For the next couple of weeks, we are going to play this little game called “How many Thanksgiving recipes can Justine make before Thanksgiving?” I know, I’ve already been down the pumpkin road a couple of times (ten times, if you are watching closely), but there is more to Thanksgiving than just pumpkin! I made the mistake last year of posting Thanksgiving recipes AFTER Thanksgiving. This really doesn’t help anyone, and let’s be honest most people forget they are even there. I don’t even remember what I posted a year ago. So anyway, for the next couple of weeks I’m going to share my absolute favorite Thanksgiving recipes and recipes I plan on trying out this year. There will be a compilation at the end. Why, you ask? Because compilations are the best, that’s why. I decided to start with dessert because dessert is obviously the most important part. This is my take on pumpkin pie. Because I absolutely LOVE chocolate cream pie, I decided to eliminate the chocolate and add pumpkin. Pumpkin cream pie! It worked. It really really worked.
If you are interested in step-by-step fun in photo form…well here ya go!
Weather: It’s a super cool 38 degrees outside, and Zach still refuses to turn the heat on. He will pay. He. Will. Pay. It’s cloudy and dreary and I wish it would just snow already! Hey, if it’s going to get cold, it may as well snow. OH wait, there it is. Zach just turned the heat on =). No seriously! He really really did! He must have read my mind.
What am I doing: Well besides writing to you fine folks, I’m watching reruns of Everyday Italian. Is this bad?
Recipe Fun Facts:
This pie may be simple, but it’s not going to take you 15 minutes to make. It is a no-bake (obviously — I hope you aren’t baking a pie mostly made of cream), like most other pies of it’s kind. There is a ton of chilling to be had. It will take you AT LEAST 6 hours. Hey, I’m just warning you. Don’t worry though, it’s not like you will be up tackling recipe steps for 6 hours. Most of this time is just having the pie hang out in the fridge. I honestly think the pie is best left in the fridge overnight. You want it to really set. It will still taste super delicious if you take it out early, but it will fall apart. It will be more like a lump of pie instead of a wedge of pie. Catch my drift? If you don’t care about appearances, then hey a lump of pie should work just fine.
Speaking of letting it chill in the fridge overnight; this means you can make it ahead of time! Woohoo! I think this makes anyone who is planning on cooking Thanksgiving dinner super excited. This makes me excited. The more I can do days in advance the better. With Thanksgiving being on Thursday (also…obviously), this pie can be made on Tuesday. The longer it has to hang out in the fridge the better. I would suggest keeping the whipped cream and the pie separate though. Just store the whipped cream in an airtight container so you don’t get any of those refrigerator smells (you know what I’m talking about, I know that you do) in your whipped cream. When you are getting ready to serve just spread the whipped cream on and sprinkle with gingerbread cookie crumbs
I used plain old vanilla pudding (yes the kind that comes in the snack packs — don’t judge me). You can certainly go the traditional route and use corn starch or flour and make your own pudding. There are some great recipes out there for vanilla pudding. I wasn’t all about making vanilla pudding the other day. Just substitute the store-bought stuff for the homemade stuff and you should be just fine.
We haven’t paired with Elysian in a while, so we decided to go with their pumpkin for this recipe. Night Owl is a solid pumpkin ale and is perfect for this beer pairing. It’s also extremely affordable for a 22 ounce bottle, which also makes it perfect for this pairing. It has everything a pumpkin ale should embody. It is full of great spice and everything nice. It’s a great dessert beer. Give it a go if you can!
Have a great day everyone! I plan on hibernating, and possibly might roast a turkey. Possibly.
Pumpkin Cream Pie with Gingerbread Crust
FOR THE PIE CRUST
- 32 gingersnap cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
FOR THE PIE FILLING
- 5 ounces vanilla pudding store-bought
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
- 3/4 cups half and half
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
- In the bowl of your food processor, place 32 gingerbread cookies. Pulse until completely ground up (it should look like sand). Take about 1/4 cup of the ground gingerbread cookie crumbs out of the food processor to reserve for later. To the food processor, add the melted butter, pinch of salt and confectioner’s sugar. Pulse again until the ingredients come together. Pour the gingerbread crumbs into a 9-inch pie dish. Press the crumbs firmly onto the bottom of the dish and halfway up the sides. Bake at 325 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is set and browned slightly. Set aside to cool completely.
- To prepare your filling, combine the vanilla pudding, cornstarch mixed with cold water, half and half and 1/2 cup heavy cream in a large saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Whisk to combine. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice and whisk again to combine. Bring the mixture a boil, stirring continuously with a heavy wooden spoon. Once the mixture has reached a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and continue to stir until the mixture has thickened substantially. Add in the pumpkin puree and stir again until all of the pumpkin has been incorporated. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- While your mixture is cooling, combine 2 cups of heavy cream and 6 tablespoons granulated sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer with whisk attachment fixed. Beat on medium speed for 5-6 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Divide the whipped cream in two. Place half of the whipped cream in an air tight container and refrigerate for later. Set the other half aside.
- Once your pumpkin mixture has cooled completely, fold the reserved half of the whipped cream into the pumpkin. Once thoroughly combined, pour the mixture into the cooled pie crust. Spread the filling, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours. Once your pie has chilled (again), top with your reserved whipped cream (the whipped cream you placed in the fridge). Top with the reserved gingerbread cookie crumbs. Keep cool until ready to serve. This can be made a day or two ahead of time. Just keep the whipped cream (for the top) and the pie separate until you are ready to serve. Enjoy!