Pumpkin Pie

Pies and Tarts

Yield: one 9-inch pie
Recipe: 54/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 97

1378235_10200101663504558_974163002_nCredit to my little sis Maude for taking this beautiful picture of a slice of my pumpkin pie when I forgot.    

    Third and last dessert of the Thanksgiving weekend: the classic pumpkin pie! I say classic because it seems to be the dessert that everyone makes this time of year, but actually neither I nor any member of my family have ever eaten and much less made a pumpkin pie. Hence, this was my first time making and eating a pumpkin pie. The recipe is pretty straightforward and yields a pie that is colorful, velvety looking and slices perfectly. Unfortunately, I did not like this pie. Now because this was my first time eating a pumpkin pie I’m assuming that pumpkin pie in general is just not my thing. I found the taste to be very rich and not something that I would take more than two bites of. I would perhaps try another slice of pumpkin pie at some point in time to see if I would like it. If you like pumpkin pie though, try this recipe and let me know if you like it! 


  • 1/2 recipe Double-Crust Pie Dough
  • 2 cups plain pumpkin purée
  • 1 tin (300 mL) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 3 eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pull the prepared pie dough from the fridge 30 minutes before rolling.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead the pie dough slightly to soften, then roll it out to a circle to about 1/4 inch thick. Dust a nine inch pie plate with flour and place the rolled pastry into the shell. Chill the pie shell while preparing the filling.
  3. For the filling, mix together the pumpkin purée, condensed milk, spices, cream and eggs until evenly blended.
  4. Place the chilled pie plate onto a baking tray and pour in the pumpkin filling.
  5. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake the pie for about 40 minutes more, just until the crust is nicely browned and the filling set, but with the centre still jiggling. Cool the pie to room temperature and then chill for at least three hours before serving.


  • If using previously prepared pie dough that has been frozen, make sure to take it out of the freezer and place it in the fridge the morning that you plan to use it.

Notes from Anna:

  • The pie can be served chilled or warmed at 300°F for 15 minutes.


Apple Cookie Crumble

Cookies, Bars and Biscotti

Yield: enough for 6-8 people
Recipe: 53/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 125


     This is the second dessert of the Thanksgiving weekend. I made this mostly for my sisters, who adore apple crumble. This dessert is very easy to do, which is a big plus. It is also one of those desserts that tastes way better than it looks. When the crumble came out of the oven I was quite surprised as I found that it wasn’t very appetizing. Frankly, I didn’t think it looked very good. Nonetheless, I offered it to my sisters and they were adamant that it is excellent and one of the best desserts I have ever made. Doubtful, I had a piece myself and was happily surprised. Apple crumble + cookie… who would’ve thought (well Anna, obviously!) ? It was delicious!! It is hard to explain, I guess it’s just something you have to try yourself. I can at least tell you that if you like apple crumble and you like cookies, you will love this. Truly a great combination. 


  • 6 cups peeled and sliced apples (about 5 apples) such as Granny Smith, Cortland, etc.
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 recipe Basic Brown Sugar Cookie Dough


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Toss the apples with the brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Spread them in an 8-cup baking dish.
  3. Prepare the cookie dough recipe and stir in the additional 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon into the dough.
  4. Crumble the pieces of the cookie dough over the apples, making sure to leave gaps here and there to leave room for the dough to expand.
  5. Bake the crumble for 35-40 minutes, until the top of the crumble has become a golden color and the bottom is cooked. Let the crumble cool for 15 minutes before serving.


Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

Cakes and Cupcakes

Yield: one 9-inch round cake
Recipe: 52/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 174



     This past weekend was Thanksgiving weekend! I love this time of the year simply for all the wonderful moments spent with the family with good food and the beautiful fall weather. As was inevitable, I made one (or three! recipes to come) dessert to bring along to my parents house. This dessert was an easy pick because I had too many apples that I needed to pass and more importantly, it looked delicious! Sadly, it is by making this wonderful upside down cake that I realized that my oven is probably on its way out. It only cooks from the top element, so burns the top of foods and leaves the bottom uncooked. This is why the top of the cake looks mushy. Its unappealing appearance notwithstanding, the cake was very good. Quire rich but quite good. 

Ingredients for caramel apple layer:

  • 3 apples (e.g. Cortland, Granny Smith, Mutsu) peeled, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

Ingredients for cake:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature, separated into yolks and whites
  • 1/3 cup sour cream *
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and place it on a baking tray.
  2. For the caramel apple layer, arrange the apple wedges tightly together in the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Pour the water and lemon juice into a small saucepot and then add the sugar and butter. Bring this mixture to a boil without stirring and continue to boil until it is a rich caramel color, about 4-6 minutes. Make sure to occasionally brush the sides of the pot with water.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the caramel over the apples, coating them as much as possible. Set aside while preparing the cake.
  5. With a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar until the mixture is fluffy.
  6. Add the egg yolks, sour cream and vanilla extract and beat until blended.
  7. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir this mixture into the butter mixture.
  8. In another bowl and using a hand or stand mixer, whip the four egg whites until they hold a soft peak. Fold them into the cake batter in two additions.
  9. Scrape the batter over the apples and spread evenly. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then run a knife around the inside edge of the cake pan, place a plate over the pan and flip the cake over, revealing the gorgeous caramel apple top.



  • I did not have sour cream on hand, nor was there any in my nearby supermarket, so I substituted the sour cream with the same amount of buttermilk. This replacement seemed to work fine.

Note from Anna:

  • When caramelizing sugar, I prefer to put the water in the pot before adding the sugar, as this facilitate the dissolution of the sugar and is less likely to cause crystallization as the mixture starts to boil.