Pumpkin Pie 3 Ways

Posted: Friday, November 18, 2016 in Baking, Dessert, Entertaining Ideas, Family-Friendly, Harvest Baking

Every family has its own holiday traditions, and each year new favorites are discovered and requested the following year. This year, I decided to try pumpkin pie in three ways: pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cake and a standard pumpkin pie.

As a kid, we always had Thanksgiving at my Aunt Dixie’s house. Pumpkin pie was the epitome of Thanksgiving to me. We enjoyed it only once a year and any other pumpkin pie would always be measured against her perfect recipe. This pie was so good that all of us kids would eat slice after slice. We’d all run around outside, make extra room for pumpkin pie, then come back in to eat more. It was a fun tradition that I get to see the next generation of kids in our family do today. I wanted to share my Aunt’s pumpkin pie recipe with her permission. She isn’t sure where she got the original recipe, but she’s been making it for Thanksgiving for decades. Every time she makes it, she uses the recipe as a general guideline, making small changes here and there. But every time, it comes out as the best pumpkin pie recipe ever.

Recipe #1: Aunt Dixie’s Pumpkin Pie

Classic Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie is perfectly spiced-just the right amount of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg that aren’t overwhelming for younger palates. You can make this pie ahead of time, freeze it a couple of weeks and then bake it the day before Thanksgiving when you need it. When you pair the pie filling with a homemade pie crust, it is the best pumpkin pie ever. The crust is flaky and slightly puffed from the addition of baking powder. I like to use up any leftover crust to make little sweet treats. I just cut shapes out of the pie dough, top with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. The pie crust bites can be baked simultaneously with the pie, just remove after 10 minutes or when the edges turn golden brown.

Filling:

  • 15 oz. canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 12 oz. evaporated milk

Clabber Girl Pie Crust Recipe:
(watch our 60 second video on how to make pie crust here)

  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 10 Tbsp. butter cold and cut into chunks
  • 3-4 Tbsp. ice water as needed

To prepare the pie crust:

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs with some pea-size pieces of butter. Gradually stir in enough of the water for the dough to clump together. Gather up the dough and form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled but not hard, 1-2 hours.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 1/8-inch thick round. Transfer to a 10-inch pie dish, trimming the dough to a 1/2-inch overhang around the edges of the dish. Tuck the overhang under the dough on the rim and flute the edges.

To prepare the filling:

Mix ingredients in order. Pour into uncooked pie crust and bake at 425° F. for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350° F. and continue to bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Recipe #2: Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

This cheesecake is smooth and light with a slightly sweet, slightly sour finish. You can either make it as two 9-inch pies or one spring form cake as the recipe advises. The cheesecake does take a long time in the oven, but could be made a few days in advance and refrigerated. Completely cool the cake before refrigerating. If you wrap it in foil or plastic before it is cool, condensation can drip on top of the pie and make the sour cream look thin.

Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 c. melted butter
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:

  • 24 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 15 oz. canned pumpkin
  • 2/3 c. evaporated milk
  • 2 lg. eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. Rumford Cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Pumpkin Cheesecake Topping:

  • 2 c. sour cream
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

To prepare the crust:

Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and press into a 9-inch spring form pan or two 9-inch pie pans.

To prepare the filling:

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, white and brown sugar and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, cornstarch and spices. Add to cream cheese mixture. Pour into prepared crust(s).

To prepare the topping:

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.

Bake for about 65 to 70 minutes at 350° F. Remove from oven, spoon topping mixture over cake(s). Return to 350° F oven and bake for additional 5 minutes.

Recipe #3: Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Pie Cake

This pumpkin cake is a mix of two batters: a cream cheese and a pumpkin batter. It is very mild and not overly pumpkin tasting. One thing I liked about this recipe is that you don’t have to worry about portioning out the pumpkin batter evenly, the cream cheese filling bakes up just fine. The end result is a beautiful layered cake dotted with chopped pecans.

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. Rumford Cornstarch
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 eggs

Pumpkin Batter:

  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter melted
  • 1 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Rumford Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Soda
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

To prepare filling:

Combine ingredients for filling mixture; set aside.

To prepare batter:

Beat together eggs, sugar, pumpkin and butter. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture; stir in nuts.

In a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, pour 1/2 of batter into bottom, spread it out to coat the bottom completely (about ½-inch thick). Top with filling mixture; pour the other half of batter on top.

Bake in a 350° F. oven for 25 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.

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