With Thanksgiving right around the corner, all I’ve had is food on my mind…I know, who am I kidding? I’m a food blogger so I usually have food on my mind. 🙈
I sometimes catch myself daydreaming about which dishes I’m looking forward to eating and trying to get a more solid menu planned in order to finish grocery shopping. When it comes to holiday meals, I’m a traditionalist and look forward to the same(ish) dishes each year, like mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and stuffing. I often like to put little twists on these old classics too, you know, so we don’t get bored!
For dessert, pumpkin or sweet potato pies are my fave! I finally got around to making my own pumpkin puree (isn’t it the most gorgeous color?) so while browsing Pinterest for pumpkin ideas, I came across this picture of a pumpkin pie with little specks in it. Annoyingly, it doesn’t lead to the recipe, but the first thing that came to mind when I saw it was black sesame seeds. I know that’s probably not what’s in the pie from that pic, but it gave me the idea to try it out the next time I made a pie!
On a side note, pretty cutouts are a great idea to decorate simple pies like this. They’re not only a pretty addition, they also give you a little bit more of my favorite part—the crust! They’re great for covering up large cracks in your pie too, which I may or may not know from experience…😜
Although the pie didn’t have a distinct sesame flavor, the seeds did add a bit of a nutty crunch throughout the pie, which I enjoyed. They also make a nice contrast to the creamy texture and vibrant color. I think I’ll definitely be adding a few spoonfuls to my pumpkin pies from now on!
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish or dessert?
- double crust recipe (recipe here and gluten-free recipe here. Half the recipe if you don't plan to make cutouts to decorate.)
- 2½ cups homemade (recipe below) or canned pumpkin puree
- ⅔ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup almond milk or other milk of choice
- 3 eggs + one additional egg for egg wash (optional)
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon ginger, according to your taste
- pinch of ground black pepper
- 1–2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, to taste
- 1 3-4 lb sugar, pie, or baking pumpkin
- Wash the pumpkin well and cut the stem off the top. Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds and pulp.
- Place pumpkin cut side down onto a baking sheet and roast in a 375F oven for 45-60 minutes, until it can easily be pierced with a knife.
- Scoop out the soft pulp from the shell and put into a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Store remaining puree in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or freeze for longer storage.
- Prepare a double crust recipe and half the dough. Shape each into a round, flat disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
- Lightly grease a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Remove one disc and roll between two large pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap, to about a 12-13" circle. Transfer to the pie plate and gently fit into the edges of the pan.
- Crimp or flute the edges a little above the rim of the pan to hold all of the filling. Refrigerate the crust until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 375F. To make the filling, combine pumpkin, maple syrup, milk, eggs, spices and sesame seeds in a large bowl and mix thoroughly until smooth and creamy.
- To make an egg wash, beat 1 egg with a spoonful of milk or water. Brush the crust edges with the egg wash.
- Pour pumpkin filling into the unbaked pie crust and place pie pan onto a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until filling is just set. Check midway through and lay a piece of
- foil overtop if crust begins to brown too quickly. May need a bit more time, depending on your oven.
- To make cutouts, roll second disc of dough out to about ⅛" thick. Use cutters dusted with a little flour or a knife to cut shapes out by hand.
- Place cut outs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and lightly brush with egg wash.
- Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes, or just until golden brown. Let cool completely before decorating the pie.