graham cracker crust

Banoffee Pie

I love trying new things. Especially when they turn out to be awesome! Banoffee Pie, short for Banana-Toffee Pie, is a recipe that caught my attention a while back for my must try list. I mean come on, what’s not to like, right? Then along came Lina of Lin’s Recipes. She hosts recipe challenges for bloggers who’d like to participate in creating a themed list of dishes. This time around it was for “Cakes we have to try this Feb,” a collection of unusually named cakes/desserts that she gathered. Well, that struck a chord with me too. (The combined excitement was almost too much to contain.) This pie is sweet and creamy, luscious with an almost candy like crust. And if I may suggest: you should put this on your list.

As found in PIES delicious recipes for perfect pies:

Serves 4

Filling

generous 3 1/2 cups canned sweetened condensed milk (I used 2 – 14 oz cans)

4 ripe bananas

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups heavy cream, whipped

2 3/4 oz/75 g semisweet chocolate, grated

 

Cookie Crust

3 oz/85 g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing

5 1/2 oz/150 g graham crackers, crushed into crumbs

scant 1/3 cup shelled almonds, toasted and ground

scant 1/3 cup shelled hazelnuts, toasted and ground

Place the unopened cans of milk in a large pan and add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 2 hours, topping up the water level to keep the cans covered. Carefully lift out the hot cans from the pan and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease a 9 inch/23-cm tart pan with butter. Place the remaining butter in a bowl and add the crushed graham crackers and ground nuts. Mix together well, then press the mixture evenly into the base and side of the tart pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool.

Peel and slice the bananas and place in a bowl. Squeeze over the juice from the lemon, add the vanilla extract, and mix together. Spread the banana mixture over the cookie crust in the pan, then spoon the contents of the cooled cans of condensed milk over the bananas. Sprinkle over 1 3/4 oz/50 g of the chocolate then top with a layer of whipped cream. Sprinkle over the remaining grated chocolate and serve the pie at room temperature.

 

Sweet Potato Pie

I love this simplicity of this dessert. Ok, I love the simplicity and the taste. It’s like an anytime pie, but it’s seasonal so it’s unique. And not to toot my own horn, but I really think I’ve cracked the code on graham cracker crusts. The word candy comes to mind. (I really shouldn’t write blog posts when I’ve had so little sleep… However, my soon to be one year old has yet to sleep through the night. So I’m surprised I have any posts at all.) The original recipe has been adapted from one by Tyler Florence; which is to say, that in spite of exhaustion, the recipe is solid. 😉

As organic as possible:

Filling:

2 Sweet potatoes (orange)

1/2 cup Brown sugar

2 Eggs, lightly beaten.

3 tsp Flour

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Salt

Crust:

9 whole sheets Graham crackers

1/2 cup Cinnamon Crunch cereal (I like Cascadian Farms)

1 stick Butter

1/4 cup Brown sugar

1/4 tsp Salt

 

Preheat oven to 375°. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes, pierce all over with a fork and double wrap (2 times) with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour.

For the crust: Crush graham crackers and cereal in a sealed plastic bag with a rolling pin. (At least thats how I do it, you can turn them into crumbs any way you”d like. I like them to have some texture for this recipe.) By the way, I just have to tell you that the little bit of crunchy cinnamon-sugary cereal does a really great thing for the world of graham crackers. You are going to be happy. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Add crumbs, salt and sugar. Stir until all is coated. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of crumb mixture (optional for topping). Press evenly and up the sides of a 9″ pie plate.

When potatoes come out of the oven, turn heat down to 350° and bake the pie crust for about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside. Turn oven back up to 375°.

For the filling: Carefully (using a towel or something to hold the potatoes, because they will be very hot!) slice the skin of the sweet potato and scoop out the insides into a bowl. (Discard the skins.) If the insides are tender enough, mash with a fork. If necessary use a masher, until they are soft and pliable. Stir in 1/2 cup of brown sugar, eggs, flour, cinnamon and salt. (Tyler Florence adds a pinch of nutmeg too, but I don’t prefer it here because it ends up tasting more like a pumpkin pie to me. However, I will leave that up to your discretion.) Bake at 375° for 20 minutes, top with remaining crust mixture and bake 15 to 20 minutes more (until crust is browned).

Then enjoy your life because sweet potato pie is delicious.

 

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I really wish I could take credit for this recipe. I’ve been making it for so many years that it feels like mine. I mean when you’ve had something be a part of your holiday traditions longer than your children, that’s got to be something. And as often as I like to put my own twist on things, this recipe remains untouched – because it’s perfect every time, just the way it is. It’s creamy and luscious and sweet and seasonal with the pumpkin… so without further ado: From Better Homes and Gardens’ Test Kitchen Favorites:

As organic as possible: (ok, there’s my twist)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 20 squares)

1/3 cup sugar

3 Tbsp butter, melter

2 – 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup half-and-half or light cream

1 cup canned pumpkin

3/4 cup sugar

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

4 eggs

1 – 8 oz carton dairy sour cream

1/2 tsp vanilla

  1. For crust, combine crumbs, the 1/3 cup sugar, and melter butter. Press onto bottom and about 2 inches up sides of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Bake in a 325°F oven for 5 minutes; set aside.
  2. For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, half-and-half, pumpkin, the 3/4 cup sugar, flour, the 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, beating on low speed just until combined.
  3. Spoon filling into crust-lined pan. Place springform pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 325°F oven for 1 hour or until center appears nearly set when gently shaken.
  4. Combine the sour cream, the 2 tablespoons sugar, and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; spread over cheesecake. Bake 5 minutes more.
  5. Cool in springform pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen crust from sides of pan with a thin-bladed knife or narrow spatula and cool 30 minutes more. Remove sides of pan; cool 1 hour. Cover and chill at least 4 hours up to 24 hours. Makes 16 servings.

To store cheese cake: Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or seal a whole cheesecake or individual pieces in a freezer bag, in an airtight container, or wrapped in heavy foil. Freeze a whole cheesecake for up to a month and pieces for up to 2 weeks. To serve, loosen the covering slightly. Thaw a whole cheesecake in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Thaw individual pieces at room temperature 30 minutes.

You’re welcome! Have a great weekend!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 20 squares)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melter
  • 2 - 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup half-and-half or light cream
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 - 8 oz carton dairy sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. For crust, combine crumbs, the 1/3 cup sugar, and melter butter. Press onto bottom and about 2 inches up sides of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Bake in a 325°F oven for 5 minutes; set aside.
  2. For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, half-and-half, pumpkin, the 3/4 cup sugar, flour, the 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, beating on low speed just until combined.
  3. Spoon filling into crust-lined pan. Place springform pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 325°F oven for 1 hour or until center appears nearly set when gently shaken.
  4. Combine the sour cream, the 2 tablespoons sugar, and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; spread over cheesecake. Bake 5 minutes more.
  5. Cool in springform pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen crust from sides of pan with a thin-bladed knife or narrow spatula and cool 30 minutes more. Remove sides of pan; cool 1 hour. Cover and chill at least 4 hours up to 24 hours. Makes 16 servings.
  6. To store cheese cake: Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or seal a whole cheesecake or individual pieces in a freezer bag, in an airtight container, or wrapped in heavy foil. Freeze a whole cheesecake for up to a month and pieces for up to 2 weeks. To serve, loosen the covering slightly. Thaw a whole cheesecake in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Thaw individual pieces at room temperature 30 minutes.
http://sadiesnest.com/pumpkin-cheesecake/