Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Two Different Pumpkin Pies to Try

Cooking and eating pumpkin pie is a special treat that can be added to a Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Fall Curriculum theme. Most of the mixing, measuring, pouring and such should be done by the children if they are old enough.

This no bake variety is especially good for the youngest group. You can buy pre-made graham cracker tarts or you can give them a bowl with graham crackers to crunch into tiny bits and then come around with a little bit of melted butter to make it a "crust" in their bowls. A second bowl can be used to mix together the pudding mix, milk and pie filling and then they can pour it onto their crust. You can also make it one big pie as follows:

You'll need:

  • 1 can PREPARED pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 prepared graham cracker pie shell

Mix the first three ingredients and then pour it into the shell. Eat right away or chill and eat.

Note that there is a difference between prepared pumpkin pie filling and canned pumpkin. They look similar, but the prepared filling has already been cooked and has spices added.

Now, the cooked version -- a real treat for school-agers. Top it with whipped cream -- real whipped cream. I'm so surprised to see a group of school-agers who don't even know that you can whip liquid cream and get whipped cream. It's right there in the name, but I think so many kids are used to cool whip, they don't even think about where it comes from. I know that there's a real trend in moving cooking out of classrooms because of liability issues, too, and I think that just stinks. (/tirade)

You'll need:

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 can pumpkin

  • 1 can evaporated milk

  • 1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell (or see recipe below)

And then do the following:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Mix the sugar, salt and spice in a bowl.

  3. Beat the eggs and then stir in the pumpkin.

  4. Stir in the sugar mix.

  5. Stir in the evaporated milk.

  6. Pour it into the shell and bake it for 15 minutes.

  7. Reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

  8. Allow to cool for several hours and then serve topped with whipped cream.

You can make an easy pie crust even if you don't have a rolling pin. Just mix the following ingredients all together and then press it into the pie pan. This is a really fun part for the kids!

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 1/2 cup canola oil

And now for the whipped cream... Just add about 2 cups of cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to a cold metal bowl and beat on medium speed until you can see a trail left by the beaters when you drag them through the mix. Set the beaters on high and mix until it's as stiff as you'd like (should only take a minute or so more from that point.)

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