This one is making the Thanksgiving pie cut this year.
Every year, I bake a collection of different pies for Thanksgiving. And while my mind wasn’t even on November when I did this, it doesn’t matter. This pie is going down in history as one of the big winners.
Even if you don’t use this for late autumn, it’s a perfect transitional pie. It’s got ice cream in it for warmer weather, but pumpkin for autumnal cravings. Oh, and chocolate chips for chocolate lovers with a chocolate graham cracker crust. Have I mentioned that this is the best tart ever?
I really need a win this week. On Wednesday, I’m not allowed to eat or drink (it’s a fast day), and as a girl who nibbles every two hours, that’s not an exciting prospect. To make it even more fun, I’m recovering from some bizarre hybrid virus that acted kind of like a cold, kind of like the flu, and kind of like a stomach flu, all mixed in one. My body needs to recover.
What better way to get strength back than by eating pie? I really can’t think of a better way. Unless there’s sushi around. Oh, suuuuushi.
In addition to battling a virus, I’m also battling my own self-confidence. And if you are anything like me (and I’m thinking that most of you are), it can be hard to keep your sense of self-esteem high sometimes.
I’ve never talked about this, but about ten years ago, I wrote a novel. It was about a topic that admittedly is not very sexy: the disease of testing and standardization in American public schools. The story was told through the lens of a feisty red-headed teacher who seemed bulletproof, but if I’m remembering my plot correctly, she quit at the end of the book. How’s that for a spoiler?
It doesn’t matter, because the book never got published. I think it’s on a flash drive somewhere. Out of the bazillions of literary agents I sent my manuscript to, only a couple wanted to work with me. One of them liked my writing but not my book, so she wanted me to write a book I wasn’t really interested in writing. The other liked the book, but told me honestly that she didn’t think that it could sell, so she asked me to call her again if I ever wrote another book. It was the nicest rejection I’ve ever gotten.
After a year or two trying to sell the book, I gave up. I stopped writing, which I love to do, and focused on building a family and becoming the best teacher possible. And then, the blog happened.
It’s been such a relief to write again. Creating recipes is a joy, and watching them work out is even more fulfilling. But writing about whatever while I share the recipes is my favorite part of blogging. So it’s no surprise that, once again, I have a book in the works.
This time, I’m trying to be smarter about it. But last night as I was cuddled up with my copy of the latest Writer’s Market, that old feeling of insecurity started popping up again. What if this doesn’t work out either?
The only thing I can do is keep going and hope that my work will resonate. I mean, be honest. Can you resist this frozen pumpkin chocolate chip tart? Because I cannot stop eating it.
It’s as easy as easy comes. The base is a chocolate graham cracker crust, which I make by melting chocolate chips along with the butter before adding the graham cracker crumbs. The filling is made of softened vanilla ice cream, canned pumpkin, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Oh, and chocolate chips. It’s simple, but those are the best recipes. My fork keeps heading toward the freezer.
We all hope that our work makes a contribution to the world, and sometimes it’s easy to let fear of being less-than take over. But when that happens, believe in the work you do. It makes for better writing, better pie, and better days!
Frozen Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Tart
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350. Take a tart pan with a removable bottom and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter and chocolate chips for one minute. Stir until smooth. Mix in the graham cracker crumbs, being sure that all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Press the graham cracker mixture into the prepared tart pan, using the back of a measuring cup to firmly pack the crumbs along the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes until set. Cool completely.
- When the crust is cool, make the filling. Combine the pumpkin puree, ice cream, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the mixture into the graham cracker crust, smoothing out the top. Freeze overnight.
- Cut into wedges. Store in the freezer.