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Cindy Aman's Santa's Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 (8 ounce) pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 T (½ stick butter)
1 T vanilla
1 t pumpkin pie spice
1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin
1(9”) prepared graham cracker crust
¼ cup caramel topping
1 cup (or more) whipped topping
½ cup chopped pecans for crust
8 red candied cherries, halved
8 green candied cherries, halved
½ cup chopped pecans for topping
2 T brown sugar for topping
1 T butter for topping
8 red cherries, halved, for garnish
5 green cherries, halved, for garnish

Directions

Pour caramel topping into crust and spread evenly; sprinkle with pecans. Lay 8 halved red and green cherries randomly on pecans. Beat sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice with mixer for 1-2 minutes, until fluffy. Add pumpkin until blended. Spoon onto crust. Top with whipped topping and add the remaining red and green halved cherries. Chill at least 6 hours. Before serving, sprinkle with this pecan mixture: ½ cup pecans, 2T brown sugar, and 1 T butter that has been microwaved for 2 ½ minutes and cooled, and separated with a fork. Santa will forego the cookies and head straight for this pie.

Cindy Aman is the author of In Search of My Mother’s Kitchen, a book of stories about growing up in a small town and recipes of food to match the times. The book may be ordered directly from her or may be found in Dothan at Red House Books and in Ashford at The Petal Pusher. The book makes a wonderful, nostalgic, gift for Christmas or any special occasion.

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