Pumpkins not only play a significant role in Halloween décor and flavored coffee and creamers, but also provide families with a traditional dessert for the holidays. Pumpkin pie is one of the most popular sweets at a Thanksgiving feast. However, the gourd-like squash that’s been around for centuries offers a versatile assortment of treats often overlooked by the average holiday baker. This season, step outside of your comfort zone and explore the following pumpkin dessert ideas:
Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie
Create a frozen delight by combining vanilla ice cream with a cooked pumpkin spice mixture after it has cooled, and then spreading into a baked cooled crust before setting in the freezer.
Pumpkin Tart With Streusel Topping
With a thick cookie crust, serve pumpkin tarts with a streusel topping consisting of flour, brown sugar, softened butter, and pecan pieces for rave reviews. For the incurable sweet tooth, try out a Chocolate Pumpkin Tart, which adds a rich layer of melted semisweet chocolate – the perfect complement to the sweetness of pumpkin. Another perk of using chocolate in pumpkin tarts: protecting the crispiness of the crust.
Spiced Pumpkin Custard
Relying on milk and eggs for its unique texture, spiced pumpkin custard not only serves as a stand-alone dessert for the holidays, but also blends well with pies, cakes, and other sweet creations. Pumpkin custard recipes usually contain brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and of course, pumpkin puree.
Pumpkins create delicious seasonal breads that allow bakers to explore a wide range of ingredients, including pecans, cranberries, walnuts and dried fruits. Try offering a surprise inside your pumpkin bread by incorporating a cream cheese filling.
Whether you enjoy baked or frozen cheesecakes, the limit to creative variations of this popular cream cheese dessert is endless. Blending the creaminess of cheesecake with the spiciness of pumpkin pie is a match made in heaven. It’s also a challenge, as cheesecake naturally falls victim to overcooking, cracking, and baking in an oven that’s too hot. If you’re ready to take on the challenge, consider additional enhancements, such as a ginger-flavored graham cracker crust or vanilla-flavored sour cream topping.
When you’re pressed for time, pumpkin brownies are usually a quick alternative to cakes and pies. Combine canned pumpkin with ingredients, such as cinnamon, allspice, cocoa, chocolate chips and nutmeg, to create unforgettable holiday brownies.
Uplift Your Classic Pumpkin Pie Recipe
If you’re having a hard time abandoning your traditional pumpkin pie recipe, at least consider a few enhancements to create a new-and-improved version of your favorite dessert to wow friends and family.
- Bake your pie filling in a flavored crust. Try nutty variations, like using hazelnut or experiment with a Spiced Oat Crust, which combines ingredients, such as oats, oil and pecans.
- Enhance the flavor of your pumpkin pie filling by adding up to 1 cup of orange juice.
- Add finely chopped nuts, like pecans and walnuts, for an aromatic dessert that delivers a little something special to the flavor and texture of your pie.
- Replace your regular whipped cream as a topping with a flavored selection, like one made with bourbon or chocolate.
- Mix shredded coconut and two tablespoons of rum in your pie filling for an exotic twist.