It's Thanksgiving here in Canada and what better way to celebrate than with Maple Pumpkin Pie!
Although I already long for the return of warm summer days, I truly enjoy the wonderful colours of Fall and the over-saturation of pumpkin-laden dishes and desserts that are synonymous with the season, in these parts, at least. And since we will be celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and break open a pumpkin, or in this case, a can.
And speaking of wagons and pumpkins, last week we held the second of two annual corporate retreats at the Knox Pumpkin Farm just north of Courtice. You may have seen a few photos from the event on my Instagram feed.
A good chunk of our time was spent strategizing and planning for the future of the organization, and the rest on a hay ride exploring a small part of this 300 acre family-owned farm - corn maze, stables, barns, peacocks, horses, bunnies, fresh air, pumpkins and clear skies for miles. Oh, and the best apples I have ever tasted. I digress, but only a little...
The time spent surrounded by pumpkins quickly put me in the mood for fall baking. After a somewhat failed attempt earlier this month, I was ready to tackle these little Maple Pumpkin wonders again. Complete with miniature sugar look-a-likes, to top things off.
The crust I used for the apple pie I made in class last year wasn't coming together, so I opted for the Pâte Sucrée base, but used LorAnn Oils Pumpkin Bakery Emulsion in place of the vanilla extract. This provided a more flavourful, cookie-like base, which was a nice complement to the rich, creamy pumpkin filling. You would think after spending time on a pumpkin farm I would use fresh pumpkin, but I used canned pumpkin puree to save on time. The fresh pumpkin will make an appearance in a couple weeks in an even more fabulous dessert. ;)
To keep the crust from getting soggy, I brushed a very thin layer of melted white chocolate over the pastry prior to adding the pumpkin filling. A little trick I learned in the Baking Arts course I took last year. And for the topping, I skipped the sugar and added pumpkin spice and a touch of pumpkin emulsion for a taste unlike any other I have tried. I also added some whipped cream stabilizer to keep my peaks peaked.
Only one thing left to do...open wide and enjoy one, two, or three of these Mini Maple Pumpkin Pies!
Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians, and to my fellow Americans, let's do this again in late November!
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