27 November 2008

Pies! Pumpkin, Pecan, and Mince (sort of)

Here are three Thanksgiving pie recipes that are healthier than the usual versions – and tastier, too!

Pumpkin Pie

(I use fresh pumpkin – cut a small sugar pumpkin open, remove the seeds and gook, then bake, covered, until soft. Scrape the pie meat away from the shell, compost the shell, and use the meat.)

Puree in a blender:
2 cups pumpkin
2 cups half and half
½ to ¾ cup honey
2 Tablespoons molasses (Aunt Patty’s, unsulphured)
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Pour into a single pie crust (basic recipe is 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup butter, and 5 or so Tablespoons cold water or milk – can jazz up with a bit of spices and sugar)

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 45 minutes or so, until the pumpkin has set and is beginning to crack. Cool before eating.

Pecan Pie (without corn syrup!)

Beat together:
3 eggs
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup agave nectar
5 Tablespoons melted butter
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups pecans (lightly toasted)

Pour into a single pie crust (see above recipe for pumpkin pie) and bake at 350 until done.
Cool before eating.

Also, I tried an experiment that came out pretty good. This is a general guideline, not a recipe as such. I think of it as my Sort-of Mock Mince Pie

4 to 5 sliced, peeled apples
About a cup of dried fruit of your choice. I had figs, cranberries, cherries, and raisins on hand, so that’s what I used.
Season with cinnamon and cloves
Splash in some brandy (maybe ¼ cup?)
Throw in some pecan pieces

This one has both a bottom and top crust, decorated as you wish. Bake for 10 minutes at 450, then reduce heat to 350 until golden brown – about 45 or 50 minutes. Cool before eating.

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