. Prepare Piecrust. Divide pastry into 3 balls. Combine 2 to form 1 large ball; wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes. Reserve remaining ball for another use.
2. For filling, in a large saucepan combine granulated sugar, 1/3 cup water, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Brush sides of pan with a moist pastry brush to remove clinging sugar. Increase heat to medium-high; cook until a medium amber color (slightly lighter than a penny), about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; pour in half-and-half (mixture will bubble vigorously but calm down quickly). Return to low heat; stir until caramel dissolves into cream. Keep warm.
3. In a large bowl whisk together egg yolks, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and 1/2 tsp. salt until well combined. While whisking, slowly pour warm caramel mixture into bowl; continue whisking until well combined. Transfer to a large saucepan; whisk over medium heat until thickened, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; cover surface of cream completely to avoid forming a skin. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface use your hands to slightly flatten the large pastry ball. Roll pastry from center to edges in a circle 13 inches in diameter. Transfer to a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Trim to 1/2 inch over edge; crimp edge lightly to the lip of the plate. Prick bottom and sides of pastry with a fork. Wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes.
5. Line dough with parchment; fill with dried beans or pie weights to the top. Bake 15 minutes. Remove parchment and weights; bake 15 minutes more or until lightly golden. Cool on wire rack. Once cool, spread half the caramel mixture in an even layer onto prepared crust.
6. In a large microwave-safe bowl soften gelatin in 2/3 cup water; let stand several minutes. Heat in microwave on 50 percent power 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until gelatin is dissolved, swirling every 30 seconds. Stir in pumpkin puree, spices, 6 drops orange food coloring, if desired, and remaining half of the caramel cream.
7. In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; gently fold into pumpkin mixture. Spread over caramel in prepared crust. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Top with Meringue Topping.Meringue Topping:
8. In a large glass bowl combine egg whites, 1-2/3 cups sugar, and a pinch salt. Place bowl over a large saucepan half-filled with simmering water. Beat with a handheld electric mixer until egg whites are warm to the touch. Continue beating and remove when egg whites exceed 160 degrees F when tested with a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. If necessary, continue beating until stiff, shiny peaks form.
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together all-purpose flour, butter, sugar, and salt until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. In a small bowl whisk together ice-cold water (or 1/4 cup each vodka* and water) and lemon juice. Slowly add to the flour mixture, pulsing until dough just comes together. Squeeze a small piece of dough between your thumb and index finger to make sure it holds its shape. Follow pie recipe for dividing and refrigerating dough. *Alcohol forms less gluten (the protein in flour that can create tough dough) than water, so using half flavorless vodka will yield tender, easy-to-roll dough and an extra flaky crust.