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I’m one of those people who believes that it isn’t Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without classic pumpkin pie to finish it off. I love it. Best. Dessert. Ever.

But if you’re looking to change it up a bit, this is a fun twist on the traditional! You essentially make pumpkin ice cream and then put it into a crust.

I found this recipe in The Old House Holiday and Party Cookbook by Erma Biesel Dick, published in 1969. According to The Encyclopedia of Louisville, Erma was a Louisville restaurant entrepreneur and her cooking was considered the “haute cuisine” of the time. Her Old House restaurant opened in 1946 and served celebrities including Walt Disney, actor Raymond Burr and former Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. I’m planning to do a few more recipes from this cookbook, which I got from our library. I love it-the concoctions are very “Mad Men” style!

I made my pie with the graham cracker crust because I LOVE graham cracker crust. But as you will see, doing it with Brazil Nuts is a whole lot easier and gives it an unexpected and “fancy” flavor.

Ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
One 15 ounce can of pumpkin OR 1 1/2 cups mashed, cooked pumpkin
2/3 cup heavy cream, whipped
Brazil Nut or Graham Cracker Pie shell

Instructions

To make the shell from Brazil nuts, grind 1 2/3 cup Brazil nuts in a food processor. Combine with 4 tablespoons sugar. Line pie pan with mixture and press it firmly into place.

To make the shell from Graham Crackers, grind 10 full size graham crackers in a food processor.

I love me some graham cracker crust!

I love me some graham cracker crust!

Add 1/3 cup melted butter and 1/4 cup granulated sugar and process until blended.

I could eat it like this.  Who needs pie filling?

I could eat it like this. Who needs pie filling?

Line pie pan with mixture and press firmly into place. Chill the crust for one hour, then bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is slightly browned. Let cool completely before adding the filling.

To make the filling, slightly beat the egg yolks. Then mix them with the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and pumpkin in a saucepan. Cook the mixture over a boiling water bath until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Some people think leaves and scarves and warm apple cider signify the start of fall. I think the site of pumpkin and the smell of it's accompanying spices are my signal!

Some people think leaves and scarves and warm apple cider signify the start of fall. I think the sight of pumpkin and the smell of its accompanying spices are my signal!

Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold them into the cooked pumpkin mixture.

Folding in the egg whites

Folding in the egg whites

Fold in the heavy whipping cream.

Now we're folding in the whipping cream.

Now we’re folding in the whipping cream.

Pour into a metal baking tray (I used my sheet cake pan).

This is what the filling looked like half-frozen.

This is what the filling looked like half-frozen.

Partially freeze (I left mine in the freezer for about 30 minutes). Pack the mixture into your shell. Serve immediately OR freeze. Remove from freezer about half an hour before you plan to serve, to give it time to thaw enough to cut it. Otherwise, you’ll never get a knife through!

Finished product! Enjoy!

Finished product! Enjoy!

Serve plain or with a dollop of whipping cream and enjoy!

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