Prepare the flaky crust up to 3 days in advance, if you wish.
To make the flaky pastry dough: In a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse briefly to mix. Scatter the butter over the top and pulse just until the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Drizzle the ice water over the flour mixture and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Remove from bowl and pat into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the dough disk on a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a 12-inch round. Fold the dough in half and transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Unfold and line the pan bottom and sides. Fold the overhang under itself and pinch to create an edge. Prick the dough a few times and place in the freezer for 5 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake just until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger and whisk to mix well. Beat in the pumpkin and half-and-half until smooth. Pour into the partially baked pastry shell.
Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, prepare the caramelized pecans: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the honey, sugar, ginger, and water and stir to blend. Bring to a boil over medium heat, add the nuts, and boil for 2 minutes, stirring. Turn out onto the prepared baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Sprinkle over the baked pie in a wreath pattern or at random.
To make the whipped cream: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and cognac just until combined.
To serve, cut the warm pie into wedges and top with the whipped cream.
Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8
**From A Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash by Lou Seibert Pappas (Chronicle Books)**
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