Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Black-Bottom Pumpkin Pie, served lovingly

The way to my Hubby’s heart during the recent season for honoring our beloved ones wasn’t a dessert of strawberries (he’s allergic) or cherries (he doesn’t like) or anything red-themed. Just give him something pumpkin-y, thank you. He doesn’t mind that pumpkin is more often associated with that Other Holiday.

So his crown-jewel dessert was Black-Bottom Pumpkin Pie, which Hubby has proclaimed must be on the dessert table for all holidays from now on. How can you beat a crust of crushed graham crackers, gingersnaps, and pecans, with a layer of chocolate chips and toffee bars over that?

Then, the filling—a pumpkin cream layer, much like that of a banana cream or coconut cream pie. A whipped topping, with maple syrup stirred in, crowned the whole thing—chocolate shavings added.

Love at first sight, and then the second, and during multiple servings thereafter.

Black-Bottom Pumpkin Pie

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
1 cup crushed gingersnaps
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
2 cups whipping cream, divided
2 (1.4-ounce) chocolate-covered toffee candy   
     bars, finely chopped (such as Heath bars)
3/4 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
4 egg yolks
2 cups milk (I used skim)
1 cup canned pumpkin (I used 1 cup fresh pumpkin puree)
1 tablespoon vanilla-bean paste (vanilla extract may be substituted)
1/2 cup maple syrup
garnish: semisweet chocolate shavings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant; stir halfway through. Cool 10 minutes. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, next 2 ingredients, and toasted pecans until blended. Press crumb mixture on bottom, up sides, and onto lip of a lightly greased 10-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Transfer pie plate to a wire rack and cool completely (about 30 minutes). Microwave 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels and 1/2 cup whipping cream in a small microwave-safe bowl at high 1 minutes or until melted. Stir at 30-second intervals. Spoon chocolate mixture over bottom of pie crust; sprinkle candy bars over chocolate mixture. Cover and chill 1 hour or until chocolate mixture is set. Meanwhile whisk together sugar and flour in a heavy 3-quart saucepan; add eggs, egg yolks, and milk. Whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a pudding-like thickness is achieved. (Mixture will just begin to bubble and will hold soft peaks when whisk is lifted.) Remove from heat; whisk in pumpkin and vanilla-bean paste. Transfer to a bowl. Place heavy-duty plastic wrap directly on warm filling (to prevent a film from forming); chill 30 minutes. Spoon pumpkin mixture over chocolate; cover and chill 8 to 24 hours or until filling is firm. Beat remaining 1 1/2 cups cream at high speed with an electric mixer until mixture is foamy; gradually add syrup. Beat until soft peaks form. Spread or pipe over pie. Garnish if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings. (Source: Southern Living, November 2012)

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