I’ve made pumpkin pie from scratch – that is, with a filling that’s made with fresh pumpkin. It’s a lot of work and to be honest, the mashed cooked pumpkin is not nearly as smooth as the pumpkin that comes packed in a can. So … for pumpkin desserts, where a smooth, velvety texture is essential, canned pumpkin is really the best way to go. Since the canned pumpkin shortage of a few years ago, I always buy a few extra cans this time of the year and tuck them away in the pantry. I don’t often make anything with canned pumpkin except in the fall, but every once in a while, I get a taste for it and like having it in the house.
Canned pumpkin is a boon for making pumpkin desserts, especially for cheesecake and flan. The desserts offered today take a little effort, but for celebratory occasion, such as Thanksgiving, they are lusciously satisfying – and showstoppers. The two-toned (and flavored) swirled top of the cheesecake will have guests asking, “How’d you do that,” while the flan will leave them swooning.
Desserts are a big part of any holiday meal, and two pie recipes are coming next week, one for pumpkin and one for apple. They can be prepared with canned pumpkin, pre-peeled and sliced apples and ready-to-bake pie crusts, so if you run out of time, don’t panic.
Just buy an extra can, or two, of pumpkin – and keep the can opener handy.