Thanksgiving Pie idea- Triple Layer Pumpkin Pie

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My computer died a few weeks back and I fixed it, by myself :-), a couple of days ago.  So, I’m finally back online with more than a smartphone. 


I will be creating a quick pie crust tutorial but haven’t gotten to it yet.  This year for Thanksgiving I am making a sous vide apple cream pie (not all of it is made sous vide) which I haven’t attempted before. I wanted to give anyone a fabulous recipe (actually 2 different recipes) for a great Thanksgiving Day pie.  The following recipe(s) is one of my favorite pies– Triple Layer Pumpkin Pie.  It is time consuming, so unless you’re super organized and already have 3/4 of your Thanksgiving meal cooked, I suggest it for those who only need to take an item or three to family or friend’s house. 


This is a repost from a couple years back, but made it many times and it’s always a winner.  I’ve used several different custard recipes too.  Might try a sous vide one as well next time.  Pie 1 recipe comes from a pastry chef that used to work at Tavern on Main in Westport, CT many moons ago.

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 Keep saying that I should really call it Quadruple Layer as I put another layer of Whipped Cream on Top of this.

You’ll need a couple of hours to complete this.

Triple Layer Pumpkin Pie– 2 Ways

Pie #2 Crust

2 cups flour

1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces (increase by 1 Tbsp if you don’t use lard)

1 Tbsp cold lard (optional)

1 cup milk

1 tsp white vinegar

(if you use unsalted butter, add 1/4 tsp salt)

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix milk with vinegar and set aside.  In food processor, pulse flour with butter and lard until they are size of beans.  Divide in two and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes.  Take one ball of dough and place on well floured surface.  (If you have marble, granite or any cold counter, use that.) Roll out turning and flipping every 2-3 rolls so that it will become circular and won’t stick to surface.  Ease into pie plate.  Prick center with fork and weigh down center with aluminum foil or parchment topped with pie weights (pennies, dried beans).  Bake 10-15 minutes until lightly golden.   Set aside to cool.

Triple (Quadruple) Layer Pumpkin Pie

Mix together spices:

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

3/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

 Then divide into two— one for custard layer, one for mousse layer.

Custard Layer:

1 cup pumpkin puree

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs

spice mixture from above

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 Tbsp brandy (I used Calvados)

Preheat oven to 350F. With a whisk mix pureed pumpkin and sugars in bowl, slowly add eggs then remaining ingredients.  Pour into pre-baked pie shell and bake until set (about 40 minutes).  When you gently shake it it should move like Jello not liquid, but don’t let it go until it cracks too much (overdone).  Let cool on wire rack then place in fridge for at least an hour.

Whipped Cream Layer:

2 cups heavy cream

1 Tbsp sugar

Whip together until stiff.  Use 1 cup to spread over custard layer.  Reserve 1/2 cup for mousse layer and 1/2 cup for top.  Place pie and remaining cream in fridge.

Pumpkin Mousse Layer:

1 Tbsp unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

3/4 cup brown sugar

4 egg yolks

3 egg whites (save or throw away the extra white)

spice mixture from above

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

Reserved1/2 cup whipped cream

Mix pumpkin and brown sugar in a medium sausepan.  Add egg yolks (if you separate using shells or hands, make sure no yolk gets in the white) and spices.  Over medium to medium-low heat warm until boiling, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  In small sauce pan put water then gelatin, then warm to dissolve (do not boil).  Add gelatin to pumpkin mixture and whisk until well mixed.  Place saucepan with mixture into a shallow pan of cold water (don’t let water get into saucepan) helping it cool.  Cool until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from spoon.

Whip egg whites and sugar until stiff.  (Copper bowls help egg whites stiffen) Gently fold reserved 1/2 cup whipped cream with egg whites then gently fold together with pumpkin mixture.  Finally spread over whipped cream layer heaping in center.  You can top with more whipped cream, or leave as is. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pumpkin Custard Layer #2 (Alice Water’s Pumpkin Pie)

1 cup cream

2 tsp flour

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

3 eggs

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

pinch fresh ground black pepper

1 1/2 tsp brandy (optional)

In small saucepan whisk together 1/4 cup cream with flour over low heat until it comes to a boil and thickens.  Slowly whisk in remaining cream.  Continue whisking until it returns to boil.  Remove from heat.  In a medium bowl whisk together pumpkin and eggs.  In another bowl combine sugars and spices.  Combine all three mixtures and whisk in brandy (Again, I used Calvados).  Pour into pre-baked pie shell and bake for 45 minutes until center is just setting.  Place foil around rim if it’s browning too much.  Let cool on wire rack then fridge before adding other layers.  This one I did the mousse next then the whipped cream. 

They were both delicious, though I couldn’t decide which one I liked better.  My kids were so excited to try it during the baking/making of it and when I was carrying it to car,  but once we got there and there were so many other foods and desserts only my eldest was as enthusiastic enough to eat any.   He loved them both too!

Either custard layer can be used as your traditional pumpkin pie without all the layers. 

Gluten Free Banana Pancakes


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Updating the website and having some issues.  In the meantime here’s a photo of our delicious breakfast.  Gluten-free pancakes with maple syrup. I added cinnamon and bananas to mine.  (Boys weren’t interested.) I made them with buckwheat, sorghum, and brown rice … Continue reading

Thanksgiving Style Dinner in 40 mins not 4 hours!

I love Thanksgiving; it’s my favorite holiday.  Just family and friends gathering to enjoy each others’ company while eating good food.  No presents.  No expectations or disappointments surrounding gifts.  No spending huge amounts of money.  Just getting together and having a good time.  I also love turkey with all the trimmings. So does my eldest son.  Turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, cranberry sauce and vegetables is a perfect meal for him. Sometimes I want the Thanksgiving dinner without going to all the trouble of making a Thanksgiving dinner!

So, I figured out a way to make a turkey dinner without roasting a turkey for 4 hours.  It happened when I found thick sliced turkey breast at Trader Joe’s.  I thought, I can stuff these!  I don’t need no stinking whole turkey.image Continue reading

Gluten-Free Cardamom Quinoa & Oatmeal Cookies


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Pan Fried Chicken


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Fried chicken that’s only lightly fried then baked to finish cooking.  (Less absorption of fat for those who are so concerned. But just as delicious!) Soaked the chicken drumsticks in buttermilk overnight then coated them in flour mixed with thyme, cayenne, … Continue reading

Thank you!

You had wanted the recipe for the roasted banana crepes
I learnt this method from the banana sticky toffee pudding I’ve made many times now.
In a roasting dish put 2 whole bananas (in their skins) into into a 375F oven for 15- 20 minutes until they’re soft. Carefully peel, then basically pour into a bowl and let cool. You can mash any solid with a fork,
The crepe recipe is from Mark Bittman. I just reduced some of the liquid and added the bananas into the batter toward the end.
So delicious!

Back to school soon… snack ideas

My kids are lucky.  They have no known food allergies, but of course going to school, they must be considerate of others who aren’t as lucky.  All the class snacks and my soon-to-be kindergartner’s lunches must be nut-free.  Sometimes they have to be free of dairy, soy, egg, and seafood, depending on the classroom. We get a list of nut-free foods that are safe to serve from the school nurse, but I always find so much junk on it.  So I create my own list, which you can find some of below and in full here.

I find that fresh fruits (squeeze a little lemon juice in some cool water to keep the brown away) and vegetables are easy and safe.  My middle son loves to dip his peppers, celery and carrots in organic ranch dressing.  Whereas my youngest son loves hummus for dipping in carrots and pita chips… or even his fingers. 

I often make popcorn at home either on the stove using canola, olive or grapeseed oils or in the microwave using a brown paper bag and oils.  I’ll season with real melted butter and salt or my own spice mixture.

Here are more snack ideas for school:

More Nut-Free Snacks*


Black Beans, Pinto Beans, etc.

Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans- plain or roasted with Moroccan spices


Sugar Snap Peas

Snow Peas

Green Beans

Sweet Potato

Sliced Bell Peppers

Cherry or Grape Tomatoes


Roasted Beets or Trader Joe’s Ready to Eat Beets

Lentils – Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils

Raw/Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)

Sunflower Seeds

Mandarin segments in juice (not syrup)


Cheeses- TJ’s mini brie, mini goat cheese, sliced cheddar, organic cheese sticks, sliced muenster

Kafir milk or Lassi

All natural yogurts without hormones like Stoneyfield or Trader Joe’s, Brown Cow, Whole Foods, Horizon

Trader Joe’s yoyo squeezers Stoneyfield or Horizon tube yogurt (freeze to keep cold or as frozen morning snack)

Hard-Boiled Eggs with sea salt

Devilled Eggs

Applegate Farm salami, ham, chicken or turkey

Applegate Farm sliced cheeses


Brown Rice




Pasta (whole wheat, brown rice, etc) served cold or in thermos warm

Triscuits or Trader Joe’s Woven Wheat Wafers

Popcorn (can pop on stove or in brown bag in microwave)

Oatmeal (served warm in thermos)

Kashi Shredded Wheat (vanilla, cinnamon)     

Finn Crisp Thin Rye Crispbread

Lundberg Brown Rice or Wild Rice Cakes

Wasa Rye Cripsbread Varieties

Ryvita Rye Varieties

Kashi Heart to Heart Whole Grain Crackers (Original & Roast Garlic)

Trader Joe’s Rice & Bean Chips

Trader Joe’s Veggie & Flaxseed Tortilla Chips

Happy Herbert’s Sesame Snack Sticks

Canned/Dried Fruits & Sauces

Organic Raisins, curents

Dried Plums


Mission Figs

Organic Dried Cranberries, Blueberries, Cherries, apple Rings, or Mangoes

Dried Unsulfured Apricots

Vermont Village Applesauce

GoGo Squeez Applesauces

Nature’s Child Grape or Berry Squeezers

Trader Joe’s Crushers

Trader Joe’s Fruit Leathers

Archer Farms Organic Fruit Strips, Bars or Pull Apart Peels

Fruitabü Organic Smooshed Fruitrolls

Trader Joe’s Fruit Flakes

Trader Joe’s Fiberful Fruit Bars

Clif Kid Organic Twisted Fruit Rope

Trader Joe’s Freeze Dried Mangos, Bananas, Grapes or Strawberries

Roasted Seaweed Snack (TJ’s or Costco)


Also homemade nut-free Leftovers!


*I need to update this list, as many new items that are gluten-free and/or nut-free are available since I wrote this.