Friday, October 04, 2013

Fresh Sliced Pumpkin Pie

Fresh Sliced Pumpkin Pie
Fresh Sliced Pumpkin Pie

Many years ago as a child I read the Little House on the Prairie series and fell in love with it. Since then I've read the entire series again and again countless times; to myself and also aloud to my children. I was fascinated with the way the Ingalls family lived; what they ate, what they wore and how they built their homes.

In one particular book (The Long Winter)  "Ma" makes a pie from a green pumpkin and to everyone's amazement, it tastes nearly like apple pie. I couldn't find a truly green pumpkin here, but when the season is right small pie pumpkins are sold just about everywhere.

I dutifully peeled, seeded and sliced the small pumpkin and layered it with spices and sugar in a pie crust and the result was very good. I wouldn't say it was wonderful or even delicious because I think our mind plays tricks on us when we're so used to something as pureed pumpkin in pies that when we have it in another form, it's just odd.

Making Fresh Sliced Pumpkin Pie
Making Fresh Sliced Pumpkin Pie

I won't say this was odd, either ... it was good. It was definitely worth the try and I do have at least one child who can't seem to get enough! See what you think. I may change it slightly and try again, just for fun.

Fresh Sliced Pumpkin Pie
Makes 1 Pie
Ready In: 1 hour 20 minutes


One double pie crust
One 3-pound pie pumpkin
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Wash and peel pumpkin. Remove insides with a sharp-edged spoon and keep the seeds or discard.
3. Slice pumpkin thinly.
4. Place one pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan and dust with flour. Add half of the sliced pumpkin, half of the spic and half of the sugar. Repeat.
5. Top with second crust and seal edges. Vent top and put on a baking sheet in case of spillage.
6. Bake for 1 hour until crust is browned and vents are bubbling with pumpkin juices.
7. Allow to cool for an hour before slicing.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Chicken and Feta Tarts

Chicken and Feta Tarts
Chicken and Feta Tarts

Chicken and feta are a favorite combination and these little tarts are the perfect appetizer or game-day bite for 12 or a light brunch for 6 served with a big green salad. Change the green herb to whatever suits your tastes and if Kalamata olives are not a favorite, California ripe are just as delicious.

Chicken and Feta Tarts
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 25 minutes
Serves: 6


1 package refrigerated pie crusts at room temperature
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg white
4 green onions - green and white parts sliced thinly
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or mist with cooking spray.
2. Unroll pie crusts and cut with a 3-inch biscuit cutter into 12 rounds, gathering dough and re-rolling as necessary. Lay dough rounds on baking sheets, 6 per sheet.
3. Combine ricotta cheese with green onion, egg white, basil and salt. Stir until well blended.
4. Top each dough round with 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture, shredded chicken, a teaspoon or so of Feta cheese and Kalamata olives, keeping the toppings centered and leaving an edge of pie crust about 1/2 - inch wide.
5. Fold edges of pie crust upward leaving most of the filling exposed.
6. Bake for 13 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is slightly puffy.
7. Cool briefly before serving.