Cathie Campbell

Holiday pies make impressive desserts

Yes folks, it’s that time of year again. Can you believe it? I really don’t know where the time goes, but it sure does go, and fast. Everyone seems to be busy planning their holiday menus, and I know that people at the holiday dinner table appreciate everything, but they seem to have a special appreciation for those holiday desserts. If you are looking for some recipes for good holiday pies, then check these out and see if something is to your liking. Remember to take some time out for yourself and take a few breaks. We all get pretty busy and I would like for all my kitchen friends to stay happy.

Maple sugar pumpkin pie

1 can (15-oz.) solid-pack pumpkin

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 eggs

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Whipped cream, optional

1.Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients. Pour into the pie shell. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

2. Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the middle of the pie comes out clean. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate. Garnish with whipped cream if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Butternut squash and sweet potato pie

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

4 eggs

1 1/3 cups half-and-half

1 cup cooked and mashed butternut squash

1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato

1/2 cup honey

1 tablespoon flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of powdered cloves

Whipped cream, optional

1. Preheat oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, half-and-half, butternut squash, sweet potato, honey, flour, salt and spices. Pour into pastry shell.

2, Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cover edge loosely with foil (or use a metal pie shield) during the last 15 minutes if needed to prevent browning too much. Remove foil.

3. Cool on a wire rack; serve within 2 hours or refrigerate and serve cold. If desired, top with whipped cream. Makes 8 servings.

Pecan pie Texas style

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup dark corn syrup

3 eggs

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

1.Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, whisk sugar, flour, light and dark corn syrups, eggs, vinegar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour into pastry shell. Cover edges with foil or use a metal pie shield.

2. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil or pie shield; bake 25 to 30 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 8 servings.

Apple pear crumble pie

(Adapted from a Kraft recipe).

24 vanilla wafers, crushed (about 3/4 cup)

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 large baking apples, peeled and sliced

1 large pear, peeled and sliced

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/4 cups thawed whipped topping

1. Preheat oven to 375. Mix wafer crumbs, brown sugar and butter until blended.

2. Place pie crust in 9-inch pie plate sprayed with cooking spray. Spread cream cheese carefully onto bottom of crust; sprinkle with half the crumb mixture. Combine fruit in large bowl. Add sugar, flour and cinnamon; toss to coat. Spoon over crumb layer in crust; sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.

3. Bake 35 minutes or until fruit is tender and crust is lightly browned, covering loosely with foil after 25 minutes, if necessary to prevent crust from over-browning. Cool.