My mom’s favorite holiday was Thanksgiving, and by the grin on my dad’s face at the dinner table, it was his favorite holiday, too. My mom did the whole nine yards. Clap your hands if you read your favorite dish: turkey, stuffing (did you know that if it is cooked inside the bird, it is called ‘stuffing’ and if it is cooked in a casserole dish it is called ‘dressing’?) mashed potatoes, yams (sans marshmallows), green beans in some form, dinner rolls, a green salad filled with crunchy vegetable bits and pomegranate seeds, cranberry-orange relish, giblet gravy and pumpkin pie with REAL whipped cream. We were thankful for my mom’s scrumptious cooking, we were thankful that we were all together, we were thankful that we were eating at our house, so we could eat as much as we wanted and put on our stretchy pants.
A few years back, I decided that having only one day to reflect on what I was thankful for, wasn’t going to cut it. I could barely remember specific examples beyond being thankful for general gratitudes like the food on the table, my family (even though my brother could be a stinker some times) and not getting lice from the kid that sat next to me in homeroom. I decided that I was going to be thankful in the very moment the thankfulness occurred. Stranger or friend, I treated you the same: “Nice hat!”, “Great smile!”, “You just made my day”. I lived for my friends’ birthdays, because it gave me an excuse to call them out publicly on how freakin’ amazing I thought they were. Though I sometimes find that vocalizing my gratitude can be embarrassing both for me and the recipient, it’s always worth it. You never know when you will change someone’s day around, the same way that they changed yours just by holding a door open when you were running in from the rain.
You’ll find that being thankful 365 days of the year is just as filling as eating your Thanksgiving Day meal …in stretchy pants.
This recipe starts out by instructing me to make the pastry dough by following the recipe that ‘precedes’. Well, there is no recipe on the back, so I went to my local grocery store and bought rolled up pie dough next to the crescent rolls in the dairy aisle. I have zero shame over this decision. I’m trying to help you have a stress-free holiday here! Unroll one of the pie dough rounds and press it into the bottom of your 9 inch cheesecake pan, making sure that there is about 1/2 inch of the dough pressed up the sides. Prick the dough with a fork and bake until golden brown at 450 degrees.
Turn your oven down to 325 degrees and as your pie crust cools inside the cheesecake pan from its time in the oven, put the cream cheese into a bowl and beat in sugar, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Incorporate eggs, then pumpkin. Pour mixture into pie crust in the cheesecake pan.
Place in 325 degree oven for about 35 minutes. Soooooo, this is where I admit that I had a 10 inch pan for a 9 inch pan recipe. I figured that the pie wouldn’t be as tall and would bake a lot faster. I actually ended up keeping it in the oven for about 40 minutes. When I wiggled it, it was still a little loosey-goosey, so I kept it in until it firmed up a bit more, pushing me to the 40 minute mark. Just keep your eye on it and you’ll be fine.
In a bowl, mix the sour cream, 6 tbsp. of sugar and 1 tsp. of vanilla. Once the pie has just firmed up, take it out of the oven and spread the sour cream mixture on top. Place back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Cool pie in tin and refrigerate until chilled completely. Remove pan sides and place your pecan halves at 10 and 2 and all the other places on the clock.
There was a reason I added ‘cake’ to this title. It’s like the lazy person’s version of a pumpkin cheesecake! And yes, in this case, ‘lazy’ is NOT a four letter word. The sour cream topping tastes like the cheese in a cheese danish and the pecans are both delicious and decorative! Impress your guests with something new and decadent for Thanksgiving!They’ll be thankful you did.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie
- Ready to go pie dough
- 6 oz. cream cheese
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 2 eggs
- 1 lb. pumpkin puree
- 1 c. sour cream
- 6 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 12 pecan halves
- Unroll pastry dough; press it over bottom and about 1/2 inch up sides of a 9-inch cake pan with removable bottom or a 9-inch cheesecake pan. Bake as directed.
- Beat cream cheese smoothly with the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
- Blend in eggs; then add pumpkin. Mix thoroughly.
- Pour filling into pastry shell and bake in a 325 degree oven for about 35 minutes or until the center no longer looks liquid when the pan is gently shaken.
- Remove pie from oven and spread the sour cream topping evenly over the filling; return to oven and bake 10 minutes longer.
- Cool, then cover and chill thoroughly.
- Remove pan sides, garnish with pecan halves around outer edge, and serve.
- Sour Cream Topping: Mix together 1 c. sour cream with 6 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.