Sunday, November 13, 2022

ABRAMS Dinner Party: Sweet Land of Liberty -- a History of American In 11 Pies...Featuring Maple Pumpkin Pudding #abramsdinnerparty #sweetlandoflibertybook #historyofpie #pumpkinpie #fewercarbs #thanksgivingfood

The next featured book for the ABRAMS Dinner Party blogging group is Rossi Anastopoulo's ode to the role pies have played in the fabric of the United States. Part cookbook, part's such an interesting read! In
 Sweet Land of Liberty: A History of America in 11 Pies, Anastopoulo cracks open America's relationship to pie with wit and good humor. She devotes chapters examining 11 iconic pies woven into U.S. history. With corresponding pie recipes for each chapter -- including Pecan Pie, Quiche, and Lemon Chiffon Pie -- Sweet Land of Liberty is an entertaining and  informative food history resource for bakers, dessert lovers, and history buffs. That means this book is right up my alley!

Since Thanksgiving is now somehow less than two weeks away (!!), I focused on a crustless pumpkin pie recipe featured in the book's chapter on the significance of Pumpkin Pie: Maple Pumpkin Pudding. I'm eating fewer carbs these days, so this baked pudding is an ideal Thanksgiving dessert for me. I especially love that this simple recipe uses only six staple ingredients. Historically significant, the ingredients used in this recipe are all termed pre-colonial -- meaning nothing used here arrived in the U.S. via European settlement. Very simple...and historically interesting. Wait until you see how easy this dessert is to whip up. I can't wait to add it to my Thanksgiving menu!

Maple Pumpkin Pudding 
(Or, a Crustless Pumpkin Pie)
from Sweet Land of Liberty
Ingredients (makes one 9-inch pie):
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup -- plus more for drizzling
  • 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree 
  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Step 1: Preheat oven to 325℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, toss 1 cup of the pecans with 1/4 cup of the maple syrup until fully coated. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1o minutes, then let cool while you prepare the filling.
Step 2: Increase oven temperature to 350℉. In a food processor, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of pecans with 1 cup water. Process for 1 to 2 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk this pecan milk with with the remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup, pumpkin puree, cornstarch, allspice and vanilla.
Step 3: Pour pumpkin mixture into a 9-inch pie plate spritzed with non-stick spray. Use an offset spatula or back of a spoon to smooth the top. Arrange the maple-glazed pecans halves on top of the pie in a pretty pattern. Use your fingers to slightly press the pecans into the filling. If desired, sprinkle cinnamon on top before baking.
Step 4: Bake for 40 minutes, until set. Let cool completely -- I cooled on the counter for 2 hours, then refrigerated for 3 hours before serving. I found it best to serve this soft pudding by scooping it into bowls. Each serving was drizzled with a bit more maple syrup and a spritz of whipped cream.
This simple pumpkin pudding is creamy and smooth, with earthy flavors of pumpkin and nuts. The warm spices and maple syrup add warmth and sweetness. This is pure comfort food...whether serve warmed or chilled! 

Because this dessert doesn't have a crust, it's naturally lower in carbs than a traditional pie. However, if you're diabetic OR choose to closely monitor your carbs? Simply use sugar-free maple-flavored syrup plus 1/2 tsp. maple extract in place of the pure maple syrup called for. The dessert will meet your nutritional goals and still taste fantastic!

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