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Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Pockets with Vanilla Cream

I’m a sucker for a vegetable dessert.  I am.  I used to swear by canned pumpkin for this recipe (not canned pumpkin pie, but canned pumpkin).  However, it’s very easy to use a real pumpkin the taste is so much better.

Pumpkin Pie is often made with tons of cream and sugar (what’s not to like?!) but I like to use milk and less sugar, just to make it slightly healthier.  Also, by creating pockets, you’re portion sizing yourself!  It’s easier not to overindulge during the holidays when there are clear stopping points in your desserts.  Exercise portion control by setting a limit to the number of pockets you eat (and the amount of whipped cream you add)!

Pumpkin Pie Pockets with Vanilla Cream

Yields 12 pockets

They may not be pretty at first but they'll be delicious!

  • 1 sugar pumpkin (to yield 2 cups of canned pumpkin)
  • 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream + 1 cup
  • 1 cup of 2% milk
  • 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cloves
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup white sugar (for sprinkling)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Slice the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.  Fill a roasting pan with about an inch of water and place the pumpkin, cut side down, in the pan.  Roast for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is easily pierced with a fork or knife.  Scoop out the pumpkin and puree until smooth.  Measure 2 cups and set the rest aside.

Increase the oven temperature to 425°F.  In a food processor, add the 2 cups of pumpkin puree, ginger, cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and salt until the mixture is smooth.  Pour into a large bowl and whisk in the sugar, then the eggs.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into any ovenproof pan (about 8×8) and bake for about 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the pie comes out clean.  While the pumpkin pie filling cools, prepare the phyllo dough by brushing a sheet with oil, sprinkling lightly with sugar and repeating with a second layer.  Once you’ve completed 2 layers, cut the sheets lengthwise, in thirds.  This will produce 3 strips of a 2-layer phyllo.  Here’s what you’re going to do next:

When the pie filling has cooled, place 1-2 tablespoons on one end of a phyllo strip and fold the dough over the filling in a triangular shape, continuing up the entire strip.  When the pie pocket is finished, brush again lightly with oil, sprinkle with sugar and set aside.  Repeat with the remaining sheets.  Bake the pockets on a cookie sheet until golden, about 25-30 minutes.

In a small bowl, whip the remaining cream and vanilla until airy and whipped.  Enjoy!

NUTRITION INFORMATION (per pocket, not including the whipped cream):

160 calories ∣ 53 calories from fat ∣ 6 g fat ∣ 2 g saturated fat ∣ 23 g carbs ∣ 0 g fiber ∣ 4 g protein ∣ Good source of vitamins A ∣ Riboflavin∣ Selenium

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