Category Archives: Pumpkin

Sweetened Condensed Milk Pumpkin Pie

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the recipe development corner of the internet, you know that there are as many different ways to make pumpkin pie as there are stars in the sky.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Pumpkin Pie

Okay, I may be exaggerating, but I’m not kidding when I say there are a *lot* of ways to make this classic Thanksgiving dessert. Until today, there were four on this site alone (1, 2, 3, 4), but now there are five. This one, made with one of my favorite ingredients, sweetened condensed milk, might just be my favorite. For now, at least.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Pumpkin Pie

You see, sweetened condensed milk can do it all. It sweetens, binds, and gives things and smooth, creamy texture. It carries the load in desserts from key lime pie to magic bars to no-churn ice cream. In short, it’s an incredible tool to have in your baking arsenal, especially if you’re in charge of making pie next week.

Sweetened condensed milk helps to sweeten and set this pumpkin pie filling, just like it does in my seasonal Pumpkin Spice Spread. It has the added benefit of cutting the list of ingredients a little shorter, too—a welcome shift anytime of year, but especially at the holidays.

Here, sweetened condensed milk is mixed with all the usual pumpkin pie suspects—a can of pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, salt, eggs, and a touch of butter—and poured into a par-baked crust before baking. You’ll notice that the oven temperature goes from 350F to 425F and then back to 350F before this pie is done; it seems like a lot, but if followed, I can promise you flaky crust and a perfectly smooth set center.

I like to make Sweetened Condensed Milk Pumpkin Pie a day ahead because I prefer my custard pies cold. That’s not the case for everyone though, so feel free to serve it at room temperature. Whichever you choose, don’t forget the whipped cream.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Pumpkin Pie
Sweetened Condensed Milk Pumpkin Pie
makes 1 pie

For the crust:
1/2 recipe All Butter Pie Dough or other good single crust recipe
pie weights (or dedicated dried beans or rice) for blind baking

Filling:
2 cups pure pumpkin purée (1 15-ounce can)
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (not fat free)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

For serving:
whipped cream

On a floured surface, roll out pie dough to a 12" diameter. Fit into a deep 9-inch pie plate and trim the overhang to 1/2-inch. Crimp the edges and freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for an hour.

Place an oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350F.

Remove pie crust from the freezer. Prick the bottom several times with the tines of a fork. Line frozen crust with a big piece of parchment. Fill the center with pie weights (or dried beans or rice).

Place the prepared pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until pie crust has “set” and is starting to turn golden in places, but is far from done. Use parchment to lift out pie weights. Return crust to the oven for 10 minutes, then set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Whisk in eggs one at a time, followed by sweetened condensed milk and melted butter. Pour pie filling into prepared crust.

Make the egg wash. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together egg and water. Brush over exposed crust.

Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then turn the oven temperature to 350F for an additional 45-50 minutes, covering the crust with foil if it starts to get too brown. The pie is ready when the filling no longer jiggles, or when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let pie cool completely on a rack. Cover and chill, if desired. Serve at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream. Pie will keep covered at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies​

During my blog sabbatical, I made a mental list of all the things I wanted to make last year but never found the right moment. These little sugar cookie pies were on it, and I’m so happy they’re on here now, not least because it means we can all both dream about and eat them anytime we want. Having this kind of power could be dangerous, but I’m willing to risk it.

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies​

I mean, look at these things. They’ve got thick cookie crusts and plenty of smooth pumpkin filling—a perfect two-bite dessert for when you can’t decide between pie and cookies. Why not both, you know?

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies​

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies begin with a batch of Pumpkin Spice Spread. If you’ve yet to try it, it’s exactly what it sounds like: spreadable pumpkin pie filling perfect for toast, s’mores, or putting in pumpkin baked goods. It’s made with pumpkin purée, sweetened condensed milk, a couple of egg yolks, and pumpkin pie spice, and comes together quickly on the stove. It will need to be made ahead so that it can be easily dolloped into the crusts before baking. And yes, the batch makes enough for you to sneak a few bites right out of the jar!

The sugar cookie crusts are the same graham cracker-spiked base I used in my Key Lime Linzers. It comes together pretty quickly and doesn’t need a chill or anything—just press heaping tablespoons into the bottoms and up the sides of your muffin tin to create little crust shapes, then fill and bake! I tested this recipe with with my Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie dough and it worked just as well, but the graham cracker crumbs give these a hint of pie crust flavor that I really love.

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies​

The pies bake up in just under twenty minutes—you’ll know they’re ready when the filling has puffed and the cookie crusts are beginning to turn golden. The centers will relax as they cool, and before long it’ll be time to dig in!

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies would be great for a bake sale, a Friendsgiving, or an autumnal tea party, but I made them just because I could. Highly recommend.

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies​
Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies
makes about 2.5 dozen little pies

Pumpkin Spice Spread:
1 cup pure pumpkin purée (I use Libby’s)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Cookie Crusts:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make the Pumpkin Spice Spread. Place pumpkin in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until slightly drier and a tiny bit darker in color. Remove from heat.

Fill a small pot with 1-2 inches of water. Set a heatproof bowl over the top, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Remove bowl and bring water to a simmer.

In the heatproof bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Whisk in pumpkin purée. Place bowl over simmering water, creating a double boiler. Let cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes (it will thicken further as it cools). Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minute before transferring to a heatproof container. Press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface. Let cool completely at room temperature before refrigerating for at least 2 hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to bake, place the oven racks in central positions. Preheat the oven to 350F. Put cupcake liners in two muffin pans. Set aside.

Make the cookie crusts. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Cream in granulated and light brown sugars, followed by the egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in 3 installments, combining completely after each. Dough may appear crumbly, but should hold together very well when pinched.

Scoop dough in 1 1/2 tablespoon increments and roll into balls. Working with one ball at a time, press it into the bottom and about halfway up the sides of one of the cupcake liners in the pans. This should create a little crust shape with a place in the center for the filling. Repeat the process with remaining cookie dough.

Remove Pumpkin Spice Spread from the refrigerator and give it a stir. Spoon a scant tablespoon into the center of each cookie dough crust. When this is done, wet your finger and smooth out any peaks.

Tap full pans on the counter 5 times to release any air bubbles. Bake sugar cookie pies for 16-18 minutes, or until puffed in the centers and turning golden at the edges. Let sugar cookie pies cool in their pans for 10 minutes before removing to cooling racks to cool completely. Once cool, you may peel off cupcake liners.

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies will keep at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5.

Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Spicy Sage Brown Butter

Whether you’re vegetarian or just not into the usual turkey, you’re going to want to add these Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi to your Thanksgiving line-up. These little dumplings may not be a traditional part of the holiday menu, but they are tender, seasonal, and an oh-so-fun way to jazz things up.

If you’re stressed out by the idea of making homemade gnocchi, please listen to me: you (yes, you!) can make gnocchi at home during the holidays and not lose your mind in the process. Really! For the longest time, I thought gnocchi were one of those things I needed to leave to the professionals. Turns out, they are much simpler to make than anticipated. Oh, and I guess working in food for six years makes me one of the professionals—oops.

Let’s get down to it. First of all, for a beginner gnocchi maker, ricotta is the way to go. I’ve futzed around with the traditional potato variety and while that’s fun for a weekend project, it’s not the type of recipe I’m looking to take on a week before the biggest food holiday of the year. Nope. Enter ricotta gnocchi, the potato version’s just-as-good, low-maintenance cousin. It can be made in under an hour start-to-finish with no fretting over leaden results. Today’s version is getting a little autumnal flair from pumpkin purée. Yesssss.

The process of making Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi is very simple, but here are some tips for success.

  • Make sure to drain your pumpkin purée and ricotta on paper towels before mixing. This comes straight from the brilliant J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, so you know it’s important. Getting rid of the extra moisture in your cheese and purée will make your dough much easier to work with and your final gnocchi much prettier.
  • Flour your surface, knife, and hands really well. Like with other doughs, this will make the whole process much less frustrating (and sticky).
  • You don’t have to shape the gnocchi. Nobody is going to care if your gnocchi have ridges or are simply shaped like little pillows. I took the liberty of rolling mine across the back of a fork, but this is completely cosmetic and in no way required for gnocchi success.
  • You can make these ahead and freeze them! Once they’re cut, you can flash freeze your Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi on a baking sheet and store them in a freezer bag until you’re ready to cook. You can boil them straight from the freezer; starting frozen will only add 30-60 seconds to the cook time.
  • Cooking gnocchi takes just a minute or two! Boil them just until they float, then drain immediately.
  • Serve Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with any sauce you like! Despite their seasonal ingredients and color, their flavor is pretty mild and will go with a multitude of sauces. I went with Spicy Sage Brown Butter because it’s exactly what I want this time of year, but I think a seasonal pesto (kale! beet greens! pepitas! feta!) would be amazing. Get creative with it!

Y’all, these are so good. Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi are sophisticated seasonal comfort food at its finest—a perfect vegetarian dish or starter for Thanksgiving, or any fall day. They’re so quick and simple, you could even make them for a weeknight dinner like you’re Ina freaking Garten or something.

That said, if you’re dishing up homemade gnocchi on a Wednesday night, please invite me over.

Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi
makes 4-6 servings

1 cup pure pumpkin purée
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (2/3 of a 15-ounce tub)
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose or “00” flour

For cooking:
water
Kosher or sea salt

For serving:
Spicy Sage Brown Butter (recipe below)
parmesan or pecorino cheese, for serving

Line a plate with 2-3 layers of paper towels. Spread pumpkin and ricotta onto the paper towels and press 2-3 more layers of paper towels on top. Let sit 15-20 minutes. Peel off and discard top layers of paper towel and then remove pumpkin and ricotta to a medium mixing bowl. Discard remaining paper towels.

With a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, stir together pumpkin and ricotta. Stir in egg yolks, followed by Parmesan and salt. Add half the flour, followed by the remaining half. The dough should be a little sticky but not impossible to handle. If needed, add more flour by the tablespoon until it is coming away from the walls of the bowl in a single mass.

Flour your hands, a chef’s knife (or bench scraper), and a surface. Pat the dough into a circle, then slice it into 8 wedges.

Use your hands to roll each wedge into a rope about 3/4-inch thick. Slice the gnocchi into bite-size pieces (keep in mind that they will expand slightly during cooking). If you would like your gnocchi to have ridges, you can roll each one along the back of a fork (or a special gnocchi board if you’re fancy), but this is totally optional.

At this point you may freeze your gnocchi. Heavily flour a rimmed sheet pan and add your gnocchi, making sure they are in an even layer. Freeze for a couple of hours, until frozen, then transfer to a freezer bag for up to a couple of months.

To cook gnocchi, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt well. Add gnocchi and let cook just until they float (1-2 minutes). Drain immediately and toss with Spicy Sage Brown Butter (or other sauce). Garnish with cheese and enjoy immediately.

Spicy Sage Brown Butter
makes enough for 1 batch Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
20 fresh sage leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
parmesan cheese, for garnish

Add butter, sage leaves, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes to a small light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Butter will bubble and crackle as the water content evaporates. Swirl the pan frequently for 5-7 minutes, keeping an eye on the color. When the solids are turning brown and the butter is nutty and fragrant, remove the pot from the heat.

Use a fork or slotted spoon to fish out the sage leaves (they should be crispy) and place them on a a paper towel-lined plate.

Stir vinegar into the butter and taste and adjust for salt. Toss with gnocchi and use sage leaves as a garnish.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Two pumpkin recipes in a row?! ‘Tis the season.

And even if it weren’t, the prospect of these fluffy, golden Pumpkin Pancakes might just get me to crack open a can of the orange stuff any ol’ time. Even in the middle of summer. But seeing as it’s October right now, I suppose I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Right here, right now though, on this autumnal Wednesday? Nobody can argue with me about seasonality. They can call me basic if they want, but if being basic means I get to have a stack of Pumpkin Pancakes for breakfast and then stock my freezer for an inevitable mid-November Pumpkin Pancake “emergency?” Well, call me basic.

Call me whatever you want, in fact. Just don’t forget to call me when you’re making these for breakfast.

Pumpkin Pancakes
makes 18 pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup pure pumpkin purée
1 1/3 cup milk or buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
canola or vegetable oil, for cooking

For serving:
pats of butter
chopped nuts
maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium mixing bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together pumpkin purée, milk (or buttermilk), melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until no streaks of flour remain—there will still be some lumps. Let batter rest 5-10 minutes.

Heat your pan or griddle over medium heat for a few minutes, until heated through. Brush with oil (or grease lightly), then wipe excess out with a folded paper towel or kitchen towel.

Stir rested batter one or two strokes. Pour 1/4 cup increments of batter on greased pan. Let cook 2-3 minutes, until bubbles are forming and they are turning golden. Flip with a spatula and cook for 2 minutes, or until the bottom is turning golden. Remove to prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until serving.

Continue making pancakes with remaining batter, greasing the pan only as necessary.

Serve immediately with butter, chopped nuts and/or maple syrup, if desired.

Leftover pancakes may be stacked in threes, triple-wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for a couple of months. Discard plastic and microwave 2.5 to 3 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

I will never not be thrilled with sugar cookies. Plain, sprinkled, iced, rolled, maple-scented, cut out or dropped, they’re perfect in all their forms.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Today’s fall-friendly sugar cookies are spiked with pumpkin and spice for maximum seasonal coziness! They take just minutes to mix and bake, and are finished off with a simple vanilla drizzle that is so much more than the sum of its parts.

So what does one do with two dozen Pumpkin Sugar Cookies?! Eat them, duh. Or share them or submit them to a bake sale (are bake sales still a thing?). I personally like to hoard them all to myself for days on end. Like last week’s Salty Maple Brown Butter Blondies, these sweets just get better and better as time goes on. It’s true! Their high ratio of wet to dry ingredients and the inclusion of moist pumpkin purée mean these stay super soft. It’s the ideal baking situation if your fall has been as wildly busy as mine.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Like I said, i will never not be thrilled with sugar cookies.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
makes about 2 dozen cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup pure pumpkin purée
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

Vanilla Glaze:
2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
3 teaspoons milk of choice

Arrange your oven racks in central positions. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two rimmed sheet pans with parchment. Set aside.

Place butter in a medium pot (4 quart) over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until melted, then remove from heat. Stir in sugar, followed by pumpkin purée, egg yolk and vanilla. Whisk in flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Let dough sit for 10 minutes.

Scoop dough in 1 1/2 tablespoon increments (I use a medium cookie scoop). Roll into balls and place at least 2.5 inches apart on prepared pans. Bake cookies 10-11 minutes, or until puffed and no longer raw looking. Cookies will relax as they begin to cool.

Set a cooling rack over a pieces of wax paper or parchment.

Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the pans before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Make the glaze. In a small bowl use a fork to whisk together confectioner’s sugar, salt and milk. If glaze is too thick, add more milk by the 1/2 teaspoon, until desired consistency is reached. If glaze is too thin, add more confectioner’s sugar by the tablespoon until desired consistency is reached.

Load glaze into a small piping bag and snip off the tiniest corner. The glaze will be dry to the touch within 20 minutes and harden after a few hours.

For best pumpkin flavor, let glazed cookies rest for at least 30 minutes (or up to a day) before serving.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.