This year I’ve been selected “pie maker” for both families’ Thanksgiving dinners.
The first is on Thanksgiving Day, and we’ll be having our feast at my in-laws’ house mid-day. I’m bringing pumpkin pie and apple pie.
But there’s a trick with making sweets for my in-laws: they’re diabetic.
Unlike my husband who is also diabetic, my in-laws stay away from anything with real sugar in it.
I’ve found that everyone with diabetes has a body that reacts differently to various foods in terms of blood sugar spikes and lows. With my husband, we’ve learned that he can eat things with real sugar, he can eat carbohydrates, and his blood sugar is just fine. What we control is portion and how many carbs he’s eating (which after all this time of watching and measuring, happens to be regular portions).
This has made me VERY happy because I really hate sugar substitutes like sucralose and aspartame. They’re just not good for you – made by or made from chemicals.
On the other hand, sugar substitutes like the stevia plant have become main stream. So when I’m cooking for my in-laws, and I need something to replace cane sugar, stevia’s the route I go now. The ratio is 1:1 in terms of recipes, and while the flavor doesn’t taste exactly the same as cane sugar, it’s okay – and it’s natural.
The pumpkin pie I made is a close take on the Silver Palate Cook Book recipe, with the exception of whole milk instead of half-and-half and cream, and stevia instead of cane sugar. (I’m not against half-and-half and cream, I simply forgot to buy it and didn’t have time to run back out to the store.)
Also, the recipe calls for a little brown sugar, and I happened to have some Splenda brown sugar mix in my pantry, so I used it.
I know, I know. You’re probably thinking, “Liza, you just said you don’t like sucralose. And here you are using Splenda brown sugar mix!” It’s true. The reasons I used it are simple: A) it was in my pantry, B) the recipe only calls for a little, C) my in-laws eat stuff with sucralose and aspartame all the time already.
Once it’s gone, I won’t be replacing it.
And, in hindsight, I could have used molasses as a substitute.
So, PUMPKIN PIE! Doesn’t it look pretty?
PS: I cheat when it comes to pie crust.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 28-ounce can of pumpkin puree
- ½ cup ground stevia
- ¼ cup Spenda brown sugar mix
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- pecan halves, for garnish
- 2 refrigerated pie crusts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 10" pie plate with the pie crusts. Crimp the edges.
- Whisk the eggs and the sugars together with a mixer for 1 minute, until it's light and frothy. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and salt, and continue mixing for one more minute. Add the milk and mix it until it's *just* incorporated, about 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate.
- Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 400°F, then reduce the heat to 325°F and continue baking it for 1 hour (or until the middle is set and just a tiny bit jiggly).
- Remove the pie from the oven and garnish the outside of the pie with pecan halves. Create a simple flower in the center with more pecan halves. Cover the whole thing if you want! Goal is to have fun and make something yummy.