It is that time of year again to reflect on the meaning of the Thanksgiving Holiday, and to remind ourselves of all of the things that we have to be grateful for. It can be easy at times in our lives to get caught up in negativity and to feel that the world is crashing in upon us…..too easy at times to feel that the day to day problems that we all face are a big deal, because let’s face it, they are! Yet at times like this it is so important to find perspective within our lives, and remind ourselves of what we do have…to realize how lucky we are to have a roof over our head and a warm place to sleep, to have love in our lives, sunshine coming in our windows and food on our table. At the very heart of it all, we have so much and we must always be Grateful and remember to not take a single thing for granted…..today and Everyday!
Speaking of food on our table….how can I write a Thanksgiving blog without including a recipe??? I discovered this new take on an old favorite last year and I don’t think I will be able to resist making it again this year. (Recipe credit: Yankee Magazine)
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
For the crust:
1 cup walnut halves
1 cup graham-cracker crumbs
1/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
5 tablespoons salted butter, melted
Preheat your oven to 350°. Set a rack to the second-to-bottom position.
Grind the walnuts coarsely in a food processor. Add the graham crumbs and sugar; then pulse to blend while drizzling in melted butter. Press into a 9-inch pie plate.
Bake until browned at the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. You can make this piecrust up to 3 weeks in advance and freeze it.
Meanwhile, make the filling:
1-1/2 tablespoons whiskey or brandy
1/4 cup milk
1 package powdered gelatin
2/3 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin-pie filling)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
Garnish: Candied walnut or pecan halves
Meanwhile, make the filling: In a medium-size pot over low heat, whisk the whiskey or brandy, milk, and gelatin continuously until the gelatin is completely dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the brown sugar, then the eggs, one at a time; continue whisking over low heat (don’t let it come to a boil) as you add the pumpkin, spices, and salt. Cook until the custard is smooth and steaming, 5 to 7 minutes.
Turn the heat off and transfer the custard to a large bowl to cool at room temperature. Don’t refrigerate it (you don’t want the custard to firm up).
In a separate bowl, whip the cream to firm peaks. When the custard has cooled to room temperature (about 45 minutes), fold in the whipped cream. Fold the filling into the cooled pie shell; chill at least 2 hours. Garnish with candied walnut or pecan halves and serve.
Candied Pecan Recipe:
1 1/2 Tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon water
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Cup Pecan Halves
Combine water, sugar, salt and vanilla in a small bowl. Toast the pecans in a pan over med heat for 2-3 minutes until you begin to smell them. Drizzle sugar mixture over nuts and stir 15 seconds or so. Remove from pan and let cool on parchment paper.