The holidays are rapidly approaching.  I typically bake both pumpkin and apple pies for the holidays but I’m always on the lookout for ways to enhance my recipes. I saw these two ideas and just had to give them a try.

Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust

Perfect for apple or pumpkin pie!

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust – homemade or purchased
  • 4 tablespoons melted  butter
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 egg white

Directions

  1. Roll out pie crust as usual for a bottom crust.
  2. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. Roll up tightly, as you would for cinnamon rolls.
  4. Cut into 1/4 inch slices.
  5. Press slices into pie plate. Push pieces together and up sides to seal.
  6. Brush with egg whites and fill as desired.
  7. Prepare your pie filling as directed and pour into prepared pie crust. Bake pie as directed.  Serve with a big dollop of whipped cream!

Brushing the crust with an egg white helps to seal the crust and keep it crisp.  Your other option is to pre-bake the crust before adding the filling. This is for only crumble topped pies.  If you are doing a lattice or full crust on the top, you should not pre-bake it as you will need to seal the top and bottom.

When pre-baking a pie crust, first line it with foil or parchment paper and fill it with pie weights, dried beans or rice, or even a jar’s worth of loose change. Bake until the upper ridge just begins to color. Remove the weights and carefully prick the bottom and sides with a fork to prevent air bubbles.  Return the pie crust to the oven and continue baking until pale golden. Brush with egg wash, if desired, and bake a few more minutes to create a seal.

Pumpkin Lust Cake

Not a fan of pumpkin pie?  Try this delicious “cake” that has a little pumpkin flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 8 ounce containers cool whip
  • 2 small packages (3.4 ounces) of Jello Instant Pumpkin Spice Pudding
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • Nutmeg for sprinkling

Directions

  1. For the crust combine butter, flour, chopped pecans and sugar and press into a 9 x 13 in baking dish. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Let cool completely.
  3. While the crust is cooling, combine the 2 pudding mixes with the cold milk. Whisk for several minutes and then place it in the refrigerator for at least 5-10 minutes to let it thicken.
  4. For the first layer, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 1/2 cups cool whip until smooth. Spread this mixture over the cooled crust.
  5. For the pumpkin layer spread your thickened pudding over the cream cheese layer.
  6. Top with the remaining cool whip. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

I love the holidays and just can’t wait to get baking.  That cinnamon roll crust is definitely going to be on the menu this year.

Image Source: Albertsons