Best Part of Thanksgiving: Creamy Pumpkin Pie

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Editor’s note: this is a best-of A News Cafe column originally published on November 22, 2008.

Thanksgiving is full of family traditions, food memories, and of course hours of fantastic kitchen fun for the dedicated foodies.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year. I adore the smells, decorations, lovely trees throughout the north state, and creating memories of family fun.   Making your own family traditions is a simple and inexpensive way to create memories to cherish.  The Charroin house started a fun tradition, Thanksgiving in our pajamas!  I know it sounds absolutely nuts, but it started years ago before we had our bakery.  After a few days and long nights of pie baking, we just wanted to have a lazy day at home without the worry of cooking a big meal.  We made a big lasagna and told the kids about our plans of Thanksgiving in our PJ’s.  They thought it was wonderful.  We watched movies, played games, and went for a bike ride.  It was a perfect day that we ended with a few pies.

Pie to me is what we are all waiting for on Thanksgiving.   As wonderful as the traditional meal is, nothing beats the dessert of this special day.  Here is my favorite pumpkin pie recipe.  It is a little twist on the traditional pumpkin pie.  If you are a big fan of ginger, I would suggest adding a bit more to this recipe.  Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Use your favorite pie crust recipe.  Roll out your crust and place in the freezer prior to filling.

Pumpkin Filling

1 16 oz can of pumpkin
1 1/2 cup of cream
3 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

This is so easy!  Mix all the ingredients into a large bowl until combined.

Ginger Streusel Topping

1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, fine chop
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 stick of unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

Combine all ingredients into a bowl.  Mix in the butter with your fingers until small clumps begin to form.  That’s it!

To Bake the Pie

Pour pie filling into prepared pie crust.  Bake until pie begins to set, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle ginger topping on pie.  Return to the oven until golden brown and pie is completely set, about 20 minutes.

Andrea Charroin
Andrea Charroin is a trained baker and pastry chef. She worked in San Francisco before she, her husband, Westley, and their two sons moved to Redding. They fell in love with Redding’s downtown and opened a little pastry shop, Rene-Joule Patisserie.
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