National Pumpkin Pie Day

National Pumpkin Pie DayPumpkin pie has been enjoyed in the North American as far back as 1621. As there were no ovens at the time, pumpkin pie then, had no crust. According to historians the first settlers to the New England (USA) area made pumpkin pie by filling a hollowed out pumpkin shell with milk, honey and spices, and then baking it in hot ashes.

By the early 18th century pumpkin pie had earned a place at the dinner table, as Thanksgiving became an important New England regional holiday.

Today the pie is baked with a crust and is a traditional sweet dessert, and is enjoyed more than not during the fall and early winter, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States and Canada.

Pumpkin Pie Basics

Baking a pumpkin pie before 1929 required a person to roast and strain the meat of the gourde or squash. Things changed though in 1929 as Libby’s meat-canning company of Chicago introduced canned pumpkin that replaced the need for roasting and straining one’s own squash.

The pie can be described as a pumpkin-based custard, baked in a single pie shell, and almost never has a top crust, like an apple pie does. A traditional pumpkin pie today is generally flavored with spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Some bakers may go a step further and add cardamom and vanilla.

It is thought that the earliest recipes for pumpkin pie may have come from France. In Francois Pierre La Varenne‘s cookbook of 1653, “The French Cook” his recipe, “Tourte of Pompion” is written, “Boil it with good milk, pass it through a straining pan very thick, and mix it with sugar, butter, a little salt and if you will, a few stamped almonds, letting all be very thin. Put it in your sheet of paste, and bake it. After it is baked, sprinkle it with sugar and serve.”

Enjoying Pumpkin For Dessert

There are many ways to enjoy pumpkin. Since 1929 it was made a lot easier to enjoy it any time of the year. Here are a few recipes that consist of a pumpkin basis.

Double Layer No Bake Pumpkin PieDouble Layer No Bake Pumpkin Pie

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon half & half
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 cups of whipped heavy cream, or cool whip
1 – 9 inch prepared graham cracker crust (store bought or prepare a homemade crust)
1 cup cold half & half
2 – 3.5 ounce packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 – 15 ounce can solid pack pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl, whisk together cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of half and half, and sugar until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream, and it is best to avoid over mixing. Spread mixture into the bottom of a prepared graham cracker crust.

Refrigerate while preparing the next layer:

In a large bowl whisk pudding mix and 1 cup of half and half until thickened, fold in pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

Gently spread over cream cheese layer. Place in refrigerate for up to 4 hours, or until set.

If you wish, drizzle lightly with caramel sauce and add a dollop of fresh whipped cream, and toffee bits before serving.

Then there is…

Pumpkin-Pie ParfaitsPumpkin-Pie Parfaits

Recipe Courtesy of Pint Sized Treasures

 

For the pumpkin layer:

4 oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup brown sugar, packed

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cookie layer:

4 honey graham cracker sheets

4 Tbsp butter, melted

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp brown sugar

Homemade Whipped Cream

2 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In large mixing bowl, place all pumpkin layer ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy, approximately four minutes. Place in freezer for a quick chill while you prepare your other ingredients.

Stir all cookie layer ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, mix whipping cream on medium high until soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat an additional minute.

Layer parfait glasses very gently following this pattern: cookie mixture, whipped cream, pumpkin layer, whipped cream, pumpkin layer and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle remaining cookie layer on top. Repeat for each parfait.

Gluten Free Pumpkin CheesecakeYou can also enjoy Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake or Layered Pumpkin and Cranberry Parfaits, and Pumpkin Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping.

Today, October 12th is National Pumpkin Pie Day, enjoy a slice or two, or any dessert with pumpkin in it. We plan to enjoy a Spiced Pumpkin Latte.

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

Gluten Free Pumpkin CheesecakeSome may wonder what this is all about calling a cheesecake gluten free. It is referred to as gluten free because of the crust, as it is prepared  without gluten. We used graham cracker wheat flour, gingersnap cookies, and both contain no gluten. If you would like to read about the history of cheesecake, and the battle over if it is truly a cake or not, read our article titled Thank the Greeks for Cheesecake.

The article also offers another way to prepare a cheesecake crust gluten free, using almonds, flaxseed, and oats (make sure the oats are certified gluten free). It also offers images and step-by-step instructions on making cheesecake.

Here is what you will need for the featured recipe: Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake.

gluten free ingredients for a cheesecake crust10 gluten free gingersnap cookies, crushed to flour (makes about 3/4 cup)

3/4 cup gluten free graham cracker flour

1/4 cup sugar

8 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

adding and forming cheesecake crust to the bottom of a springform panIn a medium mixing bowl combine flours, and sugar. Add melted butter, and mix in well.

Prepare a springform pan with parchment paper, and place crust in the center and spread the crust out evenly, touching all sides of the springform pan ring. Bake  in oven for 8 minutes. Place on a rack to cool.

The cheesecake ingredients are:

2- 8 oz. cream cheese, soft

1- 14.5 oz. can organic pumpkin

1 cup Greek yogurt

3 eggs, large

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. pie spice

2 tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. salt

processing cream cheese and sugarIn a processor place the cream cheese, sugar and process until smooth and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes.

adding pie spice and vanillaAdd the yogurt, pie spice, vanilla extract, and salt and process together until well mixed. Next add pumpkin and mix in till well incorporated.

Add eggs one at a time, processing after each addition, but do not over mix.

Pour mixture over cooled crust.

Bake cheesecake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until center is set.

For best results fill a roasting pan to ½ inch from top with hot water. Place the roasting pan on bottom rack and place spring-form pan on top rack directly over roasting pan.

Do not open oven at all until 55 minutes has past. Turn off the oven and jar the oven door for one hour more. Remove cheesecake and cool 30 minutes on a rack, run a knife between cake and sides of pan to loosen as it cools. Place into refrigerator for up to 24 hours but no less than 4 hours.

Gluten Free Pumpkin CheesecakePlate and enjoy your gluten free cheesecake topped with whipped cream, and chocolate sauce.

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