Pumpkin Pie

My husband David LOVES pumpkin pie and only his mother’s pumpkin pie.  Our biggest food related fight was about pumpkin pie and how I couldn’t make it as good as his mother.  Luckily, Cathy was willing to share the recipe with me (THANK YOU!) and after making it for the last eight years or so I have managed to satisfy David with a pie as good as his mothers.  This is a great pumpkin pie, it firms up wonderfully and you don’t miss the eggs at all.  The key is not to skimp on the pumpkin, one can has a cup and three-quarters but you need a full two cups.  I usually double this recipe to get two pies, then David can have one and the rest of us can share.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

2 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 Tbsp butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 cups milk

1 Tbsp white flour

1 unbaked 9″ pie shell

Preheat the oven to 450*F.  In a saucepan mix together the pumpkin, spices, salt, butter, sugar and vanilla.  In a small bowl mix the cornstarch with the milk.  Heat the pumpkin mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until hot.  Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Sprinkle in the flour and cook for two more minutes, stirring contantly.  Cool slightly and pour into pie shell.  Bake at 450*F for 15 minutes and then lower the heat to 350*F and continue baking for another 30 minutes.  The center will be set but slightly jiggly and the pie will have puffed up.  Let cool completely before cutting.  Make one 9″ pie.

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Uncommon Pumpkin Cheesecake

I have been enjoying developing my own recipes lately and my latest endeavor is a Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache.  I got the idea when I was trying to think of an entry for the WMUR/Common Man Favorite Holiday Dessert Contest.  I had to tape a video as my entry so you can see me making it here.  I made three cheesecakes in three days to get the recipe right and then do the taping, it was an overload of cheesecake at my house.  Luckily, I have a family that is more than willing to sample my recipes and give comments.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache

Crust:

½ cup toasted hazelnuts

¼ cup sugar

7 graham crackers

1 tsp cinnamon

5 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Grind the hazelnuts and sugar in the food processor until roughly chopped.  Add the graham crackers and cinnamon and pulse until fine crumbs.  Dump the crumbs into a 9 inch springform pan and add the melted butter.  Stir together until all the crumbs are moist and then press on the bottom and half way up the sides of the pan to form a crust.  Bake for 10 minutes and then let cool slightly.

Filling:

2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened

1 aseptic container of firm silken tofu

1 cup light brown sugar

3 Tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla

1 can pumpkin puree

Puree the cream cheese and tofu in the food processor until combined.  Add the brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add the vanilla and pumpkin and blend until uniform, scraping down the sides of the bowl.  Pour into prepared crust and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the center is set but still slightly jiggly.

Ganache:

8 oz semi-sweet chocolate

pinch of salt

1 cup heavy cream

2 tsp hazelnut syrup

½ cup toasted chopped hazelnuts

When the cheesecake is done let it cool for 30 minutes and then make your ganache.  Break the chocolate up into small piece and place in small bowl with the salt.  Heat the cream in the microwave for about 1 minute or until simmering.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for a few minutes.  Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth.  Stir in the hazelnut syrup.  Pour the ganache over the cheesecake and tilt the pan to coat the top evenly.  Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the top and press lightly into the ganache.  Chill at least five hours but preferably over night.  Serves 12.

Ginger Pumpkin Sconelets

Ginger Pumpkin Sconelets

Ginger Pumpkin Sconelets

Adapted from the King Arther recipe

2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1/3 cup sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp baking powder

2 tsp powdered ginger

1/2 cup cold butter

1/2 cup chopped candied ginger

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Mix together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and ginger.  Cut in the butter until it is crumbly.  Add the candied ginger and mix.  Whisk together the pumpkin, vanilla and milk.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated, don’t over mix or you will have tough scones.  Dump the dough on to the lined cookie sheet and from a 8″x8″ square about 3/4 of an inch thick.  Place in freezer for 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 425*F.  Using a pizza cutter cut the dough into sixteen squares and then cut each square into two triangles.  You should have 32 small triangles now.  Spread them out on the cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for five minutes and then move to cooling rack and cool completely.  Make 32 scones.

Vanilla Glaze

1 cup sifted confectioners sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 Tbsp milk

Mix all ingredients together until it forms a thin glaze.  Drizzle the glaze over the scones to coat the top of each one.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake

Forget Pumpkin Pie this Thanksgiving, what you need is some Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake!  I was a little intimidated by the number of steps in this recipe but it actually came together pretty fast.  I would defiantly recommend making this the day before you need it, the flavors really melded and got more intense overnight.  The cinnamon is really powerful, almost spicy.  Next time I might forget the vanilla part and make it just cinnamon and pumpkin.  The swirls look really pretty and make a nice presentation.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake

Adapted from “The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes”

Crust

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

5 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted

Filling

2 8oz containers of cream cheese or soy cream cheese (I used cream cheese)

1 aseptic container firm tofu

1 cup sugar, divided

3 Tbsp cornstarch, divided

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp milk

1 Tbsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan.

Crust:

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon.  Add the melted butter and mix to form wet crumbs.  Press mixture into the springform pan and using a spoon form a crust part way up the sides of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Filling:

Combine the cream cheese, tofu, 1/2 cup of the sugar, 2 Tbsp of the cornstarch and vanilla in a food processor or blender.  Blend well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Pour 1 1/2 cups of the mixture into a separate bowl and set aside.  Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp cornstarch, pumpkin puree and spices to food processor.  Mix well.

From reserved filling remove three tablespoons to a small bowl.  Add milk and cinnamon to reserved three tablespoons.  Mix well.

To Assemble:

In the springform pan, alternate scoops of vanilla filling and pumpkin filling.  Drop small spoonfuls of cinnamon mixture over the top.  Wiggle pan to settle contents and then draw a knife through the filling to marble.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until center is set but still slightly jiggly.  Let cool completely then cover and set in fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.  Best if left in fridge overnight.  Serves 8-12.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake 2

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

It has been a crazy week here at the farm.  Last Sunday we had almost five hundred people here to carve over 1300 pumpkins for our annual Pumpkin Lighting.  Here are some of the pumpkins during the day.

Jack-O-Lanterns

Jack-O-Lanterns 2

Jack-O-Lanterns

I made a bunch of baked goods to share with our carvers and my favorite new recipe is for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.  They were nice and spicy with a good pumpkin flavor.  The filling was great tasting but I would want a firmer filling next time, maybe more cream cheese would do it.  I would definitely fill these and let them sit over night in the fridge.  They must have been good because they were gone in no time, luckily I had eaten two before they were put out for the carvers!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Adapted from Martha Stewart and Baked

FOR THE PUMPKIN WHOOPIE COOKIES

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp ground ginger

1 Tbsp ground cloves

2 cups firmly packed dark-brown sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

3 cups pumpkin puree, chilled

2 Tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE CREAM-CHEESE FILLING

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350*F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until well combined. Add pumpkin puree and whisk until combined. Add milk and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Sprinkle flour mixture over pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.  Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.  For the filling, sift confectioner’ sugar into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, beat just until smooth. (Filling can be made up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate; let stand at room temperature to soften before using.)

To assemble the whoopie pies: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer filling to a disposable pastry bag (or ziploc bag) and snip the end. When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Nutella Cupcakes

It is fall here at the farm and the pumpkins are glowing in the field.  We must have about three thousand pumpkins right now.  They are slowly finding new homes and hopefully we will have plenty left for the annual pumpkin carving the Saturday before Halloween.

Field of Pumpkins

I have been planning to do some pumpkin recipes and was excited to learn that the Cupcake Hero ingredient was pumpkin this month.  My first instinct was chocolate and pumpkin but I have seen so many chocolate chip pumpkin cupcakes lately that I want to put a different spin on it.  Then it hit me….Nutella!

This is my new favorite cupcakes ever.  They are moist and pumpkiny with a surprise hit of Nutella in the middle and a Cream Cheese Nutella frosting.  The pumpkin and Nutella go together really well, the hazelnut flavor really compliments the pumpkin and of course chocolate makes everything better.

Pumpkin Nutella Cupcakes

Pumpkin Nutella Cupcakes

3 Tbsp milk

1 cup oil

1 can pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups sugar

2 1/2 cups white wheat or all-purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup Nutella

Pre-heat the oven to 350*F.  Line two muffin tins with paper liners.  Mix together the milk, oil, pumpkin and vanilla.  Sift together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just mixed.  Put two tablespoons of batter in the bottom of each muffin cup.  In the center of each cup drop one teaspoon of Nutella and then top with an additional two tablespoons of batter.  Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for five minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Makes 24 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Nutella Frosting

1 8oz package of Cream Cheese

2/3 cups Nutella

Beat cream cheese and Nutella together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Use a pastry bag or a sandwich bag with the corner cut off to frost the top of your cupcakes.  I tried to make little witches hats in honor of Halloween on my cupcakes.  Make about 1 2/3 cups frosting, enough for 24 cupcakes.