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While a traditional Thanksgiving feast often includes turkey and many side dishes such as stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole, Thanksgiving desserts are also a crowd favorite. Pumpkin pie is a classic dessert that Americans all around the country enjoy during the holiday season. For this Thanksgiving, try out a traditional recipe for a time-honored dish, or get inventive with some creative twists on pumpkin pie.
Traditional Pumpkin Pie
Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a standard 9 inch pie pan, take a sheet of already made pie dough and smooth it into the pan. Make sure the edges of the pie dough are smoothed down. Allow the pie shell to cool in the freezer for one hour until it is hard. After it is nice and firm, take out the pie dough from the freezer and cover the inside with a sheet of foil. It is important to fill the inside of the pie shell with dried beans or weights when baking it in the oven so that the dough will not rise. Place the pie shell in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and take off the dried beans and aluminum foil. Place the pie shell back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
In order to make the filling, place the cream cheese in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer. Add the pumpkin and mix together. Continue to mix while adding the salt and sugar. Add the butter, half and half, and eggs with the yolks. Continue to mix ingredients while adding the ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix until all ingredients are combined well.
Finally, pour the pumpkin pie filling into the pie crust. Bake for 50 minutes. Make sure the pie is cool before serving. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!
The total time for preparing and baking this recipe is 1 hour and 35 minutes. This pumpkin pie serves 6-8.
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen from the Food Network.
Another fun way to use the flavors of pumpkin is to make Whoopie Pumpkin Pies. These miniature desserts are a great way to get small bites of pumpkin pie filling while enjoying a moist and rich outer cookie texture.
Whoopie Pumpkin Pie
For the cookies:
For the filling:
To make the cookies, first preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place sheets of parchment paper over the baking sheets.
Mix together the granulated sugar and butter with an electric mixer until the ingredients are well blended and fluffy. Add in one egg. Continue to mix the ingredients while adding vanilla and buttermilk.
In a separate bowl, blend together the dry ingredients. Mix together the baking powder, salt, flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Add these ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly and continue to mix until well incorporated.
With a tablespoon, drop 8 scoops onto the baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are set. Take the cookies out of the oven and allow them to cool.
The next step is to make the pumpkin filling. With an electric mixer, blend together the cream cheese and butter. Add in the confectioners’ sugar. Continue to blend while adding the salt, cinnamon, and the pumpkin. Mix until all ingredients are smooth.
Take a dollop of the pumpkin filling and spread on the flat part of the cookie. Place another cookie together and form a sandwich. Assemble all and enjoy these delicious whoopie pumpkin pies!
This recipe takes 55 minutes to make, which includes the preparation and baking time. It makes 12 whoopie pies.
Recipe courtesy of The Neely’s from the Food Network.
Cocktails don’t fall short of the seasonal pumpkin flavor either. For an interesting way to incorporate the tastes of Thanksgiving into a beverage, try this creative drink.
Pumpkin Pie Martini
To begin, mix the brown sugar, 1/2 cup water, and pumpkin pie spice over medium heat in a saucepan. Continue to mix the ingredients until the sugar breaks down. Allow the ingredients to come to a boil. Take the saucepan off the heat and let it cool for 30 minutes.
Blend together the vanilla, half of the simple syrup, pumpkin puree, and half and half. Make sure these ingredients are mixed well. After reaching the right blend, fill a pitcher with ice and pour this mixture in. Add vodka and stir.
Next, use a plate to combine 1 teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice and sugar. Use 2 tablespoons of simple syrup to dip the round rims of the martini glass in. Then dip into the spiced sugar. This creates a decorative garnish for festive martini glasses.
Pour the drink into the glasses and add a splash of sparkling water on top.
This recipe takes 45 minutes to make and serves 4.
Recipe courtesy for Sandra Lee from the Food Network.