Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Streusel Ginger-Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin  muffins

On the second Monday of every October, Canadians around the world (?) celebrate Thanksgiving, a day not unlike its American counterpart, full of turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin baked goodness and giving thanks for the laughter and love of family and friends.  I have often been asked what the meaning behind Canadian thanksgiving is, and the answer is a good one because I don’t even think many Canadians know.  The truth is, Canadian thanksgiving is a patchwork of different events, culminating in the eventual adoption of the annual October thanksgiving in 1957.  The very first thanksgiving meal occurred in 1578 when Martin Frobisher, an Englishman in search of the Northwest passage, lost a ship in his fleet on his third attempt at this quest.  Demoralized, he attempted to revitalize his troops by holding a feast to celebrate the perils that they did surviv.  Subsequently, Canadians have used this arbitrary day to celebrate anniversaries and to give general thanks for the goodness of living in such a beautiful country.  Canadians so loved to give thanks that for 15 years in the 1800’s, thanksgiving was celebrated no less than 6 times a year.

The summary of all that is – thank you.  I cannot express enough times how grateful I am for the people in my life :)  And of course, to celebrate that, I made this lovely twist on a pumpkin pie, and pumpkin muffins with the leftover pumpkin to give to my awesome labmates.

Streusel Ginger-Spiced Pumpkin Pie
Adapted from Go Lightly Gourmet

Making the Crust:

1 1/3 cups of unbleached flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of ground ginger
¼ teaspoon of allspice
½ cup of cold butter
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons of ice water, + a little more

1. Whisk togther flour, sugar and spices until blended.

2. Cut the butter into small 1/2 inch blocks and cut it into the flour mixture until you have a coarse crumbly dough.

3. Combine the egg yolk and water in a small bowl.

4. Slowly pour the egg yolk mixture into the dry ingredients until combined.  If the mixture is still too dry, continue adding water.

5. Form a ball and wrap in saran wrap.  Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes or overnight.

Making the pie:

1 15 oz can of pumpkin
1  cup heavy cream or half and half  or coconut milk (I used 1/2 and 1/2)
½ cup of sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons of honey (I substituted with maple syrup and a pinch of sugar)
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of ground ginger
½ teaspoon of allspice
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
¼ teaspoon of salt

1. After your crust has been refrigerated, roll it out into a 9″ pan.  Flute the edges to make them look pretty.  Pour in some beans (this prevents the dough from puffing out when you bake the crust) or rice.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350, take out the beans/rice, bake for another 10 minutes, then cool until it’s okay to touch and freeze for another 15 minutes.

2. At this time, combine all the pie ingredients.

3. Pour pie filling into crust and bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

Making the streusel:

½ cup of unbleached flour
¼ cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
¼ cup of butter
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ cup chopped pecans

1. Whisk together flour and spices.

2. Cut the butter into 1/2″ blocks and cut into flour mixture.

3. Stir in the pecans.

4. After 50 minutes of baking, take out the pie, add the streusel topping, then pop it into the oven for another 15 minutes.

5. Cool and serve!

Pumpkin Muffins
Adapted from Dine and Dish

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 15oz can solid-pack pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put liners in muffin cups.

2. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin-pie spice, 1¼ cups sugar

3. Combine baking soda, salt  and flour.  Whisk into pumpkin mixture until smooth.

4. In a separate small bowl, stir together cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.  This is the topping.

5. Divide batter among muffin cups until each cup is approximately ¾ full. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

6. Bake until wooden toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.


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