October 23, 2013

Soup to Nuts: Skip the pumpkin latte and try these lucious pumpkin desserts

Baking with pumpkin means less oil and butter.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 2)

click image to enlarge

Liza Bonnell's pumpkin pecan pie with bourbon cream won second place at the 2013 Damariscotta Pumpkinfest dessert contest.

Ted Axelrod/Axelrod Photography

click image to enlarge

Rebecca Potter’s Pumpkin Brown Cake won the Seashore Trolley Museum’s dessert contest.

Meredith Goad photo

Additional Photos Below


Emma Goltz, Damariscotta, first place, 2013 Damariscotta Pumpkinfest pumpkin dessert contest.


8 ounces broken gingersnap cookies

1/2 cup salted pistachio nuts

1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon King Arthur whole-wheat flour

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1 29-ounce can pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons water

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

11/2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ginger

Dash ground cloves

Whipped cream and chopped pistachio nuts, for serving (optional)

Prepare the crust:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a food processor, combine gingersnaps and pistachios. Cover and process with on/off pulses until ground. Add brown sugar, cover and process just until combined. With processor running, slowly add melted butter in a thin, steady stream. Press mixture onto the bottom of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until set and starting to brown. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl sprinkle gelatin over the water; do not stir. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, beat pumpkin puree and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

In a small saucepan, combine evaporated milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Bring to simmering over medium-high heat. Add gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

Gradually pour milk mixture into pumpkin mixture, beating until smooth. Pour pumpkin mixture over crust. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours.To serve, cut into squares and top with whipped cream and chopped pistachio nuts.


“She's the family baking star,” said Sheri Tripp of Biddeford about her cousin, Liza Bonnell of Portland, who won second prize in the Pumpkinfest contest after winning third in 2012.

Her Pumpkin-Pecan pie impressed the judges with its rosettes of rich, bourbon spiked cream.

“Four years ago I found a recipe in Relish magazine – an insert in the Portland Press Herald – for sweet potato-pecan pie,” Bonnell said. “I made it for Thanksgiving and thought it would be better with pumpkin, so I tinkered with the recipe until I had the right combination. Bourbon cream has always been my favorite sauce.”


Liza Bonnell, Portland, second place, Damariscotta Pumpkinfest dessert contest.


1½ cup King Arthur all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Dash cinnamon

3 tablespoons vegetable shortening

¼ cup cold butter

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Pumpkin filling:

11/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon allspice

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon ginger

3 tablespoons softened butter

Pecan filling:

1 cup packed light brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 stick butter, melted

2 eggs

1 tablespoon King Arthur all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon half and half

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup maple syrup

½ cup chopped pecans

1 to 2 cups pecan halves

Bourbon sauce:

¾ cup heavy whipping cream

½ cup half and half

½ package French vanilla pudding mix

2 to 4 tablespoons bourbon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Assemble pie crust dough using traditional technique, line deep dish pie pan with crust.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients for pumpkin filling in large bowl, mix until well blended.

In separate large bowl, mix 2 eggs until frothy. Add the rest of the ingredients for pecan filling except pecan halves and mix until combined.

Fill pie shell with pumpkin filling, top with pecan filling. Arrange pecan halves on top. Bake 45 minutes or until completely set in the center (if edge of crust browns too quickly, cover with aluminum foil).

In large mixing bowl, whip all ingredients for bourbon sauce until desired consistency. Pipe on top of pie with decorative tip if desired, or just serve on the side!

Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:


Twitter: MeredithGoad 

Staff Writer Susan Axelrod contributed to this story.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Winners of the 2013 Damariscotta Pumpkinfest Dessert Contest, from left: Tyrrell Hunter, third place; Liza Bonnell, second place; Emma Goltz, first place.

Ted Axelrod/Axelrod Photography

click image to enlarge

Pumpkin icebox pie by Emma Goltz was the first place winner in the 2013 Damariscotta Pumpkinfest dessert contest.

Ted Axelrod/Axelrod Photography

click image to enlarge

Damariscotta Pumpkinfest Dessert Contest first place winner Emma Goltz (left) with contest chair Heather Troidl.

Ted Axelrod/Axelrod Photography

click image to enlarge

Maegan Burke’s pumpkin whoopie pies won second place in the 2013 dessert contest at Seashore Trolley Museum.

Meredith Goad photo

click image to enlarge

Ki Leffler’s Orange-Pumpkin Cake Squares with Browned Butter Frosting took fourth place in the museum contest.

Meredith Goad photo


Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)



More PPH Blogs