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Thanksgiving Photos w/ Dessert Recipes (Pumpkin Gelato and Pumpkin Pie)

Hi everyone… I’m finally getting around to doing my Thanksgiving post! It’s been a very hectic couple of weeks w/ all the additional holiday activities (parties, shopping, etc…) so I’m taking advantage of this window of opportunity to get this posted before I get swamped.

My friends, Michelle and Byron, graciously invited me to their home for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Michelle did a beautiful job w/ all the food as well as taking the photos of this sumptuous feast. My only contribution to the bounty was the pumpkin gelato w/ candied pecans. Hats off to Byron and Michelle for being such wonderful hosts for my Thanksgiving 2006!! (Thanks to Kristin and Bob too for inviting me over for Thanksgiving lunch – no photos of this delicious spread because I was too busy feeding my face!)

Thanksgiving9_1 The Feast

                Crumb Patrol Thanksgiving8_1

Thanksgiving7_1 The Veggies

               Dessert Action Thanksgiving10

Thanksgiving6 Immediate Gratification

                         Dessert Thanksgiving1



Michelle’s Pumpkin Pie


Pastry dough (use your favorite recipe)

2 cups fresh pumpkin meat (see gelato recipe for procedure)

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch of ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

Special equipment: pie weights or raw rice


1) Make pastry dough as directed.

2) Roll out dough into a 14-inch round on a lightly floured surface and fit into a 9-inch glass pie plate (4-cup capacity). Crimp edge decoratively and prick bottom all over. Chill 30 minutes.

3) Preheat oven to 375°°F.

4) Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake in middle of oven 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil and bake shell until pale golden, 6 to 10 minutes more. Cool in pan on a rack.

5) Whisk together pumpkin, cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar, spices, and salt, then pour into shell.

6) Bake pie in middle of oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until filling is set but center still trembles slightly. (Filling will continue to set as pie cools.) Transfer to rack and cool completely.

Pumpkin Gelato w/ Candied Pecans


1 cup candied pecan halves

2 cups pumpkin meat (from 1 small pie pumpkin  – 8 to 10 inches in diameter)

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

6 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 quart half + half

1 teaspoon Penzys cake spice


For  pumpkin:

1) Wash pumpkin, remove stems, cut in half and scrape out seeds

2) Place pumpkin halves on baking sheet, cut side down, add 1/4 cup water to the pan and bake in 350 degree F oven for 1 hour (the pumpkin should be very soft and slightly browned when done)

3) Remove from oven, turn halves over and set aside to cool

4) When cool enough to handle, scrape out meat and puree in a food processor (leave in processor in order to complete gelato mixture – see gelato procedure)

For candied pecans:

1) Roast pecans in 300 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently, then let cool

2) Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/8 cup water in saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar is dissolved

3) Boil to 333-335 degrees F, occasionally brushing sides of pan w/ water to prevent crystals from forming, remove from heat immediately then add pecans and stir until they are well coated

4) Pour onto baking sheet lined w/ parchment paper and quickly separate pecan halves w/ 2 forks (I began using my fingers because using the forks was too slow to separate the pecans before the sugar hardened)

For gelato:

1) In medium saucepan heat half + half and cake spice gently to a simmer, then turn off heat

 2) In medium size mixing bowl combine egg yolks and sugar and beat together until pale yellow

3) Beat 2 tablespoons of the warm half + half into the egg mixture (do this slowly to avoid curdling the eggs), then beat in the remaining half + half little by little

4) Place bowl over a pot of simmering water and cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon (do not let temperature exceed 170 degrees F or mixture will start to curdle)  

5) Cool in an ice bath

6) Add grated orange peel to pureed pumpkin, blend in 1 1/2 cups gelato mixture to pumpkin to thin puree, then stir puree into the remaining gelato mixture, blending well, and chill for at least 4 hours in fridge

7) Roughly chop the candied pecans (set aside a few whole pieces for garnishing and munching on while your plating dessert because they’re addictive and damn good!)

8) Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding the chopped pecans halfway through the churning process

9) Transfer gelato to a 2 quart plastic container, cover top w/ parchment paper cut to size (this will reduce air exposure and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of gelato), and freeze until firm

Yield: Approx. 1 ½ quarts

Bonus recipe…

Cranberry Chutney


1 bag fresh cranberries

2 mangoes – peeled and cubed

1 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon maple syrup


Simmer in a pot to a sauce consistency


That’s all folks! Until next time…


3 Responses to “Thanksgiving Photos w/ Dessert Recipes (Pumpkin Gelato and Pumpkin Pie)”

  1. 1 foodiemama

    pumpkin gelato sounds heavenly!

  2. 2 Brilynn

    There needs to be an easier way to ship frozen things, I want some of that pumpkin gelato…

  3. 3 Bruno

    foodiemama – Thanks! This turned out to be one of my favorite flavors… I will definitely churn up another batch!

    Brilynn – Next time I make some you’re invited!

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