Pumpkin Pecan Pie

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Admittedly, I am a relatively recent pumpkin convert. It is only in the last few years that I have been able to enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. I still can’t handle pumpkin spice flavored beverages though.  Pecan pie, on the other hand, was my absolute favorite when I was growing up. I would have gladly suffered through the consequences if my parents had let me eat an entire pie myself.  I don’t recall my grandmother ever making this recipe for pumpkin pecan pie but if she had, maybe I would have embraced pumpkin earlier in life. It is the perfect balance of pumpkin and pecan pie. For those of you who can’t decide between the two flavors, this is your solution!!!

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Grandma gets bonus points for this recipe because it is so amazingly easy. The hardest part was getting it into the oven without spilling the filling. Check out the tips below for help with that.

Tips

  • If you are using pre-made pie crust that is in an aluminum tin, place it on a baking sheet before pouring the filling in and keep it on the baking sheet even while baking it. The tin is flimsy enough that it is easy to spill the filling while transferring it to the oven if you don’t have the support of the baking sheet.
  • If you are using a roll-out pre-made pie crust and placing it in your own glass/metal pie dish, go ahead and put a baking sheet in the oven on the bottom shelf. If you happen to have any filling bubble over the edge of the crust the baking sheet will catch it and save you from a mess in your oven.

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Makes 1 pie

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup dark corn syrup

2 tablespoons butter (melted)

1 cup chopped pecans

1  9” unbaked pie shell

 

Heat oven to 350°F. If using a roll out pie crust, unroll it and place it in a pie dish. In a bowl, mix all ingredients except pecans. Pour mixture into pie shell. Top with chopped pecans. Bake for about 40 minutes or until done (filling should not be jiggly). Once cooled, serve topped with whipped cream.

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*Original source of this recipe is unknown. Directions are slightly modified from my grandmother’s recipe card.

Strawberry Pastry

God bless the person who decided pastries were an ideal breakfast food! Can I get an “AMEN”??? That sweet, carb loaded goodness might not actually be part of a healthy, balanced diet but it certainly does give me motivation to actually eat breakfast. My eyes don’t exactly light up the same way when presented with a bowl of plain oatmeal.

Homemade pastry is particularly delicious but it is also time consuming. I don’t have a lot of spare time these days so I fully embrace the pre-made puff pastry sheets found in my local grocer’s freezer section. Slice it, shape it, fill it and you’ll have beautiful little delights that fit in the palm of your hand. Whether you want to share these treats with friends is totally optional – I’ll admit I ate most of these myself.

 

Tips:

  • Be sure to pull the pastry sheets out of the freezer ahead of time. It takes about 30-40 minutes to thaw out.
  • The strawberry mixture will end up with some juice in the bowl. Try to avoid scooping the juice onto your pastries as it will leak out and get a bit messy.

 

Strawberry Pastry

Ingredients:

16oz strawberries, sliced

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon corn starch

1 tablespoon orange zest

17.3oz package puff pastry sheets, thawed

Glaze:

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine strawberry slices, orange zest, sugar and corn starch.

Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 9 squares. For each square, gently fold diagonally in half to form a triangle. With a sharp knife, slice dough ¼ inch from each edge – slices should not quite meet at the corner. Unfold triangle, you will have two L shapes framing an inner square. Fold the corner of one L over to the opposite corner of the square. Do the same with the other L. Dough will now have a diamond shape. Fill inside of diamond with strawberry mixture. Repeat folding and filling process for each square of dough.

Place each filled pastry on lined cookie sheet. Back for 15 minutes or until pastry begins to turn light golden brown. Let cool completely.

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For the glaze, whisk orange juice and powdered sugar with a fork. Gradually add milk until glaze has reached desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over pastries.

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Fruit Bruschetta

I love hitting up my local farmer’s market for seasonal produce and I love hosting friends at my house for tasty eats. The best is when these two loves come together with an easy recipe that is dressed to impress. When hitting up the farmer’s market, I often browse for what looks enticing and create a dish from the ingredients found rather than coming in with specific ingredients to find. This has resulted in me being more creative in the kitchen but has also expanded my palette. When you find a golden baguette and perfectly ripe berries you can’t walk away empty handed. For this recipe, I ultimately combined fresh finds with what I already had in my kitchen – goat cheese, mint, plums and honey. Listen, I like fresh but I also hate to waste so I’m all about using what is already on hand too.

This fruit bruschetta is light and flavorful but it is also so easy to make. It is ideal for entertaining and could be used as an appetizer, a dessert or even a snack.

 

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Tips:

  • This recipe highlights using seasonal fruit. If you can’t find plums, substitute them for blueberries, pomegranate seeds, or whatever seasonal berry you can find.
  • Watch the bread slices closely in the oven, it is all too easy to accidently burn them. The goal is for the bread slices to be lightly toasted on each side.

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Fruit Bruschetta

Ingredients:

Ciabatta baguette

8oz goat cheese (softened)

1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

1 cup raspberries, washed

1 cup blackberries, washed

1 cup plums, washed and sliced

Honey for drizzling

 

Directions:

Set your oven to Broil.

Slice baguette diagonally into ½” thick slices. Lay out the slices of bread on a cookie sheet and place in the oven for 1 minute or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven, flip each slice of bread over and place back in oven for 1 minute or until lightly golden. Remove cookie sheet from oven and let bread slices cool completely.

In a bowl, combine goat cheese and chopped mint leaves. Spread goat cheese onto bread slices (be generous, it’s delicious!). Top with fruit as desired then drizzle with honey.