My favorite Thanksgiving food is pumpkin streusel bars. I started making the recipe a few years ago in hopes of combining a bunch of things everyone in my family enjoys into one dessert. The crust of the bars is gingersnap cookies; the filling is cream cheese, Greek yogurt and pumpkin; and the topping is a streusel made from oats, cinnamon and brown sugar. We eat this instead of pumpkin pie now, and no one has complained.
1. Whisk together sugars, flour, salt and spices. Set aside. 2. Beat the pumpkin, evaporated milk and eggs. 3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat until combined. 4. Place filling, covered, in the fridge while you prepare the crust. Chill for at least 30 minutes, though it’s best made a day in advance.
The secret is in the sugar, or at least it is in the Reusser family. When it comes to making pumpkin pie, no one does it better than Marlene Reusser of Perry Township, with the exception of her daughter, Marjean Watson of Massillon, who has taken over the family tradition of baking the Thanksgiving pies.
Pumpkin pie isn’t really my thing, so I usually pass it by at Thanksgiving. Until now. Wait until you try this. This chocolate turtle pumpkin pie melds all the right flavors of the season — without being overwhelming.
If one dessert exemplifies autumn and the holiday season, it’s pie. And whether it’s pumpkin, peanut butter or pecan, our love of this humble creation is deeply rooted in family tastes and tradition, especially on special occasions.
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