Category Archives: pumpkin

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

a slice of Pumpkin Pecan Pie

a slice of Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Schatzi: I don’t know when I first had pecan pie, but it made an indelible impression on me. The sweet, gooey filling, the pecans, the caramel or toffee-like flavor of brown sugar–when combined, they make an irresistible dessert. (I once ate an entire twelve-inch pecan pie in a day. With no help.) When I came across this Saveur recipe (adapted from a Dorie Greenspan recipe), I couldn’t resist making a Pumpkin Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving.

It really was the best of both worlds, too. I initially expected that the two fillings would remain distinct layers (I don’t know why), but instead when I poured the filling over the pecans, the two slowly mingled. I was worried, but the resulting pie was just luscious. It was probably the most popular of the four pies I baked this year, though sweet potato was a close second. Like most of my pies, it’s best made the day before (and that frees up your kitchen on big dinner days, too).

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake

Schatzi: Someone on a forum I frequent was looking for a pumpkin chocolate chip cake, and some of the other members suggested to him that I would be a good resource. Now, I’d never made one before, but I was willing to try out a recipe or two to help an IFHYer out, so I looked around online. I found a few that seemed promising, and decided upon this one from the New York Times. Instead of a frosted layer cake, however, I decided to alter the recipe slightly for a Bundt pan, feeling that would take a little less effort for a novice baker. I also added a smidgen of vanilla, and I might try it again with brown sugar instead of all white. I left out the pecans this time since my roommate is allergic to tree nuts, and because they’re hellav expensive right now, and I need to hoard the ones I’ve got for pecan pie.
The resulting cake was spicy, moist, and delicious. It hasn’t even been around for twenty-four hours and it’s almost gone. Eli is having a hard time restraining himself.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake

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Pumpkin Pie

Schatzi: There are myriad pumpkin pie recipes out there, but I usually just rely on the recipe on the Libby’s can label. If it’s not broken, and so on. I do alter it slightly, however. For one, I prefer some brown sugar in my pies, and tend to use it in conjunction with or instead of white granulated sugar. I also add a few more spices, such as ginger and allspice. Some might feel the allspice redundant since it is generally equated to cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, but it’s got more depth than that, and should be used more often, I think. Use whatever pie crust you feel best here; most people have one they prefer, after all. But I do suggest using metal pie pans for custardy pies like pumpkin.
I generally bake the pumpkin pie a couple of days ahead, so that it can be eaten for breakfast on Thanksgiving Day. That’s how I was raised, and I love the taste of pumpkin pie in the morning, smothered with whipped cream. As Bill Cosby once famously pointed out about chocolate cake, it’s got eggs, butter, and milk–plus, pumpkin is a vegetable! click here for the Pumpkin Pie recipe!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Sour Cream Topping

Schatzi: Like many people, I sometimes like to experiment with my Thanksgiving (or any holiday, for that matter) desserts. I tend to keep mine thematically pumpkin, because we rarely had anything else when I was growing up, no apple pie or sweet potato. I meant to do a sweet potato pie this year, but I’ve got so many pumpkin themed requests that I don’t think I’ll be able to fit it in. For my mother’s last Thanksgiving, I made this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Sour Cream Topping from a recipe I found at the Maker’s Mark website. It was my first cheesecake, and it came out perfectly. Anything warm and spicy goes well with bourbon in my book! If your family or friends aren’t inclined to try something completely different at Thanksgiving, a pumpkiny cheesecake like this might be a nice way to ease them in; one Thanksgiving years ago, my friend Catriena wanted to make her family enjoy cheesecake instead of pumpkin pie. I suggested a pumpkin cheesecake as the best of both worlds, offering them the comfort of the familiar and a taste of something new, but she was adamant that they would have a regular cheesecake. I don’t think it went off very well. I won’t be making cheesecake this year, since I had forgotten all about it til today, but I’ll add it to next year’s expanding list.

continue reading for the Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe!

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Schatzi: This is probably one of my favorite Thanksgiving desserts now, and judging by the reception the two I baked last year got, it’s a favorite among my family and friends as well. Mom saw Paula Dean make this, and made it for her last Thanksgiving, and we all loved it. It is SO rich and gooey, it’s like pumpkin fudge or a less tangy cheesecake–as well it should be considering how much sugar, butter, cream cheese, and eggs are in it! It’s also insanely simple to make, which is nice during busy holidays. Of course, this recipe does use cake mix, but sometimes it’s okay to take the easy route.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake in my bitchin Pyrex pan thats older than I am

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake in my bitchin' Pyrex pan that's older than I am

One thing: the site advises six to eight servings. This is clearly demented, and in those portion sizes, a cardiac arrest waiting to happen. Small servings topped with whipped cream are the way to go with the Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake. I’ve baked mine in both 13×9- and 12×8-inch pans; I tend to prefer the smaller. I suspect any 2 quart baker will do.

Bake it the day before for one less thing to do on The Big Day.
click here to continue reading the Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake recipe!