Column and photos by Lindsay Kucera/The AS Review

Okay gang, Thanksgiving is upon us and to me that means one thing: pie. I love pie. I love pie so much I can’t even convey to you how much I love pie.

That being said, let’s talk about pie.

Pumpkin pie, besides being a tradition, is a personal favorite. I look forward to the rich, buttery pumpkin and heady spices that make it so delicious sending me off into that fulfilling, post-Thanksgiving food coma.

Now, I am very wary of making pies in general, mostly out of sheer intimidation. The best pies usually require a lot more work than I am willing to put in, mostly because I’m a broke college student and I want pie now. I want the kind of pie that instantly gratifies.

Granted I can’t get even a quasi home-baked pie instantly, but I can get something close in about 30 minutes, which is a nice compromise. I got the idea for these pie pockets from one of my favorite food blogs and decided the idea to make my pumpkin pie portable was the greatest idea since pumpkin pie itself. I chose to use a mix crust for the sake of speed, but making your own would probably make this even more delicious.

Costs: $12-15
Makes: 24 two-inch pocket pies

Ingredients:
Mix for two pie crusts
1 cup whipped/puréed pumpkin (Note: you can use fresh pumpkin, but you will have to cook and purée it yourself.)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or to be extra fancy, vanilla bean paste)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar

Special tools: Biscuit/cookie cutter, or a water glass

In a saucepan over medium heat, mix the pumpkin and the spices until the mixture is heated through (This step is optional, but it really kicks up the flavor of the spices, so I think it is worth it.). Remove the pumpkin from the heat into a mixing bowl, and then whisk in the egg, vanilla, salt and sugar.

Roll out the dough for the crust until thin, then using the biscuit/cookie cutter, or a glass, punch out circles for the pie pockets.

Place one of the circles on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Place about one tablespoon of the pumpkin mixture in the center of the circle, being careful not to overfill the pockets so they don’t leak. Make an egg wash by mixing an egg and a few tablespoons of milk. Spread this around the edge of the circles and then press the top circle down to make a seal. Using a fork, press down the edges. Spread some of the egg wash over the top of the pockets, and sprinkle with sugar. Repeat with the remaining circles.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees, until the pie pockets are a golden brown. I serve these with homemade vanilla whipped cream, but I also think it would be neat to wrap them up for small food favors to give to my friends.

The idea of pie pockets was adapted from Bree Hester’s “Baked Bree” food blog.
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Super Secret (not really) Extra Recipe!

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

This stuff is so easy to make I feel silly writing it down. But, this stuff is tasty and you can put it on, well, everything.

Costs: $3-4

Makes: A LOT

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Special Tools: An electric hand mixer, or a whisk and a strong arm.

In a mixing bowl, pour in the whipping cream, the sugar and the vanilla. Then, beat the cream into submission until it resembles whipped cream. That is, smooth and creamy, but not liquid; stiff, but not so much that when you pull the whisk out the cream stands on its own.

As in life, chill for best results.