DESSERTS! How to keep your family safe while making holiday goodies
November 20, 2012

The holidays are a time for one of my favorite things—rich, fattening DESSERTS! One dessert I had the opportunity to make this past weekend is the Black Bottom Pumpkin Pie found in the November edition of Southern Living magazine. It turned out to be the hit of the Thanksgiving party that I attended this past Saturday.

Food safety is always a concern when preparing foods for family and friends, especially during the holidays when many of the dishes and desserts call for eggs. The recipe for this particular pumpkin pie, found below, calls for 6 eggs total—2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks. Before taking the eggs out of the refrigerator, I made sure to wash the counter, my hands, the bowl, and egg separator I would be using to separate the yolks from the whites with warm, soapy water. After drying them with a clean towel, I was ready to crack the eggs! I took the eggs out of the refrigerator, still in their original carton, and following the recipe made the custard part of the pie. After handling the eggs, I washed the counter, my hands, and all utensils used again with warm, soapy water.

Because this pie is not cooked, it was also important to make sure that the custard part of the pie reached the proper temperature to kill any bacteria that could have been present in or on the eggs. Using a food thermometer, I cooked the custard until it reached at least 160°F. I chilled the custard mixture and poured it over the pie to enjoy the next day. After having one (ok, maybe two) pieces of this pie, I knew it would have to become a staple at any Thanksgiving gathering from here on out!

Black Bottom Pumpkin Pie, Southern Living, November 2012

Ingredients

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-oz.) chocolate-covered toffee candy bars, finely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
4 egg yolks
2 cups milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1/2 cup maple syrup

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring 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° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer 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 minute or until melted, stirring 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-qt. saucepan; add eggs, egg yolks, and milk, and whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until a pudding-like thickness. (Mixture will just begin to bubble and will hold soft peaks when whisk is lifted.) Remove from heat, and 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 foamy; gradually add syrup, beating until soft peaks form. Spread or pipe over pie.

For more food safety tips while preparing your holiday desserts, visit http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/categories/holidays.

Happy Thanksgiving!