The Pie Notes

A celebration of life with a touch of sweetness

Tag: pumpkin

A Day on the Trails

Yesterday was a perfect opportunity to visit Chewacla State Park in Auburn.

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Beautiful, yes?

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Changing leaves just stir something inside of me.

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After a bit of walking, we made it to the top! It’s breathtaking up here.

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And after quite a bit of hiking and slipping down hills, we made it to the bottom. This awesome waterfall was our reward.

I wanted to get a closer look. The rock hopping began.

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Can we talk about how it looks like I’m playing a harmonica?

I’m not…I don’t know what I’m doing, actually. Who knows.

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Do you see it? Do you see Sarah soaring?

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I tried to soar, too. Right on top of a wet, slippery rock. My knee caught the fall, don’t worry. And my shoe soaked up about a pint of freezing cold water.

Uncontrollable laughter followed. Falling is hilarious, whether it’s me or someone else.

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We quickly made our way for dry land. But not before I stepped on a wobbly, insecure log on the edge of the bank.

My other shoe soaked up a pint of water.

It was fun.

Once we got back to civilization, we drove to the top of the mountain and had a picnic.

Granny’s signature turkey sandwiches, grapes, pistachios, and biscotti were on the menu. It was simple, it was rustic, and a wonderful way to end our hike.

Our sweet friend, Rebecca, invited us over to bake a pie yesterday evening.

It was successful.

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The whole thing is gluten free and vegan. Super delicious! We were all fighting over the crust leftovers and scraping out the filling in the bowl. I’m talking GOOD.

It has to chill for a few hours, so we had to head back home. After church today we taste tested.It was honestly one of the best pies I’ve ever had. The filling had such a complex pumpkin flavor, and the crust, made out of oats and pecans, complimented it nicely. I would definitely recommend it, even if you’re not on a vegan or gluten free diet.

Rebecca and her husband, Scott, really love the blog Oh She Glows and all of her recipes. That’s where they found this recipe for Sweet and Salty Spiced Pecan Crust and Pumpkin Filling. There’s a few other variations on the page as well.

I had a lovely weekend with some lovely friends. And a VERY lovely new friend.

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Her name is Noire. Rebecca and Scott are fostering her for a while.

I’ve never had such a connection with a dog before. She just cuddles without any resistance, gives me hugs, and stares up at me with those big brown eyes. I think she likes me because we both have dark hair. That’s a valid reason to adopt a dog, right?.

Mom…Dad…are you reading this?

I think Joey needs a friend.

Please?

May I Say…

I’m glad to be here.

And I’m so very glad you’re reading this.

This crisp autumn day in Auburn has inspired me, bringing peace, focus, and contentment in my life. So what do we do when those three things are dwelling within us?

We make pie!

The no-bake version to be exact. “It just has to be pumpkin,” I told myself. But then my little chocolate conscience convinced me otherwise. I honestly felt like I was cheating on chocolate. That simply cannot happen.

So, I compromised with that naughty conscience.

Chocolate pumpkin pie.

But then, as I eagerly opened the door to go grocery shopping, I was caught by that wonderful breeze flowing through the house, softly picking up the ends of my hair (which would usually anger me–wind and my c-c-c-curly hair do not mix). I felt as if I was letting down the season as a whole. Chocolate pumpkin pie was simply not “fall-y” enough.

Chocolate pumpkin pie with a gingersnap crust.

Voilà. You’re welcome, November.

My soul was finally at peace again.

Here’s the recipe. Now would be a good time to mention I name all my pies. Some funny, some heartfelt, some downright ridiculous.

No-Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust

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This pie shall be named The Pumpkins and Puns Pie.

Ingredients

For the crust:

1 ¾ cups gingersnap crumbs

¼ cup packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ teaspoons cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled

Whipped topping, for serving

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.

Seal several gingersnaps inside a large Ziploc bag. Grab a rolling pin. Think about anything negative in your life. It could be paying taxes, telemarketers, drivers who fail to use blinkers, etc. For me, it’s analytic trigonometry at 8 A.M. every morning. Think of your chosen frustration, and whack those crunchy cookies like there’s no tomorrow. And when you think you’re done, don’t stop. Fine crumbs are the goal.

Take several deep sighs of relief. Besides, taxes aren’t until next spring. In a medium bowl, whisk together the crumbs and dry ingredients. Now add that melted butter and stir. If the mixture isn’t holding together when you squeeze it, add a tiny bit of water at a time until you reach the right consistency.

Pour the crumbs into a 9 inch pie plate, pressing evenly to cover the bottom and sides. Don’t worry about perfection. Stick it in the freezer for around 10 minutes to let it relax. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until your house smells like gingersnap goodness. Let it cool completely on a wire rack.

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. This is incredibly easy.

Add all the ingredients into a blender or food processor (I used a Ninja blender). Blend until smooth. Done. (Unless you prefer some more sugar after tasting it.) Just don’t forget about that whipped cream you’ll be topping it with.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust, and pop it in the fridge for 3 hours. Overnight would be good, too.

Before serving, top with the whipped cream and maybe a few gingersnap crumbles. Enjoy, and happy fall!

Filling adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

Gingersnap crust adapted from Martha Stewart

Word Document:

No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust

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