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Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Recipe: Pumpkin Pie with a Special Touch

Pumpkin Pie with a Special Touch
by Victoria Challancin

 When I prepared this recipe in a cooking class I gave for Mexican cooks in preparation for an American Thanksgiving, I knew it was a keeper.  A new tradition--and when it comes to holidays, I'm generally a traditionalist.  At least for my main dishes, I don't stray far from the recipes of my Mother and Grandmother.  But Martha Stewart's Pumpkin Pie with a Whole Wheat/Pumpkin Seed Crust and a topping of Candied Pumpkin Seeds, with its lightly chile-infused Hispanic touches, was guaranteed to be a hit with my Mexican students.  And it was.  So of course I prepared it again as a part of my Thanksgiving offerings to a joint dinner with friends.  A new family tradition was born.

What did I change?  I made the crust as given in Martha Stewart's original recipe. The filling I used, on the other hand, was the one printed on the label of a can of Libby's canned pumpkin (it's hard to improve on this very basic recipe).  As for the topping, I think it is safe to say I doubled the amount of cayenne pepper, making it two generous pinches.  Also, I thought Martha was a bit stingy with the amount of candied pumpkin seeds she served, so I simply loaded them atop my pie--the ones I could wrest away from my students, that is.  They agreed that the pumpkin seeds alone made a great snack and could be served alone or perhaps in a salad.