Saturday, November 20, 2010

Seasonal Special #1- Pumpkin Pie

Ok, Ok, I know lots of you will say that you don't like pumpkin pie.  Before you settle in on your final opinion let me make my case.  Pumpkin(canned) is low calorie, low in saturated fats and cholesterol and a very good source of Vitamins A,C,E, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper, Manganese...and the list goes on.  In pie form, you add calories with cream and sugar BUT you also add protein with eggs and the pie will last several days in the fridge. 
We like the Joy of Cooking recipes for Pumpkin Pie- they always turn out nice and the sour cream version is souffle-like, avoiding that heavy custard texture some people don't like.  The picture shows how much one batch of filling will make.  I do a pie for dessert with leftovers for breakfast, tarts that pack well in lunchboxes, and a crustless in a ramekin for my low-carb husband. 

Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie(simplified)
Pie Crust-unless you are feeling adventurous and have tons of time-buy the pie crust in the biscuit section of the grocery in the red box- you can form it in your own pan and no one knows it isn't homemade
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 large egg yolks(reserve the whites)
1 1/2 cups milk or light cream or sour cream(I use 3/4c. milk and 3/4 c. sour cream)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
Mix all these ingredients together in a large bowl.  Form your pie crust in the pan and bake at 400 degrees until it starts to brown.  While it is cooking:  Beat egg whites into peaks and add scant 1/4 cup sugar after peaks are forming.  Fold egg whites into pumpkin mixture and fill crusts.  Bake at 375 degrees until pies are set about 45 minutes for a pie, 20 minutes for tarts.
Notes from my test kitchen:  my husband likes the top of this pie- the sugar kind of rises to the top and does a glaze-like finish- we recommend shallower pies and tarts and let them brown just a little.

You will probably have leftover pumpkin because this recipe takes about 1 1/2 cans of puree.  Mix the leftover pumpkin with whipped light cream cheese, add the same spices you have out for the pie and one tsp of honey.  This makes a great topper for bagels and sliced apples.  Mine keeps in the fridge for a week.

PS.  Save extra pie crusts I have some apple ideas coming soon.

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