Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Pie

I'm always looking for a different take on Pumpkin Pie. Mainly because I don't like it - something about the texture.  I do love the smell of them cooking though!  Last year I made Libby's Pumpkin Rolls which are delicious but I didn't have a lot of time to dedicate to baking on this particular day.  I had a lot of cream cheese to use up so I really wanted to utilize that somehow.  Thanks to google, I found this recipe by Paula Deen.

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Pie

1  8oz package cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolk slightly beaten
1 cup half and half *
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place dough into a 9 inch pie pan.**  Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the pie shell completely.  Fill the shell to the edges with pie weights or dried beans and place it in the oven.  Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color. ***

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer.  Add the pumpkin and beat until combined.  Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined.  Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half and half, and melted butter.  Beat until combined.  Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger if using, and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set.  Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

This pie was a big hit.  The texture ended up being a cross between a pie and a cheesecake.  Add some whipped cream on top and you have a delicious dessert!

* I didn't have any half and half but had some heavy whipping cream.  So I added 1/2 cup whipping cream and 1/2 cup milk.  
 ** I used a deep die pie plate.  If you are using regular pie plates/or shells you can probably make two pies from this recipe.  
*** I don't have any pie weights, so I pricked the pie crust with a fork, covered it tightly with the foil, baked for 10 mins, removed the foil and baked for another 10 mins.  It worked out fine.  Some reviews I read said you don't even need to bake the pie crust ahead of time.