Friday, November 19, 2004

You All Will Think I Can't Cook Without Pumpkins

However, since Thanksgiving is next week, I thought I would share the best pumpkin pie recipe. It is a recipe we worked out, taking bits and pieces from a several different sources. I believe the recipe is mostly from Cooking Light and a cookbook called Cooking from Quilt Country : Hearty Recipes from Amish and Mennonite Kitchens.

Growing up I never liked pumpkin pie all that much, however, the pumpkin pies we had growing up were always from the bakery section of the grocery store or else from the freezer aisle. When I left home and made my first homemade pumpkin pie, I discovered they could be much better. However, they weren't all that exciting. This recipe, though, is delicious. One I would never let go to waste at the back of the refrigerator. I'd much rather let it go to waist. :)

Maple-Bourbon Pumpkin Pie with Praline Crust
serves 8

For Praline Crust:
2 tablespoons butter, softened
⅓ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup chopped pecans
1 unbaked pie shell (preferably homemade, but store bought does fine)

For pie filling:
¾ cup evaporated milk (fat-free or regular)
½ cup maple syrup
⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon (1 teaspoon imitation rum extract works ok for those strict teetotalers)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 (15 ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin
¼ cup (2 ounces) cream cheese (⅓-less-fat or regular), softened
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Preheat oven to 450°. In a small bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Blend in pecans. Press firmly into the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes, watching carefully so crusts do not puff up or slip down. Prick puffs with the fork if you see this happening, and pat the slipping crusts back up into place with the back of a fork. Let cool before filling.

Lower oven temperature to 350°.

Combine evaporated milk and the next 9 ingredients (milk through pumpkin) in a large bowl. Stir well with a whisk; set aside. Combine cheese and 1 tablespoon syrup in a small bowl. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Drop cream cheese mixture by small spoonfuls onto filling; swirl with a knife.

Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean; cool completely on a wire rack. Best if aged overnight.



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