Monday, November 16, 2015

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Sauce

You can see a larger version of the video here.

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I have always been a traditionalist. Turkey, stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, and usually pie for dessert. I have varied a few things now and then, just to try them out. A pumpkin roll and pumpkin cheesecake come to mind.

In the days when my mom did the cooking, there was always an appetizer and soup as well. Those have fallen by the wayside, mostly because it was just too much food. So I thought I might try a cauliflower soup for my Thanksgiving week recipe. Ha! I'll be sharing that next week. I liked it a lot, but it's quite filling, so not at all appropriate for Thanksgiving. We need to leave room for the turkey!

When I was looking around for another idea, I started thinking about the filling I made for last week's post. Could I make that into a pie? So I threw caution to the wind and tried.

I used a 9.5-inch pie pan and the filling went right up to the top. This will work equally well in a 10-inch pie pan. You'll have leftover filling if you use a 9-inch pie pan. The pie will settle a little as it cools. That's okay.

The result is a surprisingly creamy pie. I do recommend baking this a day ahead of time. It takes a low, slow oven and you'll need your oven for other things, like the turkey. You can make the caramel sauce a day ahead of time, too. Pop it in the microwave for a few seconds if you need to loosen it up the next day. Whip the cream on the day you serve the pie. This will be prettiest if you cut the pie, add the cream and drizzle the sauce in the kitchen. But I've been know to do that at the table.

Optional shortcuts:

1. Buy a ready made graham cracker pie crust.
2. Buy cream in a can.
3. Buy caramel sauce.

If you do all three, you'll be down to making the filling and baking the pie. After that, it's just assembly!

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie
 with Caramel Sauce

Use 9.5 or 10-inch pie pan.

Graham Cracker Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9-10 sheets)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor, pulse together the graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon until fine. Add the butter and pulse. Pat into the pie pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie Filling

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature or softened
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 cups pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 275. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well. Add the sugar. Mix together the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a bowl and stir with a fork to mix and eliminate any lumps. Mix into the filling. Add the pumpkin and the vanilla. Beat. Scrape down the sides and beat one more time. Pour into prepared pie crust. Bake one and one-half hours until the middle doesn't wobble.

Caramel Sauce

1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

Place ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. (I use a Pyrex 2-cup measuring cup.) Microwave in short bursts from 20-50 seconds, stirring each time until it bubbles up and is hot. Set aside to cool.

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the cream. When it begins to take shape, add the sugar and the vanilla. Beat until it holds a soft peak.


Slice the pie. Place a dollop of whipped cream on each piece. Drizzle with caramel sauce.

Make a graham cracker crust.
Mix the spices with a fork.

Fresh from the oven!

MURDER MOST HOWL is coming November 24th! But I have two copies to give away! Leave a comment here by midnight, Wednesday, the 18th. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can notify you. 
Good luck!