Well, dear friends, Thanksgiving is almost upon us. My kitchen has been warming up for a while now, my brain going over what I’m supposed to be baking (I’m on pie/dessert duty).
Thanksgiving always comes with mixed feelings. I have some wonderful memories from growing up, visiting my grandparents and spending fun times with my cousins. My grandma always had good food, and a lot of it! But a few years ago, Thanksgiving seemed to be that time of the year we would have rather skipped. It was around one Thanksgiving that Mom found out she had breast cancer. Two years ago the cancer came back with a vengeance — including a blood infection right before Thanksgiving. (That was the year I made the turkey — the first time I had ever cooked one. Yikes!) Last year was the first one without her.
I guess we could be sad. Thanksgiving is a time for nostalgia and family, and it can hurt to see empty chairs once filled. But it’s also a time to give thanks for all God has given to us: for the time we have with loved ones — past, present, and future, for the memories we hold dear, for every blessing we have, for the good and the bad, for health and sickness, for successes and failures. It’s a time to give thanks for the hope we have in a gracious God who daily gives us all we need — physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
The recipe below is for those of you who so often have to forego some of the sweetness of life and make sacrifices each day for your health. I pray that your Thanksgiving celebrations are wonderful. May you be able to celebrate all the blessings in your life, and may your hearts be overflowing with richness!
Pumpkin Praline Pie
from Cook’s Country
For those who are not restricted to a gluten-free diet, simply use your favorite single-crust pie dough recipe (even if that’s found in the refrigerator case at your local grocer 🙂 ).
Gluten-free & Dairy-free Pie Crust
- 4 cups gluten-free Chex cereal (corn, rice, cinnamon, etc.)
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon (omit if using cinnamon Chex)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Using food processor, crush Chex into fine crumbs (you can also use rolling pin and a plastic bag, but crumbs may not be as fine). In medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Press into 9-inch pie plate (all the way up the sides). Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove and cool slightly. Fill with desired filling and proceed with desired pie recipe. Take care to watch bottom of crust as pie bakes to make sure it doesn’t get too dark (place on rack in middle of oven if starting to brown too much and continue baking).
For a regular pie shell: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line pie shell with foil, cover with 2 cups pie weights (pennies or dried beans are fine, too), and bake until dough under foil dries out, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove foil and weights, poke crust several times with fork, and continue to bake until firmly set and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pie shell from oven (keep oven on) and set aside. (Shell can be cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic, and stored at room temperature for 1 day.)
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- Pinch ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans (I used walnuts because that’s what my budget allowed for)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons dark corn syrup
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- Pinch salt
Instructions for the Filling
- Puree pumpkin, brown sugar, spices, and salt in food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. In all honesty, I simply stirred it all together till it was smooth. Cook mixture in large saucepan over medium-high heat until sputtering and thickened, about 4 minutes, and remove from heat. Meanwhile, put pie shell back in oven to warm.
- Whisk evaporated milk into pumpkin mixture, then whisk in eggs and vanilla. Pour filling into warmed pie shell and bake until filling is puffed and cracked around edges and center barely jiggles when pie is shaken, about 35 minutes.
- For the topping: While pie is baking, toss pecans, brown sugar, and salt in bowl. Add corn syrup and vanilla, using fingers to ensure that ingredients are well blended.
- 5. Scatter topping evenly over puffed filling and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake until pecans are fragrant and topping is bubbling around edges, about 10 minutes. Cool pie completely on wire rack, at least 2 hours. (Pie can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.) Serve pie at room temperature.