Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Oatmeal is my go-to breakfast for all but the hottest months of summer, and somehow I rarely get tired of it. My default is peanut butter and banana with copious amounts of cinnamon, but depending on the season and produce availability I’ll occasionally concoct new flavors. As a huge fan of pumpkin pie, blending that flavor into my morning meal seemed an obvious advancement.

I always buy pumpkin puree from Costco, in those delightful 3-packs of 29oz cans, which typically leaves me with some leftovers after making whatever recipe for which I’ve opened the can. Oatmeal is a great way to use up leftovers but also an excellent reason to open a brand new can. All the cozy feelings of pumpkin pie in a much healthier version to start your day.

I opted to complement the pumpkiny goodness with a homemade pumpkin spice mix, but you can absolutely substitute a store-bought pumpkin pie spice if you prefer. With my cinnamon obsession I like to tailor mine a bit more cinnamon heavy, and mixing up your own allows you to kick up or tone down the individual spices to suit your preferences. If you do use the store-bought version, I *highly* recommend twisting a tiny amount of freshly ground pepper into each bowl, as it really adds a little extra something. I patterned this off of my favorite pumpkin pie recipe, and I now consider it a necessity in all things pumpkin.

For protein boost, I stir in chia seeds and chopped walnuts, but these are completely optional additions. If you’re more of a pecan person, use those instead. Since pumpkin is not sweet on its own, a little maple syrup brings out the pie flavor we all know and love. I keep my oatmeal fairly low on the sugar content, but no judgement if you want extra maple syrup stirred in or drizzled on top.

The final touch is a dollop of heavy cream; this is non-negotiable in my personal opinion, as it really improves the texture, adds a wonderful creaminess, and balances the whole flavor profile. Half and half could be substituted in a pinch, but the heavy cream is the more delicious option. A single tablespoon won’t hurt you, as fat and protein are both things your body needs. (If you are vegan, you could probably substitute full-fat coconut milk, or whatever your favorite cream replacement might be. You *can* just leave it out, but it’s really better with something creamy stirred in.)

Start your fall mornings off right with a hearty bowl of oatmeal, plus all the happiness of a pumpkin pie. (But if you prefer to start your day with the real thing, you’ll get no judgement from me.)

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Makes one serving

Ingredients

pumpkin spice mix
1 T ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
pinch of freshly ground pepper

oatmeal
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup oats
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice mix
1 T maple syrup
1-2 T chia seeds, optional
3/4 cup water
chopped walnuts, optional

1 T heavy cream (or half and half, or vegan alternative)

Directions

  1. In a small jar, combine spice ingredients. Stir or shake until well mixed.
  2. Layer pumpkin, chia, spice mix, walnuts, and oats in a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Carefully pour in water and transfer to the microwave.
  4. Microwave on medium power for 4 – 5 minutes (stirring after 1-2 minutes), or until oats are softened and desired texture is reached.
  5. Stir in maple syrup and cream, then serve immediately.

Notes

You can also substitute store-bought pumpkin pie spice, if you prefer.

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Perfect Pumpkin Pie

For years and years I’ve used the pumpkin pie recipe found on the Libby’s cans of pumpkin puree. It always turned out consistently delicious so I never really thought to try another recipe.

This was a mistake.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie {{Baking Bytes}}

Last year my mom linked me this recipe and was like “make this immediately and ditch the usual recipe.” She was quite right! This pumpkin pie is amazingly dense, superbly flavorful, and has zero of that occasionally slightly watery texture I sometimes noticed with the Libby recipe. I don’t often use qualifiers like “best” or “perfect” in my recipes, but trust me when I say Sally definitely figured this one out.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie {{Baking Bytes}}

Deliciously creamy and superbly spiced, this is sure to be your new favorite pumpkin pie recipe and a go-to staple for the upcoming holidays. M is not much of a pumpkin fan, so I’m looking forward to having this whole pie to myself over the upcoming holiday weekend. Don’t worry, I’ll make him a pie he can enjoy too; I’m not a complete monster.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie {{Baking Bytes}}

This is a rich pie but very smooth, and goes best with homemade whipped cream and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon. I like my pumpkin pie cold, but it was also excellent at room temperature if that is your preference. Like every pumpkin pie, it works just as well for breakfast as it does for dessert, and I’m sure after your first piece you’ll already be planning your second.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie {{Baking Bytes}}

It does require some overnight chilling, so make sure you plan your Thanksgiving preparations accordingly. This pie could easily be started Tuesday and finished Wednesday, leaving Thursday free for the items that can’t be made ahead. As long as you have fridge space (or a cold garage) you are good to go. I will say that if you are planning to add the pie crust cutouts (which are super easy and really fun), you should wait until just before serving to do so in order to avoid sogginess.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie {{Baking Bytes}}

Try out your new favorite pumpkin pie recipe this year, and don’t forget to thank Sally.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Makes one deep-dish pie

Ingredients

pastry for a double-crust pie (see below)

15 oz pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups lightly packed dark brown sugar (light works great too)

1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
dash of ground cloves
dash of ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk

Directions

  1. The night before: in a large bowl whisk pumpkin, eggs, and brown sugar until completely combined. Add cornstarch, salt, spices, cream, and milk, and whisk until combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. The next day: if you haven’t already, prepare your favorite pie dough, or use the recipe linked above. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Roll out slightly more than half the dough and gently place into your pie plate. Trim edges to about 1″ then fold over and crimp as desired. Optionally, sprinkle edges of pie crust with cinnamon and sugar.
  4. Briefly whisk filling then pour carefully into the prepared pie plate. If you have extra filling, you can bake it separately in a glass dish (no crust necessary) next to the pie.
  5. Optional: With remaining pie dough, roll out to about 1/8″ thick (or slightly thicker) and cut leaves or other designs. Place on a lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  6. Bake leaves for about 20 minutes, they should be golden in color. Remove from oven and set aside.
  7. Bake pie for one hour. Pie should still be jiggly in the middle but look solid otherwise. To avoid cracking, turn off the oven and open the door but leave the pie in there while it cools down a little. Once it has settled (hopefully without cracks), move it to the counter to cool completely, at least four hours. I prefer pumpkin pie cold, so I placed mine in the fridge after two hours.
  8. Just before serving, decorate with pie crust shapes. (Eat any extra shapes, or serve them in a small bowl next to the pie). Top slices with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Refrigerate leftovers.

No-Fail Pie Crust

Makes 2 deep-dish pie crusts

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup + 1 Tbsp shortening
5-7 Tbsp ice water

Directions

  1. Measure shortening into a small bowl and place in freezer for 15-20 minutes. Pour water and a few ice cubes into a bowl or cup and set aside. (I typically pour 8 oz of water and then use what I need.)
  2. Mix flour and salt in a larger bowl. Using a pastry blender (or two table knives), cut in the chilled shortening until the pieces are pea-sized.
  3. One tablespoon at a time, add water into mixture and gently mix with your pastry blender (or knives). Repeat until all is moistened and the dough will stick together as one ball, about 6 tablespoons. Divide dough in half and gently roll each half into a ball.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, gently flatten one ball of dough into a disc. Gently roll into a circle large enough for your pie plate. Transfer dough to pie plate, and trim to a half-inch larger than the rim. Fold pastry under itself and crimp, if desired.
  5. Roll out second ball of dough for a second pie, or cut into strips or decorations as desired.

Pumpkin Pie Jack-o-lanterns

Fall actually hit Montana while I was gone so I woke up to frost this morning for my bike ride to work. It was glorious. I just returned from my whirlwind half marathon tour yesterday so I am pretty tired, but very glad to be home. Three great races and lots of fun seeing new places and old faces in all four Lower 48 timezones. This week I have a bonus post for you! I actually thought of this idea last year, but never got around to implementing it, so I decided I should definitely get it done this year.

Pumpkin Jack-o-lantern Mini Pies {{Baking Bytes}}

Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite pies and I will happily eat it all year round. Unfortunately M doesn’t super care for it so mostly I just make it in the fall when I don’t mind having it for breakfast all week (yum). It’s a traditional dessert this time of year, which can be boring (according to some) so I thought I’d try giving it a new package.

Pumpkin Jack-o-lantern Mini Pies {{Baking Bytes}}

I used my normal pie crust recipe and pie filling recipe, and then used mason jar rings to form little pies. The jack-o-lantern faces make them great for Halloween but with a different decoration (like the leaf cutouts below) they’d be great for any fall potluck. They are way easier to serve and eat which makes them great for when you aren’t having a sit down dinner. They do have a high crust to filling ratio, so make sure you use a crust recipe that you like; I have mine linked below if you don’t already have a favorite.

Pumpkin Jack-o-lantern Mini Pies {{Baking Bytes}}

They are a little time consuming, especially if you cut out faces, but not difficult and I’d say pretty beginner friendly. I got 9 out of my recipe but that could vary based on how thin you roll your crust and how many times you are able to reuse the scraps. (I wouldn’t recommend more than once or twice as the dough gets very tough the more you handle it. Tip: you can drip a little extra water to help the scraps stick together again to re-roll.)

Pumpkin Jack-o-lantern Mini Pies {{Baking Bytes}}

Your usual pumpkin filling, yummy pie crust, and a dusting of cinnamon sugar makes a great treat that’s easy to portion control and is a wonderful whipped cream vessel. The cuteness is an added perk. =)

If you need a dessert for your Halloween parties this weekend, give these a try.

Pumpkin Pie Jack-o-lanterns

Makes about 8 double-crust handpies

Ingredients

Pastry for double-crust pie

1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
pinch ground cloves

1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

cinnamon & sugar mixture (optional)

Other Supplies

8+ wide-mouth jar rings
1 small-mouth jar ring with lid
1/4 cup of water or one egg white

Directions

  1. Line a cookie sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or wait a bit since some of these steps can be time-consuming.)
  2. Whisk together sugar, spices, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Stir in egg, pumpkin, and whipping cream until combined. Set aside.
  4. Take half of your crust pastry and roll it out slightly thinner than you normally would. Use a 4″ biscuit cutter to cut out as many rounds as possible. Repeat with remaining pastry.
  5. For jack-o-lanterns, cut faces into half of the unbaked pie crust circles. (Totally optional, of course.)
  6. Place appropriate number of wide-mouth jar rings (not lids!) upside-down on your prepared baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. (Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit if you haven’t already.)
  7. Using the small jar ring with lid inside, gently place one pie crust circle on top of it (yes it will hang over the sides, that’s important.)
  8. Carefully spoon about 3 tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture into the center of the pie crust, such that it is contained by the jar lid ring.
  9. Brush the circumference of the circle with water or egg white, and top with one of your jack-o-lantern faces, pressing the edges together to seal completely.
  10. Gently remove the sealed pie from the small ring/lid and transfer to one of the wide-mouth rings such that it is centered and the edges are supported by the ring. Your pumpkin may overflow a little, but with practice you’ll get better.
  11. Repeat steps 7-11 with remaining pastry and pumpkin mixture. If you have a decent amount of pumpkin mixture remaining, pour it into a (sprayed) ramekin or small glass baking dish and bake the same as the pies.
  12. If desired, sprinkle cinnamon & sugar mixture over the pies (I do this with pretty much all my pies), then bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a small knife inserted into the pumpkin mixture comes out clean.
  13. Let cool completely, then serve with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles

Ahh, fall.

Just kidding, it’s still in the 60’s here. But I can pretend right? Mid-October is definitely time for pumpkin so I whipped up these pumpkin Belgian waffles last weekend despite summer still hanging on. These waffles don’t need much up-selling so I’ll keep this short and sweet. I was actually originally planning on sharing a different recipe, but I’ll save that one for next week so you can get right to these amazing waffles.

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles {{Baking Bytes}}

Not overwhelmingly pumpkin flavored with all the fluffy texture of your favorite Belgian waffle recipe, these are a delightful addition to your breakfast repertoire. The spice of pumpkin pie is subtle enough to blend with maple syrup but strong enough to enjoy them plain. Feel free to up the spices if you want them to be more prominent. I added a few mini chocolate chips to some of mine (as you can see in the pictures) but they are equally delicious without.

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles {{Baking Bytes}}

Note: Because pumpkin is so moist, these waffles will likely need to cook slightly longer than your usual recipe so I recommend turning your waffle maker about a half step higher. However, if you use leftover batter on subsequent days it will not need to cook quite as long as the batter gets less fluffy. On about day three I found I was going back to my usual setting of 5 instead of the 5.5 I used on the first day.

Also, if you don’t want to make the leftovers on demand, it works pretty well to make them all at once and freeze them. Under cook them by a half step or so and let them cool on a wire rack. Then break them into halves or quarters (whichever will fit in your toaster) and pop them in the freezer. You may have to test a couple to see which toaster setting is best for you, but on mine roughly the middle of the dial was perfect. (You can also try defrosting them slightly in the microwave first if you’re concerned about them getting too crunchy before they’re warm all the way through.) If you have a toaster oven, I imagine that would work even better.

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles {{Baking Bytes}}

Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients; it’s an easy recipe despite quite a bit of measuring involved. Now, stop reading this and go make some waffles!

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles

Adapted from Cooking Classy
Makes about 8 waffles

Ingredients

2 ½ cups flour1
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg

4 eggs, separated
1 pinch cream of tartar

1 cup milk
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices until completely combined. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until medium-stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks, milk, buttermilk, oil, pumpkin, sugar, and vanilla until completely combined.
  4. Gently whisk the milk mixture into the dry mixture until everything is moistened but still lumpy. Carefully fold in the egg whites (there should still be small puffs of egg white visible).
  5. Heat your waffle iron and spray with cooking spray if necessary. Add about 3/4 cup of batter and cook to desired doneness.
  6. Serve immediately with toppings of choice. (Maple syrup or butter and cinnamon & sugar are both excellent.)

Notes

1 I also think they’d be great if you substituted ½ cup of the flour with whole wheat flour.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Fair warning, I never tire of pumpkin. I’ve already made my 2nd pumpkin pie of the season and I’m sure there will be a 3rd involved at Thanksgiving. As pumpkin pie is equally good for breakfast as it is for dessert, I don’t mind having a whole one to myself and happily eat it for several days in a row. I greatly look forward to Operation: Eat Everything Pumpkin! (which takes place annually between October and December) and do my best to mix in some new recipes along with my old favorites. If you’re looking for a slightly less traditional pumpkin dessert to serve this Thanksgiving, look no further.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes >> Baking Bytes

Traditional pumpkin and classic cheesecake come together in a wonderful dessert sure to please pumpkin lovers and cheesecakes fans alike. Even my boyfriend, who isn’t a huge fan of pumpkin, thinks these are pretty delicious. Smooth, creamy, and rich, it could very well become a new annual favorite. Even better, the mini size makes for ready to go individual servings and lets you enjoy the evening instead of attempting perfect slices with all eyes on you. These pop perfectly from the pan, and are excellent plain or with a swirl of whipped cream.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes >> Baking Bytes

This recipe does require a specialty pan, of course, but if you have room in your cupboards you surely won’t regret the purchase. Mini cheesecakes are great for potlucks, large dinners, and dessert parties because they’re easy to transport, quick to serve, and require no utensils to eat (although I do prefer a fork, myself.) However, if all you have is a regular cheesecake pan, head over to the original recipe to see instructions for a standard 9″ cheesecake. I’ve not made the full version [yet], but I’m sure it’s equally amazing.

So whether you try some new recipes or stick with the tried and true favorites, have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. (Or a wonderful regular weekend, for my foreign readers.)

Mini Pumpkin CheesecakesMini Pumpkin Cheesecakes >> Baking Bytes

Adapted from Glorious Eats
Makes 12 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients

Crust
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs1
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Filling
8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg2
pinch of ground cloves

1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven  to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly spray a mini cheesecake pan.
  2. Using a fork or pastry blender, mix the crust ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Add a rounded tablespoon of the mix to each well in the pan, and press firmly to form a crust, sealing the edges well.3
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy and smooth.
  5. Beat in pumpkin, eggs, sour cream, sugar and spices, then add flour and vanilla and beat until completely combined.
  6. Divide batter among the wells, about 3 Tbsp of filling atop each crust.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven, and cool 15 minutes on the counter.
  8. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or until ready to eat.
  9. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired, and serve to adoring fans.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes >> Baking Bytes

Notes

About 6 graham crackers.
The original recipe calls for fresh, but dried works just fine.
A flat-bottomed shot glass works nicely for this, but use your fingers to make sure the edges are well sealed.
4 The cheesecakes keep well in the fridge for several days, or in the freezer for up to two months. They’re a great dessert to have on hand! Store in an airtight container.