Archive for the ‘The Pie Plate’ Category


Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

This takes the gingersnap crust from another pumpkin pie recipe and a couple different pumpkin cheesecake recipes (mostly this one) to make a treat in the shape of a bar. Although I love pie, I am often frustrated that the crust distribution is so unequal across the slice. And while I love this gingersnap crust, it is a bit crumbly at its exposed edges in a pie. The bar solves these two problems. Plus, this swirled filling is nowhere near as rich as many cheesecake recipes, nor is it as cloyingly custardy as many pumpkin pie recipes. The texture is smooth, creamy and spicy. The overall ginger flavor is quite strong, so you might want to cut down the amount if that worries you. Finally, there are lots of steps and planning ahead, including two rounds with your food processor, but the final product is worth the time and effort, and none of the steps are terribly arduous. A perfect way to spend a fall day when you can be in and out of the kitchen.


9 oz. gingersnap cookies

1 cup pecan pieces

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger (optional)

¼ cup butter, melted


1 6 – 7” sugar pumpkin OR 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

2 large eggs, room temperature

¼ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice

If making your own puree:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Cut the pumpkin in half vertically (through or right next to stem, or remove stem). Scoop out seeds and stringy stuff. Place pumpkin halves cut side down. Cover with more foil, not tightly, more like a tent.

Bake until tender – until you can pierce the skin and flesh all the way through easily with a fork – about 1 ½ hours. Remove from oven and cool until you can handle it. Scoop out the flesh into a medium bowl. Puree using an immersion blender. Pour off any excess liquid.

Baked Sugar Pumpkin

While the pumpkin is baking, make the crust:

Put cookies into food processor, then process into crumbs. Add pecans, brown sugar and ginger and process until nuts are finely ground. Add melted butter and process to blend. Dump into a Buttered 13 x 9” glass dish and press with spatula to cover bottom evenly. Bake at 350 until set and browned, 10 – 15 minutes, then cool completely.

Gingersnap Crust

Make the filling:

Pulse sugar and ginger in (cleaned) food processor until ginger is well chopped. Add cream cheese and process until smooth. Add eggs, cream, flour and salt and process until combined.

Whisk 1 1/3 cups of the cream cheese mixture (reserving the rest) with the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Once the crust is cooled, pour the pumpkin filling over it and spread evenly. Pour the reserved cream cheese mixture on top and then swirl with a spatula. Bake at 350 degrees until center is just set, 35 – 45 minutes. Cool on a rack to room temperature (at least an hour), cover loosely with foil and chill for at least 4 hours. Then reward yourself for the delayed gratification with a nice large piece.

Just Baked Bars




Adapted from Sweet Stuff by Karen Barker; halved the sugar and added a bit more flour as the filling tends to be runny otherwise.   This also works with all blueberries, or with substitutions of raspberries or peaches.

2 — 9” pie crusts

6 tablespoons flour

½ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 pints blueberries

1 pint blackberries

zest and juice of one orange

1 tablespoon cold butter cut into small pieces

1 egg beaten and/or 1 tablespoon cream

Preheat oven to 400.

Roll out bottom crust to about 11” and fit into 9” pie pan.

Combine flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.  Toss berries and orange zest and juice in gently.  Taste for desired sweetness and add more sugar if necessary.

Place fruit mixture in the crust, mounded in the center.  Dot with butter pieces.  Roll out top crust.  Brush edges of bottom crust with egg/cream glaze.  Cover filling with the top crust, and fold its edges under the bottom crust’s and press to seal.  Scallop edges.  Brust the top crust with additional glaze.  Cut steam vents.

Place pie pan on lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 400.  Reduce temperature to 375 and bake for another 40 – 50 minutes until juices are thickened and bubbling and crust is golden brown.  Cover edges of crust with aluminum foil if necessary.

Cool completely before serving.

Print here for a printable version: BLUEBERRY BLACKBERRY PIE


Adapted from an epicurious recipe; reduced the sugar A LOT.  This is a great recipe if you’re not feeding a big crowd.

Tart crust dough, refrigerated for ½ hour, then allow to sit out of frig for 15 minutes before rolling.

1 1b. fresh blueberries (3 cups)

zest of one large lemon

juice of half of large lemon

2 – 4 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces

1 egg, beaten or 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, gently toss blueberries with lemon zest and juice, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt.  (Start with 2 tablespoons sugar and test for desired sweetness, add more if you want.)

Roll out dough (on a silicone sheet or light board, slightly floured) to a 12” round.  Top with the parchment paper and flip over.  Place on baking sheet.  Spoon blueberry mixture in center of dough, leaving a 2 inch border.  Fold edges of dough over blueberries, pleating as you go.  Dot the filling showing in the center with the butter pieces.  Brush the dough with egg or cream and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of sugar.

Bake until filling is bubbly and pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Cool slightly, serve with vanilla ice cream, or lemon sorbet.

Click here for a printable version: BLUEBERRY GALETTE

Pumpkin Pie. It’s not just for breakfast anymore


Inspired by a pie we had at the Westwood Tavern, I used a couple of different Bon Appetit recipes to put this together.  Especially good with homemade whipped cream.  I used the Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Cookie Thins for the crust, and one of the little pumpkins they have – the ones with the pie recipe stuck to the bottom.  If you have time, making it from fresh is worth it, I think.  It was really good for breakfast.


9 oz. gingersnap cookies

1 cup pecan pieces

¼ cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

¼ cup butter, melted


1 small pumpkin OR 15 oz. can pumpkin puree

1 cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

½ cup heavy whipping cream

½ cup milk

1 ½ tablespoons molasses.

Cook pumpkin: Cut in half vertically and scoop out seeds and strings and discard.  Place cut side down on foil lined baking sheet.  Cover with foil.  Bake at 350 until tender, about 1 ½ hours.  Remove from oven and flip halves over to speed up cooling.  Or, open can, and don’t feel guilty.  At all.

Break cookies into food processor, then process into crumbs.  May have to loosen with spatula to get even crumbs.  Add pecans, brown sugar and ginger and process until nuts are finely ground.  Add melted butter and process to blend.  Dump into a greased 9” pie plate and press with spatula to cover bottom and up the sides just to the edge evenly.  Bake at 350 until set and browned, then cool completely.

Once pumpkin is cooled, scoop flesh into a medium bowl and mash or puree (I think an immersion blender works best).  In a larger bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, spices and salt.  Whisk pumpkin into spice mixture.  In the pumpkin bowl, beat the eggs, then whisk in the liquids.  Add to pumpkin mixture, whisk to blend well, then pour into cooled crust.  Bake at 350 until almost set in the center (it will be slightly jiggly) and puffed a bit around the edges.  This pie came out much darker than a typical pumpkin pie.  Cool to room temperature and serve.  Keeps well in the refrigerator.

Click for a printable version of  PUMPKIN PIE WITH GINGERSNAP CRUST.