Ah, pumpkin pie. A delicious combination of seasonal fruits yep pumpkins are fruits and creamy sweet and rich persimmons with some fall spices, and milk or cream and today’s family controversial ingredient. Yielding to a custardy, creamy filling with so many notes of fall. And once baked in a buttery pie crust and topped with fresh whipped cream (a must) its then that its officially thanksgiving. But lets go back to the first time i tried pumpkin pie. This bright orange dessert that's cold and has one note didn't appeal to my college self. You see, I grew up in Palestine and there we didn't celebrate thanksgiving, I had pumpkin pie at the age of 19 for the first time.
In fact, one year my pastor Assis Naim at the Anglican Church in Jerusalem once introduced thanksgiving to the church and we all had falafel sandwiches after the service :)
At first, I wondered why are we serving sweet potatoes mash for thanksgiving dinner and then a similar thing for dessert. It seemed so redundant to me, but the whipped cream made perfect sense and i loved that, I knew then that my palette will change to enjoy this dessert. Pass forward many years later of cooking with my mom in law who taught me so many delicious thanksgiving recipes and experimenting with my own flavors and recipes my favorite pumpkin was born. The creamy filling laced with orange zest and warm fall spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and I sometimes add allspice. This year i experimented with adding tahini (sesame paste). The bright orange sweet dessert needed a nutty boost I thought to myself. It will add dimension and another layer of flavor. Well, some of us at home loved it but my kids said: “mom; tahini belongs to shawarma”. But still not positive who ate almost the entire pie!!! While this remains a mystery i will be adding tahini to my pumpkin pie from now on. And the haters can have an apple pie with fresh whipped cream this thanksgiving.
1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin purée not pumpkin pie filling
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
2 tsps. cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp cardamom
Few grates Of fresh nutmeg
1/4 tsp of cardamom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup tahini paste
2 real ripe persimmons (so soft that they fall apart)
Zest of one orange
Pinch of salt
1 unbaked 9-inch deep dish pie shell store bought or your favorite recipe
* 2 pre baked 9-inch shallow pie shells
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
In a large bowl Place the pumpkin purée, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices, persimmons pulp, orange zest and whisk until combined.
If making 1 (9-inch) deep dish pie: Pour the filling into an unbaked 9-inch deep dish pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. **
If making 2 (9-inch) shallow pies: Divide the filling between 2 pre baked 9-inch pie shells.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. ** Let pies cool completely before serving
Serve pies with a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream
*Pre bake your shells: To blind bake the pie shells, bake at 425°F until the edges just start to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool before adding the filling.
** if your pie crust starts to brown quickly make sure you cover it loosely with foil
This is your pie and it’s your thanksgiving. Tweak the spices to your liking. If you are not sure about tahini start with 1-2 tbls and go from there. If you don’t like it at all then omit it and the pie will still be so delicious and won’t affect the ratio of the other ingredients.
Tahini, or sesame seed paste, is a staple of Arab, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean cooking. It’s perhaps most known for its essential role in hummus and mutabal. But the use is far beyond.
The two commonly found types of persimmons: are the hachiya and fuyu persimmons, which originated in Asia and are now grown in the U.S. and elsewhere. Fuyu persimmons are sweet, and can be eaten while still a little firm. Making them perfect for salads and eaten raw.
The hachiya persimmon will be sweet only when it’s very ripe or even overripe that it falls apart. Making them a perfect addition to baked goods. If you’ve ever had an unripe persimmon, the experience is memorable. It will numb your tongue lol so wait for it to completely ripen.
How to fast ripen hard Hachiyas:
You often fid the Hachiyas firm at the market. You can hurry the softening process by keeping them in a paper bag at room temperature for a few days.
Persimmons taste like no other fruit. They have a silky, almost a slippery texture and taste kind of like the fabulous fruity love child of a mango and a roasted sweet pepper, with some cinnamon in the background. They are rich and tangy and sweet, all at the same time.
Who ate the rest of the Tahini, PPP!!! will remain a mystery