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Starting Own Dessert Tradition : Persimmon Whip an Alternative to Pumpkin Pie

November 24, 1985

If pumpkin pie isn't the family's favorite dessert, but they like to be served a traditional Thanksgiving meal, here are ideas for alternatives that may start traditions of their own.

Persimmon Whip is a light mixture of persimmon puree and whipped cream that gets its traditional flavor from the addition of pumpkin pie spice and is served over canned peach halves for an easy dessert.

Other ideas include an apple pie with the added flavor of both orange peel and liqueur in the filling and the crust. Or try pretty pear parfaits or a cheesecake that includes mincemeat in the ingredients.

PERSIMMON WHIP

2 (29-ounce) cans peach halves

Pumpkin pie spice

Lemon juice

4 medium, very ripe persimmons

2 teaspoons gelatin

1 cup whipped cream

Drain peaches, reserving 1/4 cup syrup. Sprinkle peaches with pumpkin pie spice and lemon juice. Peel and slice persimmons. Remove seeds and mash pulp.

Dissolve gelatin over low heat in reserved peach syrup. Blend with persimmon pulp. Fold into whipped cream. Place 2 peach halves in each of 8 individual serving dishes. Top with whipped cream mixture. Makes 8 servings.

ORANGEY APPLE PIE

Flour

Salt

Unsalted butter or margarine

1/2 cup shortening

2 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel

6 tablespoons orange liqueur

7 to 8 medium tart green apples

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup honey

Crumb Mixture

1 egg

1 teaspoon water

Whipped cream

Into large mixing bowl sift 2 1/2 cups flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cut in 1/2 cup of butter and shortening. Add 1 teaspoon orange peel and blend with pastry blender or 2 knives until texture of coarse crumbs. With fork stir in 4 tablespoons orange liqueur until soft dough forms. Refrigerate 1 hour before using.

Meanwhile, peel and core apples and cut into wedges. Place in large mixing bowl and dust with 1 1/2 tablespoons flour. Add sugar, dash salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, remaining orange peel and vanilla. Toss until apples are well coated. Stir in honey and remaining orange liqueur. Let stand 1 hour.

On lightly floured surface, roll out half of dough to fit 9-inch pie pan. Layer apple mixture with Crumb Mixture in pastry-lined pan, reserving 1/4 cup Crumb Mixture. Dot apples with 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with 5 tablespoons apple liquid remaining in bowl. Roll out remaining dough and cut into long strips. Form lattice over apples. Trim pastry edges, crimp up and flute. Sprinkle with remaining Crumb Mixture.

Brush with egg beaten with water. Place pie on foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 50 minutes longer, covering loosely with foil if crust browns too quickly. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Crumb Mixture

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

Dash ground ginger

Dash salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine

In small bowl combine flour, brown sugar, ginger, salt and cinnamon. Blend in butter until crumbly.

AUTUMN PEAR

PARFAITS

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup cold milk

1 cup milk, heated to boiling

1 cup whipping cream

2 medium pears, peeled

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 to 8 ice cubes, 1 cup

2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs

In blender, sprinkle gelatin over cold milk. Let stand 3 to 4 minutes. Add hot milk and process at low speed until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add cream, pears, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Process at high speed until blended. Add ice cubes, one at a time, and process at high speed until ice is melted. Let stand until mixture is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

In small bowl combine nuts and graham cracker crumbs. In parfait glasses or dessert dishes, alternately layer gelatin and nut mixtures. Chill until set. Garnish with additional pear slices and nuts, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

PUMPKIN

GINGERBREAD

WITH YOGURT GLAZE

6 eggs

1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin

1 1/2 cups honey

2/3 cup melted butter or margarine

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 cup wheat germ

3 cups sifted flour

2 teaspoons soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Yogurt Glaze

In large bowl beat eggs well. Stir in pumpkin, honey, butter, yogurt and wheat germ. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves together. Blend into pumpkin mixture, 1/2 at a time, until well mixed. Pour batter into greased 12-cup tube pan or angel food cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees 50 to 60 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool on rack 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool while making glaze. Place cake on deep plate and spoon hot Yogurt Glaze slowly over cake, letting soak in. Spoon any glaze that drips onto plate back over cake until all glaze is absorbed. Makes 12 servings.

Yogurt Glaze

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon soda

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

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