Think beyond pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving; here are 3 of my favorites!

Pumpkin Fritters
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbls. granulated sugar
2 tsps. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
8 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 cup pure pumpkin
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Canola oil, for frying
Powdered sugar
Fill a heavy-bottomed deep saucepan halfway with canola oil. Heat the oil to 375ºF degrees.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk the ricotta cheese, pumpkin, eggs and vanilla extract until mixed well. Pour in flour mixture and fold wet and dry ingredients until incorporated, being careful not to over mix. Makes about 36 small fritters.

Pumpkin Tiramisu
1 cup espresso coffee, cooled
2 Tbls. Kahlua

1 package lady fingers (you’ll need about 30)
3 eggs separated
½ cup brown sugar
8 oz. mascarpone
¾ cup pure pumpkin
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. each; ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice
¾ cup heavy cream; whipped with 11/2 Tbls. powdered sugar
4-5 ginger snap cookies; crushed
¼ cup chopped pecans

Place yolks in a bowl and mix in ½ cup brown sugar, vanilla, mascarpone, pumpkin and spices until well blended.

In another bowl, whip the egg whites until stif, fold whites into egg-mascarpone/pumpkin mixture.

Pour the coffee into a shallow bowl and dip the biscuits on both sides, you may have to break a row of biscuits to fit dish. Cover the bottom of the dish (9 x9) with the soaked biscuits, set aside coffee mixture.
Pour half of the mascarpone/pumpkin mixture over the soaked biscuits. Dip remaining biscuits in coffee/Kahlua mixture and place remaining biscuits on top, spread remaining mascarpone/pumpkin mixture on top.

Top with whip cream, sprinkle with crushed cookies and pecans. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours. Serves 8.

*Note: Raw eggs should not be used in food prepared for pregnant women, young children, or anyone whose health is compromised.
Pumpkin Crème Brulee

2 cups whipping cream
½ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise OR
1 tsp. good quality vanilla

½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp. ground ginger
1 ½ tsps. cinnamon

6 large yolks

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place 6 (6 ounce) ramekins in a bain-marie.

Mix cream and sugar in a medium saucepan, add vanilla or if using vanilla bean; using a sharp knife, scrap seeds from vanilla bean; add seeds and bean to saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a simmer. Cover pan, reduce heat to very low and simmer gently 10 minutes to infuse flavors. Remove vanilla beans.

Whisk yolks in medium bowl until well blended, add pumpkin puree, syrup and spices. Gradually whisk in hot mixture just to blend. Return custard to measuring cup; divide among dishes. Pour enough hot water into pans to come half way up the sides of dishes.

Bake custards until almost set in center, when pans are gently shaken, about 40-50 minutes. Chill at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

Sprinkle 2 tsps. brown sugar evenly over custard. Hold torch 2 inches away from surface, the sugar will melt and brown. Serves 6.




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