Monday, November 21, 2016

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pecan Pie


This is the first of three blog posts I'm sharing this week ahead of Thanksgiving, so of course it only makes sense for me to talk about pie first. Because even as we're wading our way through the stuffing and the green bean casserole, we're just really thinking about the grand finale--the pie!

So what makes pie so special? I think it's the fact that we tend to only eat it around the holidays. Cookies, cake, ice cream... I can eat that year round. But not many people bring pie to a gathering outside of the months of November and December. And I'm not exactly sure why because they're not difficult to make!

I think maybe a lot of people get intimidated by the crust. Really, that's unnecessary though. You know why? Because they make these things called frozen pie crusts! I know it sounds too good to be true, but they exist in pretty much every single grocery store.

I love using frozen pie crusts because they're extremely easy to use, and also, I highly highly doubt your guests will notice much of a difference between a frozen pie crust and a pie crust you spent hours making. In my opinion, the main event is the pie's filling. People don't call it a crust pie with pumpkin. They call it a pumpkin pie!

Personally, I use Wick's frozen pie crusts. Wick's is made in Indiana and you can find it in most stores in the state (I'm not sure about outside of Indiana). It's less than $5 for two pie crusts, so you can't beat that.

In most cases, before you use a frozen pie crust, you should just let it thaw about 15 minutes. But make sure to always follow the instructions on the package.

Also, it's important for me to emphasize that I'm talking about frozen pie crusts and not refrigerated pie crusts. Personally, I'm not a fan of refrigerated pie crusts because I think the taste is significantly inferior to frozen pie crusts, but that's just my opinion.


Okay, pie crust rant over. Now let's talk about this delicious pie.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pecan Pie is the ultimate pie for indecisive people. It has a little bit of everything for everyone. It's like the turducken of desserts! The first layer is a delicious pumpkin cheesecake, and then it's topped with gooey pecan pie filling. I dare you to find a dessert that does a better job of encompassing all of the flavors of fall. It's a total flavor explosion, and your guests will be so impressed! You don't have to tell them how easy it was to make. That can be our secret!

If it's your first time baking a pie, no worries! Follow these easy tips for a perfect pie on the first try!

  • Make a “shield” for your crust. What I mean by this is when you’re baking your pie and you notice the edges start to turn brown shield the crust from the oven with aluminum foil. Do this by folding a square of aluminum foil into quarters and then cutting out the center of the foil so you can place it on top of the pie edges. I suggest putting the shield on the crust in the last 10 minutes of baking, but it's always best to just keep an eye on it.
  • Bake pies on the lowest oven of the rack. This is because you want the crust to cook well on the bottom but you don’t want the top of the pie to burn.
  • Place your pie on a cookie sheet before putting it in the oven. Pies are very delicate and hard to transport. If you put the pie on a baking sheet first, it’s easier to remove the pie from the oven.

If you missed my first post about Challenge Dairy's partnership with UNICEF to fight the childhood malnutrition crisis with their campaign called “Pin a Recipe, Feed a Child" check it out now! Through December 31, 2016, if you pin a recipe from the “2016 Pin a Recipe, Feed a Child” Pinterest board, Challenge will donate a meal to UNICEF for a child in need.



Pumpkin Cheesecake Pecan Pie
Yield: Serves about 8 people

Ingredients
For the pumpkin cheesecake layer

  • 1 (8 ounce package) Challenge cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg

For the pecan pie layer

  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Challenge butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 frozen pie crust, thawed (or your favorite pie crust recipe)

Directions
For the pumpkin cheesecake layer

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Beat the cream cheese for 1 minute until smooth and creamy
  3. Add sugar and beat for another minute
  4. Add pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon and beat well
  5. Add egg and beat until just combined; set aside

For the pecan pie layer

  1. Combine dark corn syrup, sugar, 2 eggs, butter, and vanilla; mix in pecans
  2. Add pumpkin cheesecake mixture to bottom of pie crust and spread until layer is even
  3. Spoon pecan pie mixture on top of pumpkin cheesecake
  4. Bake for about 50 minutes or until center of pie crust is set and toothpick comes out clean
  5. Let pie cool on wire rack for at least one hour and then refrigerate until served

Idea for recipe adapted from Inside Bru Crew Life






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