Healthy & Tasty Pumpkin Pie

No secret that I LOVE PUMPKIN, so naturally, I ADORE Pumpkin Pie and all of it's fatty custard 500 plus calories slices.  I usually don't make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, preferring instead to find a delicious pie from one of the many bakeries and purveyors around my neighborhood.  During the heady days of my fat past, I didn't think twice, but instead took two slices of pumpkin pie, not caring a whit about calories or fat grams.  And then a funny thing happened, I started to care and read ingredient and stat labels, only to discover that even a Philadelphia Thanksgiving staple, my beloved Taskykake Pumpkin Pie has 300 calories and over 10 grams of fat per pie!  Eekghads!  For the past several years I've been either going crustless; using phyllo dough without butter; making the custard with less sugar and fat free condensed milk; or just giving in to the goodness that is pumpkin pie.  Then I found a recipe that I knew would be a winner - full of fiber, low fat, low sugar, loaded with good for you antioxidants.  Hardly a thing to be tweaked in this recipe (but still I found a way to make it my own).  If you haven't bought a Mrs. Smiths or an Entennmen's or Marie Callander's pie yet, and you want to make one from scratch while still keeping your diet dignity, here's the pie recipe to serve with pride.  You can find the original recipe at this link here, or you can try my version, which is not quite as virtuous or bland.


Healthy & Tasty Pumpkin Pie Ingredients:
For Crust:

  • 1 Sleeve (about 22) Gingersnap cookies
  • 2 Tablespoons Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Seasoning (or a combination of ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon)
  • 1/4 Cup (or one individual container) of Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Cooking Spray
  • 9- inch Deep Dish Pie Pan

For Filling:

  • 1 (15 ounce) Can Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 (12 ounce) Can Non-Fat Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Seasoning
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs - lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray to thoroughly coat, set aside. 
  3. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse the gingersnap cookies until they remember coarse meal or sand.  Add in the toasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie seasoning and pulse 2 or 3 times to combine, then add in the applesauce and pulse 3 more times, or just until the cookie crumbs stick together.
  4. Press the cookie crumb mixture into the prepared pie plate and push up the sides of the plate.  Smooth out the bottom of the pie crust with the flat bottom of a metal one-cup measuring cup.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the crust is just set.  Remove from oven and cool slightly.
  5. Meanwhile, while the crust is setting up, make the pie filling.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, non-fat evaporated milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie seasoning and salt.  Whisk to thoroughly combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more vanilla extract, pumpkin pie seasoning or an extra tablespoon of maple syrup if desired.  
  6. Once the filling is seasoned to taste, whisk in the eggs, then pour the mixture into the pie shell, just until the filling comes to the top of the pie plate.  
  7. Place the pie plate onto a sheet pan and place it into the oven; bake for 30 minutes, then carefully rotate the pie and bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes, or until the pumpkin filling (custard) has set.  A knife inserted into the middle of the pie should come out clean.  Cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then refrigerate until ready to serve.  Pie can be made up to 2 days in advance, and will hold for 5 days, covered and refrigerated. 
  8. If there is any extra filling that did not fit into the crust, pour it into an oven safe baking dish or ramekin and bake it off as a crustless pumpkin pie or pumpkin custard pudding; bake the extra filling for 10 to 15 minutes or until it's set.
  9. Serve with whipped cream, or as I like it, with my Apple Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce. Makes 10 servings, with less than 200 calories per serving, and 4 grams of fat.

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