{Pumpkin Pie} Cooking with Pumpkins pt. 3

With all of the progress I have made in my journey to a healthier me, I have really been working on some ways to make this Thanksgiving enjoyable without messing up the momentum I have going.  I’ve lost 65 pounds at this point and personally I never intend to go back to the dark pit I’ve emerged from.
I have really been thinking of different ways to keep things healthy for all of us at Thanksgiving, skipping the table full of sweets, and planning to have delicious options available.
Doesn’t that look fabulous?!
But, it is Thanksgiving after all, and pumpkin pie will be on the menu.  If it’s not, I have a 13 year old who will have my neck!  For years I have made a decadent pumpkin pie that is always a family favorite, but also very high in calories and fat.  After playing with my recipe quite a bit, I finally fixed a pie that my skeptical husband didn’t want to share with anyone else!
SUCCESS!!
So here is my altered pumpkin pie.
2 Cups pureed pumpkin {click here for instructions for fresh pumpkin}
1 can Fat Free Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
6 egg whites
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
Combine all ingredients well using a hand mixer.  Prepare your pie crust in an 8-inch pie pan.
{I cheated and used a Pilsbury pie crust for my pie}
When preparing the pie crust I always poke a few holes in the bottom so it can “breathe”.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust.
I like to take the extra dough to make a decorative crust for my pies.  You can braid an edge, or use miniature cookie cutter and cut out leaves to surround the pan.  It just gives your pie a little personality.
 Bake at 350 until center is set; about 30 minutes.  You can check for doneness using a toothpick inserted into the center.  If it comes out clean, your pie is ready.
**Add a dollop of freshly whipped cream which adds to the flavor, or make just the pumpkin filling and bake it without a crust for an even lower calorie casserole type dish.
What is on your menu this Thanksgiving?

White Chocolate-Strawberry Pie

Everything is in bloom and the temps are warming up which means the heavy comforting meals of winter are filed away for next year and the refreshing recipes of spring and summer are ready to be enjoyed.
Last week was 3.14; my son kept referring to Pi day.  Then he was so gracious to even quote Pi to me …. 438 times.  
So, in honor of “Pi” day and to make our resident nerd’s entire week, I made a pie.
Refreshing, easy and OH! so delicious, everyone in the house was very happy.
{White Chocolate-Strwberry Pie}
1 9-in. pie crust (I used a store-bought crust)
12-ounces low-fat cream cheese
14-ounces melted white chocolate* (I used and prefer Ghirardelli)
2-3 Tablespoons sugar
1 carton of fresh strawberries
Whipping Cream (optional)

Wash all of your strawberries and pat to dry.  Choose several strawberries (fairly uniform in size) that you would like to dip in the white chocolate to use as your garnish and set aside  Using about eight more of the remaining strawberries, slice them thinly.

Prepare the pie crust according to package directions.  You will cook it completely through. Slowly melt the white chocolate in a double boiler**.  Once the chocolate is melted, dip your strawberries in the melted chocolate and set aside.

Save the remaining chocolate, you will be using it in the filling and pie crust as well.  In the pie crust, spread half of the remaining white chocolate in the bottom and sides of the pie crust.  Then place a layer of strawberries on top.  Place in the refrigerator to cool the chocolate.

For the pie filling, take your cream cheese and whip it with a mixer.  Gradually add the remaining melted white chocolate and a tablespoon or so of sugar.  Adjust the amount based on how sweet you would like it to be.  Once mixed well, smooth on top of the strawberries and pie crust.

Whip the whipping cream a little stiffer than normal and sweeten to desire taste.  Put in a pastry bag and pipe a design (shells or rosettes) around the edge.  Arrange your white chocolate dipped strawberries on top, chill and serve.

*Actually I used about 16 ounces of white chocolate in my recipe because I wanted the extra in my filling.


**If you don’t have a double boiler, use a stainless steel bowl on top of a pan of water, creating the same effect..

My extra strawberries didn’t make it to garnish.  But, they tasted delicious!

 

Linking up with Foodie Friday at Designs By Gollum this week.

Enjoy!

Love & Southern Pecan Pie

August 5th marks mine and Audley’s 16th wedding anniversary, and if I have learned anything in 16 years, it’s that it is perfectly fine to spoil your husband!
{In fact, I highly recommend it!}
We were such naive (and thin!) kids back then, but I have loved growing up with my dear Audley and having the wonderful marriage we do today!  No one ever said marriage was easy, but a healthy combination of unconditional love, forgiveness, lots of laughter, patience, and yes, even a little spoiling sure does make marriage fun!
I know pecan pies are traditionally thought of as a delightful fall treat, but since I enjoy spoiling that man of mine, I can’t help but fix one or two or ten occasionally through the year just for him.  His birthday “cake” this year was not one, but two delicious pecan pies!
Now let me be honest with you, I cannot make a decent pie crust to save my life.  I can mix one all day long.  The problem is rolling it and getting it to fit in the pan.  So instead of spending all day wrestling with dough until the point of cussing, I used Pillsbury pie crusts.  It is that simple.
{Buy a pie crust and save yourself a lot of heartache.}
For the Pecan Pie filling:





    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

 

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon 
  • (don’t buy cheap bourbon … make it a good Kentucky bourbon like Makers Mark or Woodford Reserve, or Knob Creek)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

 

 

 

 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and arrange your pie crust into an 8-in pie pan.  If you have pie weights (or dried beans), use them, otherwise pierce the bottom of your pie crust (and be prepared to scrub the pan) to keep the crust from shrinking as you bake it for a few minutes.  Bake until very lightly browned, being careful not to over cook or the crust will burn when you add the filling and cook again.
In a medium saucepan, mix together the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup,  and salt bringing to a boil over medium heat while continuously stirring to prevent burning.
This isn’t my preferred bourbon, but still really good
Continue to boil for one minute, then remove from heat.  Stir in the pecans, bourbon and vanilla.
{Don’t cheat yourself out of pecans!  If 2 cups doesn’t suit your fancy, by all means, add more!}
After stirring in the pecans, bourbon, and vanilla, set the mixture aside to cool.
In a small bowl, lightly whisk the eggs.  When the pecan mixture has cooled so that you can touch it without burning yourself, whisk the eggs into it, mixing well.
Pour the filling into your prepared crust, reduce oven heat to 350 degrees and bake just until center is set, about 40 minutes.
{Try sprinkling a cup of chocolate chips on your pie crust before adding your pie filling.  It will take your pie to a whole new level of delicious!}
Serve your pies up real pretty, making sure you have plenty of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to accompany it.   You can even spike your whipping cream with a splash of bourbon (1 tsp. per pint) which makes for a grand accompaniment.
Tiered server is from HomeGoods
 
 
So, spoil the man in your life just a little, and by all means, enjoy your pie y’all!
Linking up for Foodie Friday with Designs By Gollum.