Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Pie - Two Ways

Holy Crap! Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Good thing no one trusts me to cook dinner on this holiday, we can sit back and enjoy 2 meals and we don't have to do anything...I love our families!

Thanksgiving Confession: I have never liked pumpkin pie. It has all the visual and textural appeal of baby food to me. But I loved the smell and obviously other people love it, it can't be all bad, right? So a couple years ago I decided I was going to make myself love pumpkin pie.

I started with simple non-pumpkin pie recipes that I knew I liked and worked from there. What developed was a tasty, pretty, and easy pumpkin pie that I now love. Did I mention easy? Easy as in no baking required and some convenience food ingredients. It is fluffy, creamy, delicious, and best of all this recipe makes 2 pies and I've provided instructions to make the caramel nut version and the chocolate chunk version.


~Filling Base~

1 lg can Pumpkin (I like Libby's)
2 small pkgs Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 c. Cold Milk
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Ginger
1/2 tsp. Ground Cloves
pinch of Salt
1 c. Chocolate Chips or Chunks
1 c. Pecan Pieces (reserve about 2 TBSP for topping)
1 cup Caramel Ice Cream Topping Plus 2 Tablespoons For Topping

~Whipped Cream~

1.5 pints Heavy Cream
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 c. Powdered Sugar
dash of Ground Cinnamon
dash of Ground Cloves


1/2 pint Heavy Cream
1 T. Butter
12 oz. Chopped Chocolate or Chocolate Chips


2 store bought Graham Cracker Pie Crusts (Sure you could make your own but this is easier)


Mix the first 9 ingredients together in a bowl and whisk until well blended, divide the mixture in half and place each half into 2 separate bowls. Into one half stir in the chopped chocolate, into the other half stir in the pecan pieces. Chill both bowls.

Whip the heavy cream, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves together until stiff peaks form, divide this mixture into thirds. Fold 1/3 of this whipped cream into each half of the pumpkin mixture, reserve the other 1/3 for topping.

In a double boiler over medium-low heat stir the cream, butter, and sugar together until boiling, remove from heat and add chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Spoon this ganache into the bottom of one pie crust so that it covers it entirely, saving some of the ganache for the topping.

Into the other pie crust pour in enough caramel topping to coat the bottom, saving some for the topping.

Fill the ganache bottomed pie crust with the chocolate pumpkin mix. Fill the caramel bottomed pie crust with the pecan pumpkin mix. Freeze or refrigerate the pies for at least 2 hours before serving.

Top both pies with the remaining whipped cream. Drizzle more ganache over the top of the chocolate one and drizzle more caramel over the top of the pecan one. Then sprinkle the top of the caramal pie with pecans and serve.

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