Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Pie

Which one is it?

Another pie!  I don't know about the rest of you, but I think that traditional pumpkin pie is a little bit overrated.  Yes, it's good, but it gets a little bit.... monotonous.  Don't shoot me, please.  I still appreciate it, and I've made and eaten it many, many times.  But this year, when I saw several variations of a pumpkin cream pie floating around the web, I bit.

The pumpkin cream pie is an entirely different beast from the old pumpkin pie.  To put it quite simply, it's a pudding pie, with a graham cracker crust and some pumpkin thrown in.  Don't worry, though; it's quite heavenly.  It's also very quick and easy.  The recipe was just like the butternut squash pudding I posted the other day.  You could probably even make the pie healthier by using regular milk in place of some or all of the heavy cream and half-and-half in the first part of the recipe (Not the additional cream.  That would be bad).  If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

It was the first one of my five pies gone.  And there's a reason.  Graham cracker deliciousness, a creamy texture, light spices, and a pumpkin base?  I'm so there.  It's almost like a cheesecake flavor, with a different texture.  It's perfectly balanced, and I really like it.  You should make it.  I know, I say that about everything.  But really.

Pumpkin Cream Pie
Adapted from Pioneer woman

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/2 sleeves of graham crackers (14-15 of the individual cookies)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Smash graham crackers, using either a food processor or a rolling pin with crackers in a plastic bag.  Stir/process in the sugar and butter until well-combined.

Press crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of a pie pan.  You won't need all of the crumbs, so start off with about 2/3 of them, press down, and then add more as needed.  Bake 8-10 minutes, until the crust is fairly cohesive.  Remove and cool.

1 box (3 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup heavy cream
Generous pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves (a bit less than 1/8 teaspoon of each)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup additional heavy cream
2 Tbs. brown sugar

Combine pudding mix, half-and-half, cream, spices, and pumpkin puree in a bowl.  Whisk according to the box's directions.

Whip the other 1/2 cup of cream and the brown sugar in a bowl until it forms soft peaks.  Gently fold into the pudding mixture until combined.  Pour into cooled graham cracker crust.  Cool for several hours or overnight.  Before serving, top with leftover graham cracker crumbs from the crust.

I know, the lighting is awful.  Sorry.  It's still delicious :)

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Did this recipe work for you? Tips, suggestions, or advice?