To get into the Thanksgiving holiday spirit I decided to host a pumpkin pie bake off this weekend.  Just me, three recipes, a little cursing, and lot's of pumpkin.  I didn't want to do the plain old recipe so I went in search of recipes that incorporated different flavors and textures.  Finally I settled on a Pumpkin Cheesecake by Paula Deen, a Ginger Pumpkin Pie by The Kitchn, and a Tripe Chocolate Pumpkin Pie by Martha Stewart.  Literally I spent the better two days of my weekend in the kitchen.  The last time I did that many dishes was when we baked 220 cupcakes for a cupcake contest....worst idea ever.  My brother still hasn't forgiven me for making him frost all 220 by himself.

The winner....drum roll please...Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie by Martha Stewart.  Good old Martha never lets me down.  My plan was to cut three slices for Scott to try and let him pick.  What ended up happening was I ate his triple chocolate piece and saved him the last bite.  I loved the flavor, texture, and overall idea of this pie.  This pie has a graham cracker crust topped with a thin layer of chocolate, filled with a pumpkin chocolate filling, and topped off with drizzled chocolate.  What a great spin on a traditional pumpkin pie.  The layer of chocolate separating the crust from the actual pie filling was tasty and looked really cute when you cut into the pie.

Second was almost a tie but if I had to pick I would put the Ginger Pumpkin Pie by The Kitchn.  Unfortunately the consistency of the pie didn't turn out quite right.  It ended up being a bit more pudding like rather than the traditional pie texture.  I read some of the reviews and no one else had the same problem so my guess was bakers error.  This has a great ginger taste to it and a little kick in the after taste.  This pie has a graham cracker crust filled with a ginger pumpkin pie filling.  This filling has ground ginger and three tablespoons of fresh ginger.  They suggested baking one day in advance because the ginger flavor is more pungent the following day.  If you don't like ginger than this is probably not your kind of pie.  In the reviews people suggested making this pie with a gingersnap crust, sounds like a great addition to me.  

Third is the Pumpkin Cheesecake by Paula Deen.  A graham cracker crust filled with a pumpkin cheesecake filling.  I loved the flavor of the pumpkin in the cheesecake and this graham cracker crust turned out great.  This was actually a great cheesecake but in comparison to the other two it was just ok.  However if you like cheesecake this would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table.  

The recipes are below the pie photos!  Happy Thanksgiving!
Triple-Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 16 crackers)
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent cacao), finely chopped

6 ounces semisweet chocolate (preferably 55 percent cacao), chopped
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 ounce milk chocolate, melted
whipped cream, optional

Directions:Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugars, salt, and cinnamon in bowl. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep, 9 1/2-inch pie dish. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, and sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over bottom of crust. Return to oven to melt chocolate, about 1 minute. Spread chocolate in a thin layer on bottom and up sides. Let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Make the filling: In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt semisweet chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.

Mix pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/3 pumpkin mixture into chocolate mixture. Whisk in remaining pumpkin mixture until completely incorporated.

Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours (preferably overnight). Before serving, drizzle melted milk chocolate on top. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Martha Stewart.

Ginger Pumpkin Pie  

1 graham cracker pie crust (see instructions and recipe here
15-ounce can pumpkin puree OR just under 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup whipping cream 
1/2 cup whole milk

Heat the oven 375°F. Bake the graham cracker crust for 10 minutes then remove and let cool in the refrigerator while you make the filling. .

Whisk the pumpkin puree with the eggs, egg yolk, and brown sugar. To grate the ginger, use a piece of ginger about 4 inches long and grate to a pulp using a Microplane or fine grater. Discard the tough fibers; just use the milky juice and puree. Whisk the grated ginger, cinnamon and ginger spices, salt, and pepper into the pumpkin mixture. Add the cream and milk and whisk until smooth. Pour into the graham cracker crust.

Bake for about 50 minutes at 375°F, or just until set. Check after 30 minutes and tent with foil if the edges seem to be browning quickly. (I let mine get fairly dark, as I like the flavor!) The filling will continue to firm up after it comes out of the oven.

Refrigerate the pie after it is just cool to the touch. Let cool for at least two hours before slicing and serving.

Recipe by The Kitchn

Pumpkin Cheesecake


1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick melted salted butter

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For crust:
In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch spring form pan. Set aside.

For filling:
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.

Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Recipe from Paula Deen
Kathy Cohoon
11/18/2012 11:52:24 pm

I've been looking for a good pumpkin cheesecake recipe--thanks! Loved your painting story. Look forward to your future stories. You are very creative just like your mom!!

11/19/2012 01:24:23 am

Thanks Kathy! Let me know how you like the cheesecake turns out, the crust was my favorite part!


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