Think pumpkin pie is boring? Consider these twists to spiff ’em up

Feeling bored with regular ol’ pumpkin pie?

In today’s food section, we shared a bunch of ideas for spiffing up your holiday pies, including some creative pumpkin ideas from Mark Bittman, the bestselling author behind the new book “How to Bake Everything”:

  • For a vegan pie, make a vegan crust using shortening or other non-animal fat and, in the filling, replace the eggs and half and half with 1 pound silken tofu that has been drained.
  • If you love candied ginger, sprinkle 1/3 cup chopped candied ginger over the filling before baking.
  • Make a crumble topping, similar to what you’d make for an apple crisp. Bake the pie without the topping for the first 20 minutes, and then add the crumble and finish baking.
  • Substitute sweet potato puree for the pumpkin and add 2 tsp. grated orange zest.
  • Can’t decide between pecan and pumpkin? While the pumpkin pie bakes, combine 3/4 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon melted butter. Sprinkle over the baked pie and return to the oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until the topping is toasted and fragrant.
  • Unlike cookies or chocolate, pies aren’t a dessert to which we think of adding a hint of heat, but Bittman suggests making a chili pumpkin pie with caramel sauce. Add 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder with the other spices, and drizzle caramel sauce over the pie when you serve it.
  • You’ve probably seen a marble cream cheese pumpkin pie, but what about a marble pumpkin chocolate pie? Bittman explains: Melt 4 ounces dark chocolate and let cool. Reserve 1 cup of the pumpkin filling and stir the chocolate into it. Pour the plain pumpkin filling into the crust (about three-quarters full) and dollop it with the chocolate filling. Using a knife or a toothpick, swirl the chocolate in large figure-eight motions. Do not overswirl or the effect will be lost. Bake as directed.

    Pumpkin pie might be seen as the "boring" Thanksgiving pie, but you can make it more interesting with a few tweaks to the recipe or some cookie cutters and extra dough. Tina Phan / American-Statesman

    Pumpkin pie might be seen as the “boring” Thanksgiving pie, but you can make it more interesting with a few tweaks to the recipe or some cookie cutters and extra dough. Tina Phan / American-Statesman


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