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Wednesday, November 25,2009

White Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Pie

By Danette Randall

I'm happy to report that this week will be another pumpkin dessert — please, please hold your applause.

This week, however, will be a good ol’ pumpkin pie, with a little twist, of course. White Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Pie. That is something to be thankful for. I must admit I love Thanksgiving more than any other holiday. Before all the craziness of the holidays sets in, it’s a day to just relax and enjoy what you have. OK, so if you’re cooking all day, it might not seem that relaxing, but I find it comforting. I am also very thankful that I have no desire or friends that want to drag me off to participate in Black Friday. I do enjoy hearing horror shopping stories on Saturday, though.

I love Thanksgiving because you can say just that —“Happy Thanksgiving.” No blanket “happy holidays” statement to cover all the December festivities so as not to offend someone who might celebrate something that you don’t. I have no problem uttering "happy holidays," but I’m all for wishing someone Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or whatever it is someone might celebrate or believe. I have a dear friend that lives in Tel Aviv who sends me Christmas wishes every year without blinking an eye ... just saying. I do, however, refuse to wish someone Happy Groundhog Day. I have to take a stand somewhere.

I love the tradition of pumpkin pie — yes, I know, I have made everything but pumpkin pie this month. I must give people pumpkin options. The custardlike filling full of sugar and spice is always a welcome ending to a food-frenzied day. There is something so soothing about a nice slice of pumpkin pie. It also symbolizes the end of the first feeding and the beginning of nap time. What other dessert can make that claim? You are going to love the combination of the white chocolate and pumpkin, and I’m sure you will be thankful you made this recipe, just as I am thankful I have the opportunity to provide recipes and my thoughts for you in the Boulder Weekly.

So I leave you with a big Happy Thanksgiving wish. I am thankful for my family, friends and the strangers I am sure to meet volunteering at one of the many Boulder outreach programs.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was thank you, that would suffice.” Geesh, I need to jump off my happy box and just give you the recipe already. Alright, now follow the directions, put some love into it and invite me over when it’s done.

Before you start: Make sure your eggs are at room temperature. You can substitute the walnuts for any nut you like. Do not over-mix, it can cause the pie to crack (just cover it with whipped cream if it cracks). If you want to make life a little easier, just use a pre-made pie crust.

White Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Pie

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup shortening (chilled)
3-4 tbsp. cold water
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) or 2 cups fresh pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup whipping cream

In a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar until combined. Add in cold shortening and pulse until mix resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add water in slowly, until you can pinch dough and it sticks together. Form into ball and place on sheet of Saran wrap. Flatten into disc and put in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. While dough is chilling, heat up 1/2 cup whipping cream in small pan or double boiler until starts to simmer. Pour over white chocolate that has been set in small bowl. Stir until completely smooth and set aside.

After 30 minutes, take pie crust out and place on lightly floured surface. Dust rolling pin with flour and slowly roll out until fits 9-inch deep dish pie plate with overhang. Drape over pie plate and cut off or pinch and make a nice edge with dough. (You can do fancy or rustic.) Sprinkle pecans on bottom of dough and press down. Place back in refrigerator. Pre-heat oven to 350.

In large bowl, whisk eggs and brown sugar until well-combined. Add in pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt and mix well. Stir in 1/4 cup whipping cream and mix until smooth. Pour in white chocolate/whipping cream mixture, reserving about 2 tbsp. Make sure mix is well incorporated with pumpkin mixture. Pour into chilled pie crust. Swirl remaining white chocolate/whipping cream mix over top of pumpkin mixture.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until pumpkin is set and white chocolate is bubbling on top. Let cool completely.

When ready to serve, slice and serve with whipped cream (fresh or canned whipped cream) and garnish with a dash of cinnamon.

You can watch the Dessert Diva every Monday at 8:35 a.m. on Channel 2. To contact Danette at the station, visit 2thedeuce.com, and click on Daybreak on the Deuce. To chat and/or send comments and suggestions, write to jdromega@aol.com.

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