Monday, October 17, 2011

cream cheese pumpkin pie pots

I was slated to enter a pumpkin recipe contest at my work's Fall Festival & low and behold the evening before at 10pm, I realized that no grocery store in North Lake Tahoe had any canned pumpkin! There's apparently a pumpkin shortage... Thankfully I remembered a great post from my hometown friend Megan's Megasimple Blog about roasting and pureeing pumpkin. (Check it!) She used smaller sugar pie pumpkins. At 10 o'clock on a Fri. night all I could find were the large jack o'lantern variety, and they worked out fine for me.

Cutting into the large jack o'lantern was probably the hardest part of the deal. I put the cut pieces in a 375 degree oven for an hour and 40 min with a pan of water below them.

Here's the pumpkin right after coming out of the oven.

After roasting, you'll then want to scoop out and puree the insides, as pictured above, and you'll have some pumpkin ready for the recipe. If you're lucky enough to find pumpkin in a can you can skip this roasting/pureeing process. (Since I was up til 1am making this recipe happen, I would have been excited for the canned version!) This yielded way more pumpkin than I needed, so I pureed the rest and froze it for later use...stocking for the next pumpkin shortage!

While the pumpkin was roasting I prepared my graham cracker crust.
This recipe is for the crust to fill 6 wide mouth 8 oz. mason jars. After the crust, my pictures seem to trail off as the evening got later....

After putting a little under 1/4 c. of crust in the jars, you then need to smash it down, as in the picture above: before (on the right) & after (on the left), then you bake!

8 graham crackers crushed (I crushed mine in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter

Directions: Combine graham crackers and sugar. Add melted butter and stir until moist. Divide evenly into 6 wide mouth 8 oz. mason jars (a little less than 1/4 c. each). Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 min.

(amended from this recipe I posted about in 2007: the best pumpkin pie ever!)
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) Neufchatel Cheese softened
1 Tbsp. cold fat-free milk
1 Tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 cups thawedWhipped Topping
1 cup cold fat-free milk
1 can (16 oz.) or 2 cups pumpkin
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) Vanilla Flavor Instant Reduced Pudding
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
6 prepared graham cracker crusts in mason jars (see above)

Directions: Beat Neufchatel cheese, 1 Tbsp. milk and sugar in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in whipped topping. Spread onto bottom of crust in each mason jar (about 1/4 cup each). Be sure to swish the jar around to even out your layers. Then pour 1 cup milk into a medium bowl. Add pumpkin, pudding mix and spices. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick.) Spread over Neufchatel cheese layer in each mason jar (again about 1/4 cup). Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Garnish with additional dollop od whipped topping, if desired. Store leftover pie pots in refrigerator.... but believe me, they won't last long!

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