Thanksgiving dessert recipes

Cindy’s Squash Pie

Cindy’s Butternut Squash Pie

At first glance you would think my sister made a pumpkin pie. It looks like pumpkin pie. It also tastes a lot like pumpkin pie. When I was a kid, and tasted this pie for the first time,  it was the first time I liked “pumpkin” pie

My sister has been making this squash pie recipe for years. I love it. It is part of our Thanksgiving tradition. Cindy made it clear, from the beginning,  that she used cooked butternut squash for her pie and not pumpkin. She liked the flavor better. I can’t argue with her success. The pie is yummy.

Of course, you could use pumpkin or other winter squash, if you like. I use Hubbard sometimes. The recipe has the right mix of spices and just enough sugar without being too sweet. What ever squash you use, I am sure this pie will be a hit with your family, too.

Cindy’s Butternut Squash Pie

1 (9″) unbaked pie shell brushed with 1 egg white
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups (1 lb.) cooked, butternut squash (mashed or pureed)
3 Tbsp molasses
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz can)

Combine filling ingredients and pour into shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 55-60 min., or until custard tests done.

Cindy added: I find this to be a very generous recipe; could make 2 smaller pies or just bake the extra custard in a baking cup. I suppose it could be frozen and used in another recipe, but I’ve never tried to freeze the raw filling, so I don’t know.
This can be used with pumpkin, too.

Pumpkin Cake Roll

Pumpkin Cake Roll

This is one of my favorite desserts. A soft pumpkin cake, lightly spiced, rolled around a cream cheese filling. Not just tasty, it’s pretty, too.

I have several variations of this recipe and decided to make the “simple” one last night. It mixes up in no time and rolls up easily. I like the combination of spices, too. It also freezes well. You can make a couple of them and pop them in the freezer, so you always have dessert when needed. This recipe makes one cake, but can easily be doubled. These make nice gifts, too.

It is baked in a small jelly roll pan, the 10×15-inch size. Don’t freak out when you put the batter in the pan. It will fill it right up to the top. The cake doesn’t rise much, so it works.

Pumpkin Cake Roll

3 Eggs

1 cup Sugar

2/3 cup Pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon Lemon juice

3/4 cup All-purpose flour

1 teaspoon Baking powder

2 teaspoons Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Ginger

1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon Salt

Filling:

8 ounces Cream cheese — softened

4 tablespoons Butter

1 cup Powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

In large bowl, combine eggs and sugar, beating with an electric mixer until thick and light yellow in color. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, mixing until blended. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add to egg mixture, mixing well. Spread batter into greased and waxed-paper lined 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan.

Bake at 350 ° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 15 minutes. Place cake on clean tea towel sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. Peel off the wax paper. Cool 10 minutes longer. From 10- inch side, roll cake up in towel. Set aside. While cake is cooling in towel, prepare filling. Beat together cream cheese and butter; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth. Unroll cake. Evenly spread filling over cake. Roll up cake (without the towel). Wrap in plastic wrap. Cover and chill at least 1 hour before serving. A serrated knife works best for slicing. Keep leftover cake refrigerated. This pumpkin roll freezes well. Serves 6-8.

dust a tea towel with powdered sugar
Place cake on towel, remove wax paper
roll up in towel and allow to cool.
freshly rolled cake

Mom’s Pumpkin Squares

Pumpkin Squares

This recipe has been part of our family for years now.  My mom made them for Thanksgiving every year- and I continue that tradition. Like my mom, I use fresh (or frozen) cooked pumpkin or winter squash. My mom didn’t care much for the taste of canned pumpkin. She would cut up the Halloween pumpkin, cook it, puree it and freeze it- so she could make pumpkin squares anytime she wanted.

The original recipe came from Bisquick, but it had 2 cups of sugar in it. My Mother’s sensibilities kicked in and she cut the sugar down to one cup. Great move on her part. The cake is still plenty sweet with less sugar.

It mixes and bakes up in no time. I normally top it with cream cheese frosting, but it would be good with a simple powdered sugar glaze, a buttercream frosting, or even just a dusting of powdered sugar mixed with a little cinnamon.

The texture is moist and tender and I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

Pumpkin Squares

1 c. sugar
½ c. oil
16 oz. cooked pumpkin, canned, fresh (preferred) or frozen
4 eggs, beaten
2 c. biscuit mix (homemade or Bisquick or Jiffy Mix)
2 t. cinnamon
½ c. raisins, optional
Grease a jelly roll pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat first 4 ingredients for 1 minute. Stir in mix, cinnamon and raisins. Pour in prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. Cool and frost. Frosted cake must be kept refrigerated between servings.

Frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese
2/3 c. butter
2 T. milk
2 t. vanilla
3 c. powdered sugar, or more
Beat together until smooth.

Pumpkin Chiffon- Gluten Free

Pumpkin Chiffon

I fondly remember when my Mom used to make this dessert. I think of her whenever I make it. From a technical cooking standpoint, it’s not really a chiffon, but that is what my Mom called it, so I will leave it as  Pumpkin Chiffon.

It’s more like a pumpkin pie, without the crust. Super easy to make and quite tasty. I bake it in a casserole dish but you could also make it in individual  ramekins.  This recipe is always a big hit when I make it for friends.

You could use canned or fresh cooked pumpkin or winter squash, like butternut or Hubbard. I always cook up and freeze pumpkin and squash for later use, so frozen would work, too. Because there is no crust, it is also gluten-free.  I sometimes serve it with gingersnaps and whipped cream. It is a lovely Fall dessert. Perfect for Thanksgiving, too.

Mom’s Pumpkin Chiffon

½ c. applesauce
1 c. cooked or canned pumpkin or squash
¾ c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. salt
½ t. nutmeg
1/8 t. cloves
4 eggs, well beaten
1 c. half and half or evaporated milk
Stir together first seven ingredients. Beat in eggs and stir in milk. Place mixture in 1 ½ quart casserole and bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serve alone or with cookies. Serves 6-8.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Pumpkin ice cream is such a nice addition to many fall desserts. I made a batch to serve with apple cake and butterscotch sauce for a birthday dinner. It is also a nice way to use up some of your Halloween pumpkins.

It has been a while since I made pumpkin ice cream. I think colder Fall weather makes me think less about ice cream desserts. Still, I don’t think it is ever too cold for ice cream.

This is a pretty simple recipe. I did not use eggs/custard as the base. You just mix the ingredients and freeze. Easier if you have an ice cream maker, but doable without.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

2 c. whipping cream

2 c. pumpkin puree or winter squash

1 c. sugar, or to taste

1 T. molasses

2 t. cinnamon

1 t. vanilla

1/4 t. salt

Combine all ingredients and stir until well mixed and sugar is dissolved. Place in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s directions. My machine can’t take the whole recipe at once so I froze it in 2 batches and kept the rest of the pumpkin mixture chilled until ready to use. Place finished ice cream in the freezer until ready to serve.

Note: If you don’t have an ice cream maker you can place the mixture in a shallow pan and freeze until solid. remove from freezer and allow to that a little- about 10 minutes then break up and place in a mixing bowl. Whip with a mixer until smooth and return to the freezer. Repeat process once more to end up with creamy ice cream.

Hazel’s Sweet Potato Pie

Hazel’s Sweet Potato Pie

I love sweet potato pie. I am always surprised when someone tells me they  have never had it. Maybe it is a north/south thing? I have made it for friends several times, and there is always someone who says they never had a sweet potato pie before.

Once they taste it, they love it.  Some people say that they prefer sweet potato pie over pumpkin pie. I like both, but it gives you another pie option for Thanksgiving.

I used to work with a wonderful woman named Hazel Pruitt. She grew up in Alabama and taught me so much about southern cooking. I first made collard greens with Hazel. She also taught me how to make sweet potato pie. This is her recipe and I want to share it with you. I think of her every time I make it.

I used Martha Stewart’s recipe for the crust, but use whatever crust you like. Her recipe makes two crusts, so I will use the other half of the dough for another pie.

Hazel’s Sweet Potato Pie

½ c. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

½ t. allspice

½ t. salt

¼ t. cloves

1 ½ c. cooked, mashed sweet potato

2 eggs, beaten

1 c. milk or almond milk

2 T. melted butter or 2 T. olive oil

1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust

Combine sugar with seasonings. Stir in remaining ingredients and combine until smooth. Pour into pie crust and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until filling is set.

Martha Stewart’s Pie Crust Recipe

2½ c. flour

1 t. salt

1 t. sugar

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, very cold

About 6 T. ice water

Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Using a fork to mix the dough start to add the ice water a tablespoon or 2 at a time until mixture just holds together. Wrap and chill until ready to use. Makes 2.

Classic Pecan Pie

Classic Pecan Pie

I love all sorts of pies. I would never want to pick just one favorite. If I had to pick, pecan would probably be it. The nuts, the sweet filling and the crispy crust all work so well together.

Served plain, or with a dollop of whipped cream, pecan pie just works for me. It is not a pie I make very often, so I think pecan pie always makes me thinks of the holidays. It was also a favorite of my Mom’s.

Here is the recipe. The crust recipe follows.

Classic Pecan Pie

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 c. light or dark corn syrup

1 c. sugar

2 T. Butter, melted

1 t. vanilla

1½ c. pecans

1 unbaked 9-inch pastry crust

In medium mixing bowl beat together all ingredients, except the pecans until well mixed. Stir in nuts and pour into crust. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes or until knife inserted off center comes out clean. Makes 1.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Variation: The same recipe as above, but reduce sugar to 1/3 cup and add 4 oz. of German sweet chocolate or semi sweet chocolate, melted and cooled along with the eggs. This pie sometimes needs a little more time to bake-5 minutes or so.

Variations: You can experiment with other nuts. Try toasted, skinned hazelnuts, chopped coarsely or walnuts, slivered almonds or a combo.

You can use a store bought crust, but I prefer homemade. This is the crust recipe I normally use when I make pecan pie. It makes two crusts, so you can cut the recipe in half, freeze half of the dough, or just make 2 pies!!!

Half and Half Dough

This is a great crust for liquid fillings like custard type pies, pecan and pumpkin. For a sweet pie like pecan you can reduce the sugar in the crust by half.

¼ c. butter, room temp

½ c. shortening, room temp, or lard

¼ c. sugar

½ t. salt

2½ c. pastry or all purpose flour

1/8 t. baking powder

¼ c. milk

1 t. lemon juice

Cream together the first 4 ingredients until smooth. Mix together the flour and baking powder. Set aside. Combine milk with the juice and set aside. Stir ½ c. of the flour into butter mixture. Stir until smooth. Add a little of the milk, stirring until smooth. Add remaining ingredients alternately until finished. Dough will firm up once chilled. Chill at least 4 hours before using. Makes 2 crusts.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

I have posted this recipe before, but I think it is worth posting again. If the only way you enjoy sweet potatoes is as a side at the holidays, or in pie, it is time to expand your thinking about them. In this recipe, the mashed sweet potatoes add both sweetness and moistness to the finished cake. Great plain, or with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh berries. This cake makes a great dessert or a nice addition to a brunch menu. Also a nice way to use up leftover mashed sweet potatoes, if you find yourself with leftovers.

 

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

1 1/2 c. cake flour*

1/2 t. each baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg

1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 c. sour cream, room temperature

1 1/3 c. sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

1/2 c. mashed sweet potato

1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly oil an 8×4-inch loaf pan. Mix flour with next 4 ingredients and set aside. In large mixing bowl beat together butter and sour cream. Beat in sugar and then beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in mashed sweet potato and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients and pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until tester comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in pan 30 minutes before loosening cake sides from pan and removing. After cake has cooled wrap in foil and store at room temperature. Serves 8.

* If you don’t have cake flour you can make your own. Simply measure out a cup of all purpose flour and remove 2 tablespoons of the flour. That is now the same as a cup of cake flour OR remove the 2 tablespoons of flour and replace them with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and sift together to combine. I do the flour/cornstarch mix and keep a batch on hand for when I need it in baking.

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