Cook’s Corner: Creamy pumpkin pie for the holiday

CYGNET – Just in time for Thanksgiving: A pumpkin pie with a twist.

Angel Mercer adds light cream to her Creamy Pumpkin Pie to make it, well, creamy.

She said she found the recipe a decade ago in a magazine.

“It didn’t have the standard sweetened condensed milk, and that’s what I wanted to try,” Mercer said. “I like pumpkin pie, and this is so creamy. Everyone wants me to bring it to holidays.”

Mercer said, if you prefer, you can puree your own pumpkin. She uses Libby pure pumpkin, not the pie pumpkin that already has the spices in it.

“I don’t want that,” she said about the additional spices.

And while other bakers may add cloves, allspice and nutmeg, this recipe keeps it simple with only extra cinnamon.

Mercer said there is always leftover filling from the pie mix, and she uses it for a crustless pie.

She said her pie crust, which she rolls out with her grandmother’s wooden rolling pin, is a little different in that she adds an egg.

“She baked. That’s where my passion for baking came,” Mercer said of her grandmother.

Her grandmother and mother Shelly Clifton made everything homemade.

“And that’s how I’ve continued to do that stuff,” Mercer said. “I love it.”

Mercer was a multiple first-place winner at the Wood County Fair’s Cook-Off, taking top prize for her deviled egg pasta salad, barbecue shredded chicken and macaroni and cheese.

Her banana bread also took first place in baked goods.

This was just her second year to enter the competition, but Mercer said that she will be back next year.

She said she prefers baking, but she does cook every day. Mercer said that she also sticks to the specific instructions of a recipe — except for the award-winning deviled egg pasta salad, she later amended.

“We just like deviled eggs and I thought I’d just add pasta to it. It worked,” she said.

There are no qualms about trying a recipe — then forgetting it, if it doesn’t work.

“We try them … and if we don’t like it, I throw it away. Or remove it from Pinterest,” Mercer said about her selection of recipes.

Her husband, Jeff, is one of her taste testers. She is a 1994 Elmwood High School graduate, as is Jeff, and the couple have been married for 25 years.

While she uses Pinterest for “fun” recipes. Her passion, though, is reading cookbooks and those are what she’ll revert back to for a tried-and-true recipe.

Mercer said it doesn’t matter if a recipe calls for 15 ingredients and a dozen pots and pans.

“I have a dishwasher. I don’t care, I just enjoy trying new ones.”

Mercer said she picks a day where she knows she’ll have time to take longer for more complex recipes.

She shops on the weekend, prepares her daily menu in advance and never strays from it.

“I am very organized when it comes to that,” Mercer said.

She is a work-at-home grandma who is a social worker for Wood County Hospital.

And while this pie is a perfect choice for Thanksgiving, Mercer said she makes it year round.

“I don’t just wait for the holidays,” she said.

Creamy Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cup packed pure pumpkin (not the pie-mix pumpkin)

3/4 cup light cream

Directions

Use electric mixer to blend cream cheese, then beat in both sugars. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla, cinnamon, salt packed pumpkin and light cream until blended.

Pour into pie shell and bake at 375 for 30 minutes then reduce oven to 350 and bake another 20 minutes until no longer soupy. Remove from oven and let cool. Cover and refrigerate for four hours.

A store-bought pie shell can be used, or use the following recipe to make your own.

Pie Crust

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups flour

8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut in cubes

1 teaspoon salt (if using salted butter, do not add)

1/4 cup cold water

1 large egg

Directions

Add everything but water into food processor. Pulse until pea sized. Drizzle in water and pulse until a ball forms.

Put in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Roll out on a flour surface to size needed.

Creamy Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cup packed pure pumpkin (not the pie-mix pumpkin)

3/4 cup light cream

Directions

Use electric mixer to blend cream cheese, then beat in both sugars. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla, cinnamon, salt packed pumpkin and light cream until blended.

Pour into pie shell and bake at 375 for 30 minutes then reduce oven to 350 and bake another 20 minutes until no longer soupy. Remove from oven and let cool. Cover and refrigerate for four hours.

A store-bought pie shell can be used, or use the following recipe to make your own.

Pie Crust

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups flour

8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut in cubes

1 teaspoon salt (if using salted butter, do not add)

1/4 cup cold water

1 large egg

Directions

Add everything but water into food processor. Pulse until pea sized. Drizzle in water and pulse until a ball forms.

Put in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Roll out on a flour surface to size needed.