THANKSGIVING IS COMING! That's an obvious statement but one that I felt the need to shout in the face of the Christmas tidal wave overtaking everything. Yes, I'm thrilled about seasonal tea at Starbucks, but I'm not quite ready for the Christmas carols blasting in retail stores or the mountains of holiday gift wrap I had to wade through the other day to find one plain white cake box. It's almost enough to trick me into thinking that, much like the rest of this year, I blinked and missed my favorite holiday.
But I KNOW that I didn't, because I've been dreaming up Thanksgiving dishes since last month! I somehow managed to whittle it down to just four to share, two desserts and two side dishes.
Like any epic meal, I'm starting with dessert here, with a twist on a pumpkin pie. I am an unabashed lover of pumpkin pie in its classic form, with a rich pumpkin custard topped with a giant mound of whipped cream. But apparently, I am in a minority among those who find the real thing too eggy, or jiggly, or just passe. Plus, pumpkin pie is that one Thanksgiving dessert that annoyingly cannot be made in advance and so must either be purchased or allowed to hog precious oven space. Hopefully, this version will solve all of those problems.
Basically what I've done is just combine the pumpkin part with the whipped cream part, and added condensed milk to keep it creamy. This mixture is then poured into a gingersnap pie crust and frozen. You can make it in advance, the flavor is neither too pumpkiny nor not pumpkin enough, and the texture is creamy without the jiggle of custard. Plus, the ice cream angle is so unexpected at Thanksgiving, that alone might be enough to convert the most die hard pumpkin pie haters. I believe this is what we call a win-win-win situation.
No-Churn Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie
The filling makes enough for 2 pies, so double the crust recipe accordingly, or else just enjoy your bonus pumpkin ice cream!
3 cups gingersnaps, crushed
4 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 can pumpkin puree
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 pint (1 cup) heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
- Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, stir the gingersaps, butter, sugar and flour together until combined. Press the mixture into a pie plate and bake 5 minutes. Let cool completely.
- In a small pot over medium low heat, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until reduced and darkened considerably, about 40-45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin mixture and the condensed milk until combined and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, with a stand mixer or hand beater, beat together the heavy cream and sour cream until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the whipped cream mixture into the pumpkin and condensed milk mixture until completely incorporated. Pour into the cooled pie crust and smooth out the top (you will have extra ice cream mixture).Freeze until hard.
- To serve, let pie sit at room temperature for a few minutes and then slice with a sharp knife heated under hot water. Serve with whipped cream if desired.