Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pumpkin Pie

FOUND IT: My mother-in-law shared it.

As you probably know, I cook with pumpkin a lot. This has become my standard pie recipe, though...which says a lot, because I've tried a lot of them.

  • One pre-made pie crust (I know, I cheat.)
  • Two cups pumpkin puree (I use homemade, but I'd assume canned works too)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (original recipe calls for 3/4 cup, and omits the following ingredient)
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
Combine pumpkin, sugar and eggs and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix again.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust and bake ten minutes at 450. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 50 more minutes, or until a knife inserted in the pie comes out clean.
With most of the sugar replaced, this is probably about as close as you'll ever get to a *healthy* pie.

Cherry Pie

FOUND IT: On the Food Network website.

I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time this year, and this is one of the three pies we made. It's received pretty universally positive reviews in the past. We pick a boatload of cherries each year in Door County and freeze them, and this is a great use for them.

One note: The original recipe called for 1 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar. To me this tastes sweet with half a cup of sugar and half a cup of Splenda. But if you really want more sugar than pie, feel free to add more.

  • Four cups pitted tart cherries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup sugar (I use half a cup, and half a cup of Splenda)
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tbsp almond extract
  • Enough pie crust for a top and bottom layer (I cheat and buy pre-made)
  • 2 tbsp butter
Heat the cherries in a saucepan over medium heat until some of the liquid has evaporated, roughly ten minutes. Mix in the sugar and cornstarch and stir until the mixture begins to thicken (you should notice a change nearly immediately). Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Roll out one layer of the pie crust in a pie plate, then pour the cherry mixture over that. Dot the cherries with the butter (cut into 8-10 small cubes), then cover with the second layer of pie crust. Flute the edges of the crust with a fork, and cut a few slits in the top layer for steam to escape.

Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet, and bake at 375 for 50 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool.