Pumpkin Pie Bread

During the holiday season, there are a few signature items that will come to the mind of almost anyone. Pumpkin pie happens to be one of those items. Whether you enjoy it at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or both, it is on the menu of most households at some point towards the end of each year. My family always enjoys pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, but this year I decided to shake things up and serve this delicious, healthier bread instead.

As much as I love a traditional pumpkin pie at the holidays, I also love to try new, cleaner items inspired by the flavors I already know and love. Luckily, cans of organic puree are very cost effective this time of year, allowing me to get rather creative and try some fun, pumpkin-centric dishes. Not just limited to desserts, pumpkin has found its way into my soup, pasta sauce, Greek yogurt, and morning oatmeal. Whether savory or sweet, I love me some good ole pumpkin. But you don’t need to be pumpkin’s #1 fan to love this bread. Other than the traditional pie, it really doesn’t get much more classic than this moist, sweet loaf of pumpkin bread.

Just like the tried and true methods of traditional pie recipes, this bread is infused with the flavors of warm fall spices and is perfect for the chilliest time of year. But besides being chilly outside it is also the busiest time of year. So if you find yourself strapped for time (who doesn’t), this recipe will be your best friend. In fact, it should be the spokesman for all quick breads, as it truly requires minimal time and energy. Simply combine dry ingredients, add wet ingredients, mix, and bake. The easiest snack, brunch treat, or dessert to have on hand, especially for those unexpected guests who suddenly drop on by. If you double the recipe, you can easily have an extra loaf to give as a gift at Christmas, or you can make individual muffins to place on the kids table for easy holiday snacking.

With all of the good qualities this bread already possesses, it’s hard to believe that it is also clean and works perfectly into the meal plans of those living a healthy lifestyle. Unlike traditional recipes, this pumpkin bread does not have hidden, unhealthy fats or loads of processed white sugar. Instead, it uses minimally processed Sucanat to satisfy sweet tooth’s while cutting the amount of sweetener needed from a whopping 1½ cups (on average), all the way down to just ¾ cup. By not overloading this bread with sugar, it keeps calories low and helps to mitigate the rapid spike and fall of blood sugar levels, which can cause you to crave more sugary foods or feel sluggish after eating them.

But just as it is important to remove unhealthy items from a recipe to make it better, it is also important to add back in the proper nutrition the recipe was initially lacking. To do this, I started by packing in as much pumpkin as I could. Doing so provides moisture for very few calories (only 30 per cup) and less fat, while still creating a tender texture. The addition of pumpkin also adds a good amount of beneficial nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is particularly important, as it is an antioxidant responsible for fighting harmful inflammation that’s known to cause problems as small as wrinkles or as serious as chronic disease.

Once I had added enough pumpkin for flavor and nutrition, I moved on to the flour. Most recipes use all-purpose, which is heavily processed and contains less nutrients as a result. I opted for white whole-wheat flour, as it provides more nutritional value without altering the taste too much. In fact, add in the final quality of classic pumpkin bread, the rich, warm spices, and I bet you won’t even be able to detect the healthy tweaks. The molasses-like flavor profile of Sucanat complements the spices beautifully, making for a delicious, healthy bread sure to be a success at any holiday function!

Pumpkin Pie Bread


Ingredients

  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • 1¾ cups White Whole-Wheat Flour
  • ¾ cup Sucanat
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • ¾ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Large Egg Whites
  • 1 cup Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • ½ cup Whole Milk
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9 x 5 inch bread pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Sucanat, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a separate large bowl, lightly whisk the egg and egg whites. Add in the pumpkin puree, milk, and oil, whisking until combined.
  3. Add the contents of the second bowl (wet ingredients) to the contents of the first bowl (dry ingredients) and stir gently until the flour is moistened. Transfer contents to the prepared pan and spread out smoothly.
  4. Bake bread in the center of the oven for 50 minutes, or until the top and edges have browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut in to 12 slices to serve. Keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 days, refrigerated for 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Slice): 169 Calories; 4 g Protein; 6 g Total Fat; 1 g Sat. Fat; 2.5 g Fiber; 213 mg Sodium; 13 g Sugar; 25 g Carbs; 17 mg Cholesterol

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: J. O’HARA
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Bites

20171122_124753Thanksgiving is only a few days away which means holiday baking has already begun or is about to begin shortly. A staple of most American’s Thanksgiving feast is the pumpkin pie. Although I love a slice of traditional pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream I also enjoy developing desserts inspired by classic flavors. This year I chose pumpkin pie and created these pumpkin pie pudding bites to suppress my creative itch.

20171122_124734Despite my love for pumpkin pie I understand it can be a difficult pie to master, especially for novice bakers. Anything custard based can be tricky and the smallest mistake can be all the difference between the perfect pie and disaster. Of course you can always buy a pie from the bakery or supermarket but many families enjoy the baking process and passing a dish they made themselves with love. That is where these pumpkin pie pudding bites can help. If you do not want to take on the task of baking a pumpkin pie from scratch but also do not want to miss out on the great taste that is pumpkin pie, these bites are the answer to all of your problems.

20171133Not only do these bites channel all the flavor and texture profiles of traditional pumpkin pie (with half the effort), they are also extremely portable and the perfect size for little fingers or those prone to overindulging. Try making them in place of a traditional pie if you need a quick last minute dessert, as a portion controlled offering for the health conscious, a mess free treat at the kid’s table, or as an interesting addition to your classic offerings.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Bites

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar; divided
  • 2 tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 ¾ cups Milk
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ½ cup canned Unsweetened Pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 pkg. Puff Pastry Shells
  • ¼ cup Chopped Walnuts
  • Dash of Salt
  • ¼ cup Heavy Cream

 

Preparation

  1. Combine 6 tbsp. sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium heat. Combine the milk and egg and stir well with a whisk. Gradually add the milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.
  2. Combine pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl, stirring well. Slowly add the pumpkin mixture to the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Place pan over low heat and cook for 3 minutes, or until thoroughly heated (do not boil), stirring constantly. Transfer pudding into a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap. Chill.
  3. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with foil and coat foil with cooking spray. Place the remaining 2 tbsp. sugar, walnuts, and dash of salt in a small skillet. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves and is golden, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently to coat nuts. Transfer nuts to the prepared baking sheet and cool completely. Once cool, coarsely chop nuts.
  4. Prepare puff pastry shells according to package directions. Cool completely. Place cream in a bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fill shells with chilled pudding. Top each filled shell with a dollop of whipped cream and chopped nuts. Serve immediately (if not serving immediately, wait to whip the cream and top bites).

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: SUSAN RUSSO
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

Coconut Cream Pie

20170418_110650When I think of no-bake pies, coconut cream is hands down my favorite (lemon being a close second). I have fond memories of the sprawling collection of pies my grandparents would serve at every holiday. Whether it be Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter we would always have a banana cream, pumpkin, chocolate ambrosia, mincemeat, and coconut cream pie. The pies would always be ordered from a local buffet called Bishop’s. Unfortunately, Bishop’s has long been closed and I have not had a coconut cream pie quite the same since. When the craving would call there is always a variety in the supermarket freezer section but they are never the same as freshly made.

20170418_110205I recall when I was a pre-teen (about 17 years ago), I attempted to make a coconut cream pie from scratch. I remember the taste being off and I never attempted to make it again since I could always count on the holidays to quench my craving. Since moving away from my hometown and the closure of Bishop’s I decided to make another attempt as an adult and serve this pie for Easter.

20170418_110216I believe my mistake all those years ago was from using coconut extract to flavor the filling. This time I decided to steep coconut in a blend of half-and-half and milk as my base for the filling. I strained out the raw coconut with cheesecloth, resulting in a smooth, flavorful custard that harbors a bit fewer calories and saturated fat. Add a homemade whipped cream topping and you have a dreamy mile-high coconut cream pie worth every second spent in the kitchen!

Coconut Cream Pie

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen (9 inch) Deep-Dish Pie Crust
  • 2 cups 1% Low-Fat Milk
  • 1 cup Half-and-Half
  • 1 ½ cups flaked Sweetened Coconut
  • 1 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 4 large Egg Yolks
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter

Whipped Cream Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ cup flaked Sweetened Coconut; toasted

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven according to package directions of the pie crust. Bake the pie crust according to the package directions for a chilled/no-bake pie. Cool crust completely on a wire rack.
  2. Meanwhile, combine milk and half-and-half in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add 1 ½ cups coconut and vanilla extract. Bring milk mixture to a simmer then immediately remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and squeeze over the bowl to release any extra moisture. Discard the coconut solids.
  3. Whisk together the 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks in a large bowl. Gradually add the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and add the butter. Stir until smooth. Place the pan in a large bowl filled with ice for 6 minutes, stirring to cool. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour to set.
  4. While the pie chills prepare the whipped topping. Chill a large bowl and the beaters of a hand mixer in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Whip the cream in the chilled bowl with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Be sure you do not over mix! Chill until the pie filling is set.
  5. To assemble the pie, spread the whipped cream over the set custard filling. Top with the toasted coconut just before serving. Enjoy!

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: KATHY KITCHENS DOWNIE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

No-Bake Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

20161124_115845As fall approaches ever closer to its end and we begin to shift gears in preparation of winter, it is the best time to satisfy any last autumn inspired cravings. There are many flavors indicative of fall but none satisfy quite like a pumpkin pie does. Pumpkin pie has a way of pleasing the masses with its warm spiced flavor, which is why it is served by most Americans on Thanksgiving. Well I am one of those Americans that require pumpkin pie be at the table on Thanksgiving. However, as much as I adore pumpkin pie, I still have a dilemma every holiday.

20161124_115850You see, I love trying new things and I get bored making the “same old same old,” but I also can’t afford to not make my annual favorites. I have no shame and will openly confess I am forever conflicted when it comes to this. This year I managed to solve my dilemma with a reasonable compromise…….the pumpkin chiffon pie. This pie still has each of the traditional components (pie crust, spiced pumpkin filling, & dollop of whipped cream) all while taking pumpkin to a whole new level of awesome.

20161124_115945What separates this pie from the classic is the creamy filling. This version features a fluffier core, a welcoming change from the very dense original filling. It is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any fall holiday gathering as it was at Thanksgiving this year for my family.

Note: 

  • This recipe yields 2 pies. Each pie produces 10 servings with serving size being one wedge.

No-Bake Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 (2-Pack) Frozen Pie Crusts
  • 1 ¼ cups Canned Pumpkin
  • ½ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¾ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Large Eggs; separated
  • 2/3 cup Evaporated Low-Fat Milk
  • 1 envelope Unflavored Gelatin
  • ¼ cup Pure Orange Juice
  • 1/8 tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • 5 tbsp. Granulated Sugar; divided
  • 3 tbsp. Water
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Cinnamon (for dusting); optional

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven according to pie crust package directions. Place pie crusts on a baking sheet. Pierce bottoms of pie crusts with a fork. Bake pie crusts according to package directions for a no-bake pie (approximately 10 minutes). Cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. Whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, and 2 egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Stir in the evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer mixture, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove mixture from heat.
  3. Place orange juice in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over the orange juice and let stand 1 minute. Microwave gelatin mixture on high for 15 seconds, stirring until the gelatin dissolves. Stir the gelatin mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Cool.
  4. Meanwhile, place 2 egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixture (or large bowl if using a hand mixer). Beat egg whites with a mixer at high-speed until frothy. Gradually add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Combine the remaining 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) granulated sugar and 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring sugar mixture to a boil. Cook sugar mixture, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 250°. Pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over the egg whites with the mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir ¼ of the egg white mixture into the cooled pumpkin mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture and pour filling into the cooled crust. Refrigerate the pie for 4 hours or until set.
  5. Place the cream (preferably chilled) in a medium bowl and beat with a mixer on high-speed until stiff peaks form. Place into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe rosettes along the outside edge of the pie (where the crust and filling meet). Sprinkle ground cinnamon on the rosettes if desired. Serve.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Skinny Bourbon Pecan-Date Bars

20161114_103250Halloween has come and gone in the blink of an eye and now Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Two quintessential Thanksgiving treats found on almost every family’s Thanksgiving table tend to be Pecan or Pumpkin Pie. I try to make one or the other every year and I also like to reinvent old flavors into new favorites. These bars are a re-invention of the traditional pecan pie. In the South, pecan pie traditionally gets spiked with a bit of bourbon but dates are usually not in the mix. The date palm across the street from our house currently dropping fruit gave some inspiration for the non-traditional addition and I must say it was a success.

20161114_103003One thing I dislike about pecan pie (or inspirations derived from it) is the mess. These bars are no different. They are sticky messes of deliciousness so I suppose it is all worthwhile in the end. If you do decide to prepare these keep in mind that they are just as sticky as a pecan pie and they can fall apart like a pecan pie if not allowed to properly set. In order to avoid some of the mishaps that may come from this I have a few simple suggestions. First, plan on making these at least a day in advance. This is beneficial in two ways. The first is that the bars are much easier to cut when they have had a chance to chill. The second is simply saving you time on Thanksgiving to devote to other items you can’t prepare in advance.

20161114_102718Unfortunately, sometimes when we solve one problem we ultimately create another. That is the case with chilling these bars. When they are chilled, they set up properly and allow you to cut them easily and uniformly. However, they are extremely hard to separate from the pan when cold. I do have a solution to this minor issue. Simply make sure that after these bars have cooled completely, run a knife around the outer edge to loosen the bars from the pan but refrain from cutting into portions before chilling. Chill the bars at least 3 hours but preferably overnight. Once fully chilled, you can cut into portions and not struggle to cut the edges from the pan when they are rock solid. The edges should slide away from the pan easily. Enjoy!!!

Skinny Bourbon Pecan-Date Bars

Crust Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ oz. All-Purpose Flour (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ cup Chilled Butter; cut into small pieces

Filling Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Light Corn Syrup
  • ¼ cup Molasses
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¼ cup Egg Substitute
  • 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Bourbon
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ½ cup chopped pitted Dates
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Pecans; toasted
  • Toasted Whole Pecans; for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Coat an 11 x 7 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. To prepare the crust, whisk the flour, brown sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the butter pieces to the bowl and cut in using a pastry blender or two knives until mixture looks like coarse meal. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until crust is light brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°. In a large bowl whisk together the corn syrup, molasses, brown sugar, egg substitute, flour, bourbon, vanilla, salt, and egg. Stir in the dates and chopped pecans. Pour the filling over the prepared crust. Place the whole pecans on top of the filling to create a presentable pattern. Bake bars for 35 minutes or until set. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Use a knife to separate bars from edge of pan. Cover and chill 3 hours or until firm. Cut into bars and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Bar)

 

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Weight Watchers: 5 Smart Points, 3 Points Plus, or 2 Traditional Points

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: JULIE GRIMES BOTTCHER
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Skinny Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cake

pumpkin3Happy Halloween everyone! As today comes and goes Thanksgiving will approach soon thereafter, with pumpkin being the favorite flavor to represent the season. Pumpkin pie may be the go to classic but pumpkin cake is a close runner up. What is not to love about a moist, fluffy cake flavored with delicious pumpkin and warm, comforting spices??? I certainly can’t think of anything! Then you add the rich layer of cream cheese frosting that not only creates an adored classic combination but it also locks in the cake’s moisture for days. At this point it shouldn’t take much convincing to get any pumpkin lover to give this recipe a go.

pumpkincake1However, if flavor and texture are not enough to convince you to try this cake the ease itself should persuade you. A sheet cake is the easiest type of cake to make and it can feed a lot of people (both essential perks for the holiday baker). Simply prepare the batter, spread into the pan, and bake. Once the cake cools you spread a layer of cream cheese frosting on top and cut into squares to serve. There is no trimming or chilling layers or preparing huge batches of frosting, making this cake the perfect addition to the holiday table or as a quick treat to whip up for a work, school, or church function.

Pumpkincake2If having said all of that still wasn’t enough convincing, how about the fact that this cake is a much lighter version of all its competitors. Traditional pumpkin cakes with cream cheese frosting run well over 350 calories per slice and triple the amount of fat content found in this recipe. The cake is easily made lighter by swapping traditional all-purpose flour with whole-wheat while organic light brown sugar stands in for the typical refined version. The cream cheese frosting is lightened up with the use of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, minimal butter, and organic powdered sugar that again stands in for the refined alternative. This cake is a much lighter and welcoming change from the traditional pumpkin pie and will yield approximately 24 servings (1 square). If you are following Weight Watchers, one square of cake is equal to 3 Points or 5 Points Plus.

Skinny Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cake

Cake Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. Whole-Wheat Flour (approximately 2¼ cups)
  • 2 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Organic Brown Sugar (such as Wholesome’s); packed
  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 (15 oz.) can Pumpkin Puree
  • Nonstick Cooking Spray (Olive Oil)

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese (Neufchatel); softened
  • 2 cups Organic Powdered Sugar (such as Wholesome’s); sifted

Formula:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. To prepare the cake, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pie spice, and salt in a small bowl. Stir with a whisk until just incorporated.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl) combine the brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until incorporated. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin puree and mix well. Gently fold in the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture.
  4. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan, making sure to smooth out well as it will not smooth itself while baking. Bake the cake for approximately 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake on a wire rack.
  5. While the cake cools, prepare the frosting by combining the butter, vanilla, and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer (or medium bowl). Beat the mixture on medium speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until mixture is smooth and well combined. Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake. Cut into squares and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Square)

PumpkinCakeCreamCheeseFrostingWeight Watchers: 3 Points or 5 Points Plus

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: TRISHA KRUSE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2015

Boozy Pecan Pies

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner and as everyone is buying their turkey, green beans, and sweet potatoes to prepare the holiday’s traditional dishes, I can’t help but get caught up in thoughts of one thing… Pie, Pie, and more Pie. As a kid we always had a large spread of food at the table but it was the end of the meal that made me so excited. My family always had many different types of pies to choose from which made me ensure I left a shred of room to try slices of a few different ones.

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The most famous pie of the season and go to at Thanksgiving is undoubtedly Pumpkin. It is a flavor that seems to only have a rightful place this time of year. Everyone can’t wait for the time of year to come around so they can enjoy pumpkin again, but at the same token are very quick to dump the thought of Pumpkin once Thanksgiving ends, trading it for frosted sugar cookies and peppermint, even though pumpkin is still readily available in our modern market.

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The pie that takes a backseat to Pumpkin but manages to sneak onto most family’s Thanksgiving spreads is Pecan. I never cared for Pecan Pie growing up. It was always too dry and overly sweet. A few years ago I thought I would give the pie a try having more grown up taste buds. I did enjoy it more than I did as a kid but it still couldn’t beat out Pumpkin for my fall favorite pie. I made sure not to burn the thing but it still had way too much sweetness.

DSC_0301

A few more years passed and here we are today. This time I decided to use a more traditional recipe for Pecan Pie that did not use the processed, overly sweet Karo Syrup that originally marketed the pie to fame. The traditional style recipes of the south uses less processed syrups like sorghum and cane syrup. Sorghum is made from cereal grass and cane syrup comes from boiled down juice of the sugarcane plant. These aren’t widely available unless you scour organic markets or live in the south. Hence why Karo takes the place of these since it is more affordable and widely available. It is very easy to replicate the old-fashioned flavors using molasses, brown sugar, and pure maple syrup.

DSC_0305

To kick the pie up a notch and stray from tradition just a wee bit I added a touch of Bourbon. You can use any type of whiskey but my boozy preference is Bourbon. Be sure to use mild or regular molasses and not the more potent blackstrap variety. Also be sure not to use imitation maple syrup over pure as the results would be similar to the Karo syrup recipes since both are filled with corn syrup as main ingredients and produce overly processed, intensely sweet final products. You need the pure maple syrup to give complexity and compliment the earthy tones of the toasted pecans.

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As an option you can serve this with some whipped cream dolloped on top. If you really want to drive home the boozy flavor you can even add a bit of bourbon or other whiskey to the whipped cream. Add about 2 tbsp. of Bourbon per cup of heavy cream. Whip to stiff peaks with 1 tbsp. of light brown sugar and ½ tsp. vanilla. Keep refrigerated until ready to use or about 4 hours. This recipe makes 3 mini pies. You will need 3 mini tartlet pans.

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Boozy Pecan Pies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Maple Syrup
  • ½ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¼ cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ tbsp. Molasses
  • 1 tbsp. Bourbon
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • ¾ cup Pecans; toasted & chopped
  • 1 Sheet of Rolled Pie Crust; such as Pillsbury

Formula:

  1. Unroll one sheet of pie crust over the first tartlet pan. Gently press into bottom and sides. Gather remaining dough and re-roll. Repeat with the remaining two tartlet pans. Place all three prepared pans in the refrigerator and chill crust for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Adjust oven rack to the lowest position and heat oven to 450°. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the maple syrup, sugar, cream, molasses, and bourbon. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Remove the syrup mixture from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Once the mixture has cooled, whisk in the butter and salt until combined. Quickly whisk in the egg yolks until incorporated.
  3. Remove the tartlet pans from the refrigerator and place on a baking sheet. Divide an even amount of pecans between the three tartlet pans and scatter pecans into each pie shell. Carefully pour the syrup mixture over the pecans. Place the pies in the oven. Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 325°. Bake until the filling is set. The pie center will still jiggle slightly when the baking sheet is gently shaken, about 30 to 40 minutes. Cool pies on a rack for 1 hour, then refrigerate until completely set, about 3 hours but no longer than 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired. Bourbon whipped cream recipe can be found in the final paragraph above.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM DIANE UNGER

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013