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WHAT'S COOKING? Hurrah for the pumpkin
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WHAT'S COOKING? Hurrah for the pumpkin

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Pumpkin pie

You may choose to make your pies more festive, as shown above. Simply search “how to make pie roses” on the internet and you will find it is not difficult to create these lovely dough roses.

The week of Indian Field Camp Meeting, I made two pumpkin pies — one to take to a bereaved family and one to take to the campground for our family to enjoy. As it does every year this time, the very site of pumpkins for sale brings to mind the countless times my family carved out pumpkins to make pumpkin pies, cakes and bread. I admit that it is quite a messy undertaking, but we always neatly, carefully cut out the top first, scraped and spooned the fruit from inside, strained the seeds (which are good lightly toasted), and then mashed the fruit to use in recipes. We worked together to carve funny and scary faces on our pumpkins, put pillar candles in them and set these works of art — eyes, noses and mouths a-glowing — on the porch to welcome October visitors. Because everyone in the family helped with this process, we all learned to enjoy the smooth, rich taste of pumpkin well before it became as popular as it is nowadays. There are pumpkin-flavored coffees, cereals, cookies — almost anything you can imagine.

Teresa Hatchell 2005

Teresa Hatchell

Well, chances are cooks nowadays get their pumpkin from a can and that is okay, too, if you make sure to buy a good brand of pure pumpkin with a recent date on the can. That said, I will share my mom's easy recipe for pumpkin pie and other other ways to enjoy pumpkin. All of these are not difficult to create and are quite delicious. As an added bonus, the aroma of them baking will surely permeate your home. That shared, I remind you of the emphatic end of the song “Over the River and Through the Woods” — “Hurrah for the pumpkin pie”!

(NOTE 1: Pumpkin seeds are good lightly toasted for about 8 minutes on a buttered cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven). (NOTE 2: For safety purposes, when displaying a carved pumpkin place battery operated candles inside.)

Mom’s traditional pumpkin pie

1 (9-inch) unbaked deep-dish pie crust

3/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 eggs, room temperature

15-ounce can Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin

12-ounce can Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Beat the eggs lightly in a large bowl. Stir in the pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk. Pour this mixture into the pie shell

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about two hours. Serve it immediately or refrigerate it.

Extraordinary pumpkin pie

(This twist on the old Baileys pie recipe makes two pies.)

2 pre-made pie crusts, thawed

5 large eggs

3 cups canned pure pumpkin

3/4 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup Baileys Original Irish Cream

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl beat the eggs and pumpkin until the mixture is creamy. Beat in the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until everything is smoothly combined. Add the heavy cream and Baileys cream and beat, again, until the ingredients are well combined. Pour equal amounts of this pumpkin mixture into the pie crusts. Bake the pies for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean. (If the edges of the pie crust get too brown during baking, cover the edges with aluminum foil.) Serve this delicious pie at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Pumpkin patch

David is set to enjoy decorating/eating these deep orange pumpkins from a nearby pumpkin patch. 

David is set to enjoy decorating/eating these deep orange pumpkins from a nearby pumpkin patch. (Photo special)

Pumpkin marble cheesecake (pie)


2-1/4 cups graham cracker or gingersnap crumbs

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) melted butter or margarine

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)


3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a medium bowl, mix all crust ingredients well (including nuts if you are using them) and press firmly onto the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow the crust to cool completely.

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the room temperature cream cheese, 3/4 of the cup of sugar and the vanilla extract. Add the eggs and mix until all ingredients are well combined. Put one cup of this batter in a small bowl and set it aside. To the remaining batter add the reserved 1/4 cup of sugar, the pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir to combine the ingredients well.

In the piecrust, alternate layers of pumpkin batter and cream cheese batter. Lightly, carefully swirl the batter around with a knife to create the marbling effect. Bake this pie at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes before releasing the sides. 

Pumpkin-molasses cake

2-1/2 cups White Lily self-rising flour, sifted once

1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

2/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2/3 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter, room temperature (softened)

1/2 cup canned pumpkin or cooked, mashed pumpkin

1/4 cup light molasses

2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel

2 large eggs

In a large bowl, use a whisk to stir the sifted flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger until well combined. Add the buttermilk, butter, pumpkin, molasses and orange peel. Beat the “batter” with an electric mixer on medium speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl continually to loosen any clumps. Beat for about three minutes on medium. Then stir for a minute, increase the beater speed to high and beat for two more minutes. Add the two eggs and beat for two more minutes. Pour this mixture into a greased 13x9x2-inch pan or into two greased 8-inch or 9-inch round pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes (use the toothpick test). Cool the cake pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting them on to a cake serving plate. This cake is delicious unfrosted, but you may choose to frost it with butter-cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin bread

(To transform dinner bread into dessert bread, be sure to stir in the nuts and/or raisins.)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

1/3 cup Crisco shortening

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl use a large fork to combine 1 cup of the flour, the brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and ginger. Add the pumpkin, milk, eggs, and shortening. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until blended, then on high speed for two minutes. Add the remaining flour and beat well. To transform dinner bread into dessert bread, stir in the nuts and raisins. Pour the batter into a greased 9x5x3-inch-loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove the bread from the pan and cool thoroughly on a wire rack.

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