Northern Lights Pumpkin Pie: A new twist to a classic recipe

Pumpkin pie, recipe, crust, almonds, berries, Thanksgiving, dinner, dessert, pie, pumpkin

It’s almost Thanksgiving and your assignment is to bring dessert. Eee-gads, what can you create that’s different, but something that even cranky Uncle Ralph will like? Allow me to share my favorite holiday pie recipe: Northern Lights Pumpkin Pie.

Like the aurora borealis that we enjoy here in Kodiak, Alaska, you have to see this pie to believe it. You’re creating magic: Before you pour the custard filling into the crust, you line the crust with a few ingredients to create an amazing layered effect. Each slice looks like the northern lights in the night sky.
Okay, so maybe the visual description is a stretch, but I promise you’ll love this pie. Though I’ve dabbled with this recipe over 20 years, I have no attachment to it, so I encourage you to play with the recipe…

Northern Lights Pumpkin Pie

2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar (or 1/8 cup molasses, plus 1/4 cup honey)
1-1/2 cup low fat evaporated milk
1-1/2 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup raspberry, red currant, rhubarb or strawberry jam or 1/2 cup berries
1 teaspoon diced candied ginger
Line a pie pan with pie dough, or a ginger snap or graham cracker crust. Spread jam or berries evenly over the crust. Sprinkle with chopped almonds. Set the pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Beat eggs, sugar and evaporated milk together. Add pumpkin and spices. Mix thoroughly and pour into the chilled crust. Bake the pie in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and cook another 40-60 minutes or until the filling sets up and the top is golden brown. A wooden toothpick poked in the center should come out clean. To serve, top your pie with chopped candied ginger and add a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla yogurt.
Last November, I shared how to build a better waffle: Healthy, cheap and gluten free. I hope you enjoy this recipe as well.
Happy Thanksgiving to you!

By the way…

Have you every wondered what’s really in canned pumpkin? Well, some canned pumpkin puree is actually made from one or more types of winter squash, such as butternut, Hubbard, Boston Marrow, and Golden Delicious. Turns out these squash varieties can be less stringy and richer in sweetness and color than pumpkin.
Apparently the USDA is pretty lenient with its distinction between pumpkin and squash. Here’s their take on the contents of canned puree: “The canned product prepared from clean, sound, properly matured, golden fleshed, firm shelled, sweet varieties of either pumpkins and squashes by washing, stemming, cutting, steaming and reducing to a pulp.”
Does that sound yummy? Hmm.

No Comments

  • rjmonroe968
    November 25, 2015 at 3:01 AM

    Thanks for the suggestion. Sounds festive — and a tasty surprise for our guests. We’ll give it a try.
    Sent from my iPad

    • marionowen
      November 25, 2015 at 7:09 AM

      Remember, you can tweak it however it suits you — based on whatever you have in the kitchen that inspires you. May you have a festive holiday filled with blessings and good eats.


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