Invite A New Dessert To Holiday Dinner

Butterscotch Pie Filling


3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste

1/4 cup cornstarch

4 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups milk, divided

1-1/2 cups heavy cream


Whisk together the brown sugar, vanilla, cornstarch, egg yolks, salt and 1/2 cup milk in a mixing bowl.

Heat the remaining milk and the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Slowly pour the milk/cream mixture into the sugar mixture, whisking constantly until smooth.

Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking until it thickens to the consistency of mayonnaise. Transfer the custard to a bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap laid directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Source: Allison Ferconio from Pie Eyed in Whiting

Pecan Pie Filling


2 eggs

1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 tablespoon bourbon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1-1/2 cups pecans, chopped


In a bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar and corn syrup until light in color. Whisk in the bourbon, vanilla and salt. Stir in pecans.

Source: Allison Ferconio from Pie Eyed in Whiting

Mini Pie Cupcakes

Infuse a basic cupcake batter with your favorite holiday flavors. These adorable mini cupcakes were inspired by classic pies.

Basic Cake Batter


1 cup butter, softened

1-2/3 cups white sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups sifted cake flour (can use all-purpose flour; cake will just be slightly heavier)

2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk mixed with 1/3 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with papers.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat in the flour mixture alternating with the milk/cream mixture, mixing just until incorporated.

This would be the time to add in any of your favorite seasonal ingredients: Chop up an apple or cherry pie and add it to the batter, or even a can of pie filling. For lemon meringue, add the zest and juice of 2 lemons. For a peach cobbler cupcake you can substitute pureed peaches as the liquid instead of the milk and cream mixture.

Pour batter into pans. (For cupcakes it is best to use an ice cream scoop for ease and consistency.) Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes for regular size cupcakes or 10-12 minutes for minis. The top should spring back to the touch when done. Let cool completely.

Caramel Apple Pie – caramel pie with chopped apples, topped with caramel buttercream and chopped up apple pie filling (can be done with any of your favorite fruit pie flavors)

Peach Cobbler – peach puree added to the cake batter, piled high with a whipped peach buttercream and cobbler crumble topping

Lemon Meringue Pie – lemon infused cake with lemon curd and a mini meringue cookie on top

Source: Adam Wiltang of Designer Desserts in Valparaiso

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