New-Age Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

My Pumpkin Pies Cooling on the rack

For my twenty-second installment in my ‘Thirty Days of Thankfulness‘ I thought I’d share one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions: Baking an old-fashioned pumpkin pie with a slight twist.  I have no idea why it’s called an ‘old-fashioned’ recipe; that’s just what my mother always called it.

The changes I’ve made to her recipe include eliminating egg yolks and using fat free half & half instead of condensed or evaporated milk (these two changes were to accommodate my husband’s dietary restrictions).  I’ve even used the Splenda version of brown sugar in previous years in an attempt to reduce the sugar footprint of the pie (back when my husband’s doctors were concerned about blood sugar levels).  But my favorite ingredient has to be the dark molasses; sometimes I include three tablespoons instead of just two.

So while my pies are baking in the over, I’ll provide you with the recipe for your own Thanksgiving experimentation:

New-Age Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

2 pie crusts (9-inch)
2 15-oz cans pumpkin
1 1/2 c brown sugar
3/4 c egg whites
3 T butter, melted
8 oz fat free half & half
2 T dark molasses
4 t pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 t salt (optional) … I did not add this ingredient to my pies.

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare pastry, flute.  Mix ingredients with a hand beater or on low speed in a mixer until combined.  Pour filling into pastry shells.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and continue baking at that temperature for an additional 45 minutes.

Makes two 9-inch pies.


My husband and I hit the road tomorrow, heading south on I-35 to join our adult children and their significant others for our third annual North Texas Thanksgiving family gathering.  Since we are staying with our daughter tomorrow night, and her Internet provider screams along about as fast as early 90s dial-up, you might not hear from me until Thanksgiving, when we’ll be at my son’s apartment enjoying the fruits of our cooking, baking and smoking.

I wish all of you safe travels tomorrow and wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving from North Texas

Thanksgiving Dinner with Nic, Raya and TerryTerry and I drove five hundred miles in record time against a stiff south headwind yesterday to visit our offspring and their significant others.  Even though we left over an hour later than I had planned, we arrived in Denton before the sun set and to a balmy 84 degrees.  We were so early, Rachelle and I had time to make our first of three trips to the largest Kroger store in Texas (just five minutes away from her residence).

After Terry and I retired to the spare bedroom, Kent (Rachelle’s landlord/homeowner) decided to decorate for Christmas.  We woke up to Christmas a la Redskins (I’ll let Rachelle explain that one to you.  Or, if you’ve seen the DirecTV commercial about Cowboys and Redskins fans, you’ll have some idea of what I’m talking about).  I forgot to reset my cell phone alarm, so I was up by five o’clock since it’s technically a weekday.

Terry, Derek and Royna hamming it up over the turkey. I only had to make two more trips to Kroger before I got the turkey in the oven.  This year Derek had requested a ham instead of turkey, so I also had to juggle warming up a sprial cut ham with the usual side dishes and the family tradition of sticky buns. Derek and Royna arrived from Plano just shortly after noon, as the turkey was cooling and the ham was in the oven.  Everything turned out well and we all sat down for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Everyone pitched in to clean up and we soon had the kitchen back to normal and sat down to enjoy Toy Story 3 on Kent’s amazing Samsung LED HD 3D sixty inch television.

Here’s hoping all of you are having as great a family gathering as we’re having here in chilly north Texas this Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Pies and Moon Pies

I ran to the grocery store after work this evening to pickup supplies for pumpkin pie baking.  Finding a parking spot proved challenging as everyone else must have had the same idea I did.  I managed to get in and out in less than thirty minutes.

Once home, I scrounged around for the church cookbook where my mom’s pumpkin pie recipe languishes most of the year.  I only make it twice a year, for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Moss Family Pumpkin Pies Nov 2010
Moss Family Pumpkin Pies Nov 2010

2 cans (15 oz.) pumpkin
1.5 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup egg whites
1 cup half & half
2 T melted butter
2 T molasses
3-4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 pie crusts (9 inch deep dish)

I combined all the ingredients in my mixer and stirred on the lowest setting.  I preheated my oven to 425 degrees.  I used a large cookie sheet to hold my two pie crusts (I used frozen ready-made crusts as I didn’t have time or energy to mess with making them from scratch).  I poured half of the pumpkin pie filling into each shell.  I put the sheet with the two pies in the oven for fifteen minutes, then reduced the temperature to 350 degrees and baked for another 45 minutes.

While the pies were baking, I decided to drive across the river (almost due east from my home in Lansing) to Bed, Bath & Beyond to purchase a couple of pie carriers so I could transport the pies to Texas on Wednesday.  I took K5 for the first leg of the trip and the nearly full moon shone through the leafless trees and reflected off the railroad tracks.

Once I returned home, with such a clear sky and low humidity, I got the telescope out and attached the digital camera to take a few photos of the ‘blue moon’ (one day late).  After taking a half dozen shots of the very bright moon, I removed the digital camera and repositioned the telescope to view Jupiter.  I used various eye pieces and saw the stripes of Jupiter and four of its moons (all to the left of the gas giant at this time – around 8:00 pm Central Mon 22 Nov 2010).   Even though the evening was a bit chilly, I’m glad I had another chance to dodge the recent cloud cover and spy on the moon and Jupiter again before winter weather arrives.