The Best Pumpkin Pie

Once I tried this recipe, I quickly ditched the traditional one made with evaporated milk. This one is so much creamier! Plus, since it isn’t as thin, it is easier to get it into the oven without spilling it. (Klutz alert!) Just be careful not to over beat it so you don’t beat too much air into the eggs.

The Best Pumpkin Pie

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
1 (15 ounce) can solid pumpkin puree
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk*
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
With a hand mixer on low, beat the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices, and salt together.
Pour into prepared pie crust.
Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F; bake 35 to 40 minutes longer OR until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean.
Cool. Serve with whipped cream. Refrigerate leftovers.

*NOT evaporated milk!

Creamy Baked Apples

You’ve never had baked apples like this before! This is an old family recipe that is ‘required’ at Thanksgiving but eaten all year round. The original recipe from my husband’s great grandmother called for baking the apples in the oven. I was in a hurry one day and tried the microwave and no one could tell a difference. The smaller the apple slices, the quicker they cook. Be careful not to over cook them though, or they start turning into applesauce. Still tasty, but not as pretty.

It works fine to use light butter and/or reduced fat milk to trim a few calories. The leftovers are delicious cold or reheated.

Creamy Baked Apples

3-4 large granny smith or Winesap apples
butter
cinnamon sugar
1 1⁄2 tablespoons flour
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
cinnamon
nutmeg (optional)

Peel, core and slice apples. Place in a baking dish, and dot with butter.
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar.
Bake in microwave on HIGH for about 10 minutes or until fork inserts easily, stirring at least once.
Remove from microwave and set aside.
In saucepan bring flour, sugar and milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. It will be thick.
Remove from heat, add vanilla and stir well.
Pour over apples and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg if you desire.
Serve hot or warm.

 

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Years ago, I found a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins in a Taste of Home magazine. It quickly became one of our favorite quick breads. They are excellent for breakfast, as a snack or even dessert. I’ve tweaked the ingredients and amounts over the years to make them healthier and tastier. Below, is the version we prefer.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

4 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil or light-tasting EVOO
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 (16 ounce) can solid packed pumpkin
1-2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces semisweet mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix first 6 ingredients together with a wooden spoon. (You can use any combination of oil and unsweetened applesauce, as long as it totals 1 1/2 cups. I’ve found that you need to use at least 1/4 cup oil, or the muffins end up gummy.)
Separately, mix dry ingredients in another bowl. Blend the dry ingredients into the wet mixture by hand, fold in chocolate chips. (Regular sized chocolate chips work fine too. We just prefer mini.)
Generously fill 24-30 greased muffin cups.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 16-20 minutes.

If you double bag them in Freezer Zip-loc storage bags, they freeze beautifully. Just let them thaw on the counter for a couple hours.

If you’d like to make mini muffins, bake them for about 10 minutes.