Nothing says ‘Thanksgiving’ quite like a slice of pumpkin pie. The American classic uses a special spice mix that has inspired everything from seasonal latte flavours to pop tart variations. If you’ve tried the classic but you’re still not convinced, we’ve got you covered. Here are five unusual alternative recipes that’ll convince you otherwise, from a banana version that kids will love to a coriander caramel coating that will appeal to more adventurous palates.
This one is a combination of two iconic pies — apple and pumpkin — and it’s, excuse the pun, easy as pie to make, too. The recipe asks for a pre-made shortcrust case, but we suggest making your own in a non-stick flan tin for a rounded, more buttery taste. The streusel topping gives it a crunchy, flavourful final touch, adding extra interest to this sweeter spin on pumpkin pie.
Light as air and palest peach in colour, this pumpkin cheesecake is a show stopping Thanksgiving dessert. It’s incredibly simple: though you’ll need a high quality springform tin to do it justice, it only uses eight easily found ingredients. The ease of making belies its decadence, however — it’s fluffy and delicate and afforded a little edge courtesy of the lemon. Keep it classy with a dusting of icing sugar over the top, or go all-out and decorate with seasonal US favourite candy corn for a kitsch finishing touch.
This spin on pumpkin pie is truly original; entirely handmade from fresh ingredients and topped with an innovative coriander-fragranced caramel. You’ll make the pumpkin puree from fresh roasted squash and spice it yourself, already breaking from the US tradition of canned pumpkin and a readymade case. The showstopper here, however, is the caramel. Using a high-walled heavy-bottomed pan, you’ll boil sugar and water into a syrup, and then whisk through coriander seeds and cream; it sounds unusual, but trust us, it works.
Jamie Oliver’s chocolate pumpkin brȗlée pie has it all. The crisp, cocoa pastry crust is covered in a thin layer of pure chocolate, then filled with a delicious pumpkin custard with notes of orange, cinnamon and nutmeg. A sweet caramelised sugar finish (the brȗlée) adds further texture and brings a certain French-style je ne sais quoi to proceedings. You can use a blowtorch to brown the top, or if you haven’t got one, sprinkle on the sugar and pop it under a hot grill instead.
This banana pumpkin pie benefits from the natural sweetness of banana, which intensifies as it cooks, as well as the light, moist texture the fruit adds. It has the rich, tawny colour of a traditional pumpkin pie, and looks great decorated with delicate shortcrust leaves as the recipe suggests. The addition of vanilla to the homemade pastry case is optional, but it ties in perfectly with the subtle banana flavour to create a family friendly take on the dish.
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