5 October 2007

We Give Thanks for Health, Happiness , Family and...Cinnamon Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie!!!.

Streusel Topped Pumpkin Pie
This weekend here in Canada is the Thanksgiving long weekend. It is a time to celebrate and get together with family and friends to give thanks. What you give thanks for is an individual thing.

I am thankful that my daughter is coming home from university for the weekend!!!Yay!!! She is bringing home some Australians who can't be with their families during the holiday long weekend. Our own family lives on the other side of the country, so, we have always created our own Thanksgiving traditions. Over the years I have given up spending days preparing a lavish meal of turkey and fixings to create a more simplified, relaxed and enjoyable meal.... OUT!! I know it's not the same, but this cook thoroughly enjoys this family tradition!!! Now don't get me wrong, I love to cook a juicy aromatic turkey and all the fixings, but, it is a lot of work for just a few people! At Christmas I spend days cooking up a storm!!!(there is that "C" word again before Hallowe'en. Will there be a plague of locusts or massive flooding....) In our household we do not hold Thanksgiving on the holiday Monday but on Sunday when the restaurants are open. Wink...wink...Monday I will go for a hike if weather permits and enjoy a beautiful fall day.

Thanksgiving coincides with the end of the wine festival here in the Okanagan. We are headed to Hainle Winery not far from here for their lavish buffet. Their chefs put on a stupendous feast that you will probably hear more about in a later post.

Here is a little history about our Canadian Thanksgiving:

"In Canada Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Unlike the American tradition of remembering Pilgrims and settling in the New World, Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest. The harvest season falls earlier in Canada compared to the United States due to the fact that Canada is further north and it follows a different tradition.

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. He did not succeed but he did establish a settlement in North America. In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony, in what is now called Newfoundland, to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This is considered the first Canadian Thanksgiving. Other settlers arrived and continued these celebrations. He was later knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him - Frobisher Bay.

At the same time, French settlers, having crossed the ocean and arriving in Canada with explorer Samuel de Champlain, also held huge feasts of thanks. They even formed 'The Order of Good Cheer' and gladly shared their food with their Indian neighbours.After the Seven Year's War ended in 1763, the citizens of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving.During the
American Revolution, Americans who remained loyal to England moved to Canada where they brought the customs and practices of the American Thanksgiving to Canada. Eventually in 1879, Parliament declared November 6th a day of Thanksgiving and a national holiday. Over the years many dates were used for Thanksgiving, the most popular was the 3rd Monday in October. After World War I, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11th occurred. Ten years later, in 1931, the two days became separate holidays and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day.Finally, on January 31st, 1957, Parliament proclaimed..."A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed ... to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October."

One tradition I do uphold is to make my "famous" Cinnamon Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie. Pumpkin pie is one of my daughters favourites that I only seem to make at Thanksgiving. I love to embellish a little and move away from what would be considered a traditional pumpkin pie. There's my rebellious nature once again veering it's little head. Wink....wink... For me I think it is really just the fact that I find that traditional pumpkin pie needs a little something more!

I had a tough choice this year as well.... whether or not to stick with my traditional struesel topped pie or try a wonderful recipe from Better Homes & Gardens, "Pumpkin Praline Pie". I have included both recipes. My pastry skills leave a lot to be desired, but I have discovered that I too can make a pretty looking pie by attaching little cutout leaves around the edge of my pie crust to give it a more professional look. This also has the added bonus of covering up my crimping attempts. If you choose to make either pie let me know what you think????

I chose to stay to my tried and true tradition of streusel topped pie. We love it!!!! I will post it's photo when I make it tonight.

**Cinnamon Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie**


3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 large eggs
1 (15 oz) can unsweetened pumpkin
1 (14 oz) can fat free sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
pastry for a single crust pie of your choice, homemade or otherwise


1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup regular oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 - 3 tablespoons water
whipped cream (optional) topped with pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 375F.

To prepare filling; Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.

To prepare crust: Roll dough to an 11-inch circle. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under, flute.

To prepare struesel: Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through to 1/8 tsp ginger) in a bowl. Cut in butter with a fork or fingertips until crumbly. Sprinkle with water, tossing with a fork just until lightly moistened.

Pour pumpkin mixture into crust, sprinkle with streusel.

Place pie on a baking sheet. Bake at 375F for 50 minutes or until knife inserted in centre comes out clean, remove from baking sheet, cool completely on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Praline Pie
**Pumpkin Praline Pie**

12 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
pastry for a single crust deep -dish pie
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup half-and half or light cream
3/4 cup broken walnuts
1/2 cup milk chocolate-covered toffee pieces or chopped chocolate-covered English toffee bars
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
Hot fudge ice cream topping (optional)
whipped cream (optional)
pumpkin pie spice optional

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and the 1/3 cup granulated sugar; beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until smooth. Beat in 1 egg, stir in orange peel. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare pie pastry. On a lightly floured surface, flatten pastry ball slightly with hands. Roll dough into a circle about 13 inches in diameter. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 0-1/2 to 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Crimp edge high. Do not prick pastry.

For pumpkin filling: In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, the 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and the 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Add the 3 eggs and beat lightly. Gradually beat in half-and half. Spread cream cheese mixture into pastry-lined pie plate. Carefully spoon pumpkin filling over cream cheese. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake for 25 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine walnuts, toffee, and brown sugar. Remove foil from pie. Sprinkle with nut mixture.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes more or until a knife inserted neat the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill pie within 2 hours.

If desired, garnish with hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, and additional pumpkin pie spice.

Serves 10

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. Ahhh..what the heck..make both...eat both...diet at New Years. :)

  2. So nice pumpkin's pie recipe, I love it, but what I do first, I love the muffins'cheddar???? Delicious recipe. Gloria

  3. Great recipes...lots of uses for pumpkin...enjoy the time your your family.

  4. Our Thanksgiving comes in Nov.
    I didn't know you had a college age daughter! Cool! I have a 16 yr old ready for college too!:)
    Streusel topping is unusual, I make the regular Pumpkin pie for Halloween but this year change of menu, got to scare people ,right?:D
    Enjoy your family, friends with good food and laughter and yes, be thankful for whatever you have!:))

  5. Ohhh, these both sound so wonderful, but I really think I'm gonna try the streusel-topped one. I love anything with a crumb topping!

  6. Mmm that cinnamon-streusel topped pumpkin pie sounds really good! I have the Holiday Baking magazine from last year though I haven't made anything from it yet. Now I want to go pick up the new one though! I love looking through it to see all the delicious baked goods. Happy thanksgiving!

  7. The pies sound yummy, decadent and perfect for a holiday...Have a lovely Thanksgiving Day!

  8. Yes Asha my daughter is 20 and in her thrid year at university.
    We will have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanks everyone and same to you as well!

  9. Thanks for writing about the history of the canadian thanksgiving. I was wondering about it.

  10. I love pumpkin-anything and this is no exception. I would not have thought to put a topping.

  11. Valli, Happy Thanksgiving Day to you, your daughter and her new friends! I can smell the pie now! Looks great! I enjoyed this history also!

  12. Hey there, Valli! Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for your kind compliment. Your blog is really warm and welcoming! We do not celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia, but I have SO MUCH to be thankful for, so when I can take a moment, I close my eyes and offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God for all that he's blessed me with! :o)

  13. Thanks for that info - very helpful.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family!

  14. Happy Thanksgiving Valli!!

    Greetings from London, Margot

  15. It has been a while since I have had pumpkin pie. The streusel top sounds really good.

  16. OMG cinnamon streusel topped pumpkin pie? *dies* That sounds SO amazing. I picked up the ingredients for pumpkin pie this week, too! :)

  17. Oh my goodness, Valli...I don't know which one I'd choose...making both does seem the best way to go...though not for the hips! I am so happy for you that your daughter was home for the weekend, and have no doubt that her Australian friends were dazzled by your hospitality and amazing cooking and baking. :-)

  18. Valli, I was just eyeing that B H& G pie while I was in line at the grocey store- Your origional version looks scrumptious. I might need to try that for our yankee celebration--Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. Thank you so much for all your kind words and warm welcome, guys. If I recall I found the recipe in Cooking Light Magazine a few years ago.

  20. wow! That cinnamon-streusel topped pumpkin pie is pure heaven. Book marked for future pie indulgences. :)

  21. For the streusel....I added 2T of water, and it was a gooey mess. not "lightly moistened". Is that a typo or do I just have strange water? LOL.... It's baking now, so we'll see if it has any effect on things.

  22. My apologies Tiffany. There was a typo in the recipe but not in the quantity of water but the 3/4 cup regular oats was omitted. That's what happens when you're blogging at 4 AM. You were probably making it for Thanksgiving. :(

  23. EEK! I'm glad you were able to respond so quickly about the pie recipe. It tastes okay, but I can tell it would be SO much better if that streusel was right. My Grampa is going shopping for me today before I get there, and I'll just make another pie tomorrow morning.


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