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Apple or Pumpkin or a Slice of Each? Plus…a great pumpkin filling recipe

I look forward to Thanksgiving each year like a child looks forward to Christmas.  There is something about the fall colors, crisp weather, and the hordes of people the holiday brings into one’s life.  It is less commercial than Christmas and certainly more relaxed.

This year, being a dad for the first time, my brother Robert will be doing the turkey.  We will celebrate at my house with Mom, David, Christian, Miyuki, and new baby Colter.

Pies are kind of a specialty of mine so pies and salad will be my contribution, and the table and centerpiece.  I’m thinking about doing an arugula, beets, and orange salad, with a little grated, good quality Parmesan cheese and champagne vinaigrette.  Since David doesn’t like pumpkin pie, I will also make one with apple.  It’s no hardship to me to have one of each.

You can find my apple pie and crust recipes in the archives. 

I have never made a pumpkin pie filling from whole pumpkins.  Instead, I have taken the easy route and used canned pumpkin puree.  The Silver Palate cookbook, my foodie Bible for 25 years, has a particularly good recipe.

Silver Palate Pumpkin Pie

Makes one 9 inch pie

1 Crust recipe (see archives for my favorite recipe with butter and Crisco

3 eggs
1/3 C. sugar
1/3 light brown sugar
2 C. canned pureed pumpkin
1 t. ground ginger
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. allspice
1/4 t. cardamom
pinch salt
3/4 C. heavy cream
3/4 C. half and half
pecan halves for garnish

1- Preheat oven to 450
2- Beat eggs and both sugars together in a mixing bowl till light and fluffy.  Stir in pumpkin, spices, and salt and mix thoroughly.  Stir in cream and half and half.
3- Roll out pastry on lightly floured work surface and line pan with it: trim and crimp the edges and pour in filling.
4- Bake pie for 8 minutes then reduce heat to 325 and bake until filling is set.  A knife inserted in the center will come out clean, another 40 to 45 minutes.
5- Arrange the pecans decoratively around the edge, pressing them lightly into the warm filling. Arrange five pecans in a flower pattern in the center of the pie.  Cool completely before cutting.

Makes 6 portions