Thanksgiving Baked Goods

This weekend I will be enjoying many great meals; but, not in a restaurant where you can visit.  Therefore, in lieu of reviews, here's a post about the recipes I'm trying this holiday.

A word of warning, I'm not a professional chef and I generally perfer cooking to baking.  However, since I volunteered to bring desserts, I'm baking today!  Given my limited skills, I've decided to keep it simple and look for recipes with a few staple ingredients and simple instructions.  If I can do it, you certainly can!

After an afternoon of baking, I made three desserts - the pictures are my actual creations.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Thoughts on the Recipe:

It may be my oven, but after baking the pie for only 35 minutes the edges look a little overdone.  Next time I'm going to lower the temperature for the last 10 minutes to see if I can avoid this.

A lovely classic pumpkin pie that's extremely easy to make.  With a dallop of whipped cream on top it's a great classic.

Baked Apple Crisp

After reading numerous recipes, I couldn't find one I liked.  I found most of them called for too much sugar. Since I'm planning to eat the Apple Crisp with vanilla ice cream, I wanted something not overly sweet to begin with.  So, after reviewing the recipes for key ingredients, combinations and timing I came up with my own recipe *fingers crossed*:


Apple Mixture
  • 6 medium golden delicious apples - cored and diced into sugar cube sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Crisp Topping
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Toss all the ingredients in the "Apple Mixture" section to combine and place into a baking dish - I used a 2.5 quart dish.
  3. Bake the mixture for 30 minutes.
  4. Mix together first five items in the "Crisp Topping" section.
  5. Add in the cubed butter and mix, break butter into smaller pea sized pieces with pastry cutter, 2 knives or your fingers.
  6. Add in chopped walnuts and stir.
  7. After the "Apple Mixture" has finished baking for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and top with the "Crisp Topping".  The amount to add depends on the size and shape of your dish (rectangle vs. circle). I used a circle container and found there was too much topping so ended up discarding about 1/2 cup of prepared Crisp Topping.
  8. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Thoughts on the Recipe:

It actually tasted good and the reduced sugar was not missed.  In fact, it was still a little overly sweet when served with ice cream.  I would suggest reducing the amount of sugar in the "Crisp Topping" - perhaps to 1/3 cup if planning to serve with ice cream. 

Note to improve presentation: Either combine the "Apple Mixture" in another bowl and then pour into the baking dish or wipe all excess sugar/cinnamon from the sides of the baking dish before placing into the oven.  I didn't do either so the excess sugar/cinnamon ended up browning on the dish and made it look messy.

In order to finish the leftover pumpkin puree and walnuts on hand, I found the recipe below.  Given I only had about 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree left, I halved the recipe and made one large loaf instead.  However, I used 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree instead of 1 cup - as the recipe would call for if halved. 

Delicious Pumpkin Bread

Thoughts on the Recipe:

While the recipe is titled "bread", this will not allow you to make sandwiches. Rather, it's similar to banana bread and tastes almost like a cake. 

Since I placed 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree instead of 1 cup, the Pumpkin Bread was dense and moist in the centre.  My husband and I didn't mind this as it also had a stronger flavour. But, if you'd rather it be the banana bread consistency I suggest you follow the recipe. 

Overall, it tasted pretty good and I'll definitely be making again.  The walnuts added a toasty crunch that I really like.  It could use a bit more spice, so next time I may try adding a bit more cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.  I could taste the sweetness so it's almost comparable to eating a pie, but it wasn't too sweet.

It tastes even better the next day after the bread had time to cool down and dry out a bit.  The flavours appear to get stronger and it was much more fragrant, so perhaps doesn't require any additional spices.

I haven't actually tried this, but if you use this to make French Toast and top with whipped cream, instead of maple syrup, I'd imagine it would taste amazing. If you end up doing this please let me know how it turns out!

With the exception of the Pumpkin Pie Bread, the others won't be eaten until tomorrow.  I will revise the blog with my thoughts later, so stay tuned!