Monthly Archives: October 2016

Pumpkin Cream Pie

Pumpkin Scene

I am always happy when October rolls around.  I think it is our prettiest season here in Michigan.  It is also when the locally grown pumpkins start to appear in the Farmers Markets and farm stands.  I love their bright orange color and their different shapes and sizes, even the giant ones.

Giant Pumpkins

Pumpkins have been grown in North America for thousands of years and are a native plant.  In 1584, French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence region of North America.  He found what he described as “gros melons”.  The name was translated into English as “pompions” and over time has become known as the pumpkin.  Source

There are so many delicious recipes than can be made from pumpkins.  A Google search reveals a lot of recipes from sweet to savory.

My favorite way to cook with pumpkin is a traditional Pumpkin Pie.  I always bake two pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Here is a link to my post for a recipe for traditional pumpkin pie, made with either fresh pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin.

However, this year I am adding another kind of pumpkin pie to our dessert menu for Thanksgiving.  It is an easy no bake pumpkin pie with a rich creamy filling that has a delicious light taste of pumpkin and the tang of cream cheese.  It is perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas desserts.

Pumpkin Cream Pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 1/2 cups finely crushed gingersnaps (approximately 24 cookies )
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2  teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1  cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

For the Crust:

Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the crushed gingersnaps, sugar and cinnamon.  Mix in the  melted butter until thoroughly combined.  Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate, evenly covering the bottom and sides.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the crust is set.  Remove the pie crust from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

For the Filling:

Place a medium-sized mixing bowl and beaters of an electric mixer into the freezer while you make the cream cheese and pumpkin filling.

Beat the softened cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add one cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice and beat until smooth.  Set aside while preparing the whipped cream.

Pour the cream into the chilled mixing bowl.  Beat the cream until it begins to thicken.  Add the two tablespoons of powdered sugar.  Whip the cream until stiff peaks start to form, being careful not to over-beat.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese and pumpkin mixture and then spread into the pie plate.

Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.  Serve with additional whipped cream and a sprinkle of crushed gingersnaps, if desired.   

Pumpkin Cream Pie

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Notes:
1.  Be sure to chill the mixing bowl and beaters and use heavy cream that is as cold as possible.  This  will help the cream to whip quickly and increase the volume.
2.  I used a food processor to crush the gingersnaps.  An alternative method is to place them in a ziplock bag and roll over them with a rolling pin until finely crushed.
3.  Adapted from Pumpkin Silk Pie recipe by  thegunnysack.  Visit her site for delicious recipes and beautiful photos of food.

We must not forget that jack-o’-lanterns carved from pumpkins are the star of Halloween.  While I may be terrible at carving Jack-o’-lanterns,  I don’t think the little trick or treaters mind at all.  Happy Halloween

Jack O Lantern

Winter Green Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing

This salad should be called “Eat More Salad“.  It is so good you will want to do exactly that.

There is no history connected to this recipe except for a little bit of personal history.  I first had this salad at my grandson’s graduation party.  A family member brought the salad to the celebration, and I loved the flavor of this fresh salad.

She was kind enough to share the recipe with me.  I changed it slightly by using walnuts and blue cheese crumbles, instead of cashews and feta cheese as in her recipe.  The sweetness of the dressing and the saltiness of the blue cheese crumbles are just perfect. The Honeycrisp apples are now in season at our local orchards, and I like to use them because they give an additional sweet crunch to the salad.

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Hard to believe that as much as I love salads, I only discovered this one three years ago.

This is a very easy salad to make and so very tasty you will want to try it.  I think you will love the wonderful combination of romaine, apples, walnuts, cranberries and blue cheese.

Winter Green Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 bag Romaine Lettuce or Spring Mix Lettuce, 10 ounce size
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped apple
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles

1/2 cup Poppy Seed Dressing

In a large serving bowl, add the bag of lettuce.  Sprinkle the lettuce with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Add the walnuts, chopped apple, dried cranberries and blue cheese crumbles.  Pour dressing over salad just before serving, and toss well to coat.  Serve immediately.  

Winter Green Salad

Notes:
1.  I used prepared Marzetti Poppy Seed Dressing for this post.  I’m still looking for a good homemade version to make.
2.  Even though I first had this salad in the summer, it is perfect for Fall and Winter.

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