Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving in California

The weather was SoCal beautiful for Thanksgiving - all month it's felt more like June than November. We don't get much in the way of winter in Southern California (mostly wind) but so far this year we haven't gotten anything. Sunny and warm - I don't think it got hotter than about 73 all day long. In fact, I even took the kids to the park and they chased butterflies around.

Thanksgiving is dinner in my family and we end up cooking all day, which makes for a very relaxing day. I always like to make something special and this year, in addition to smoking a ham, I made an Italian favorite, Ricotta-Pineapple pie. This is something like a cheese-cake, but richer and not nearly as sweet:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 15 oz. of Ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

  • 20 oz. of crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir together sugar, cornstarch, ricotta, eggs, cream, lemon zest, and vanilla, mixing until you've got a smooth, creamy concoction. If you're a better cook than I am, you can make a graham cracker cookie crust, but I just buy one of the pre-made ones you can get anywhere.

Pour the your mixture into the prepared pie-crust and bake for 50 minutes or until the edges are starting to brown. Set to cool for at least an hour before putting on the topping.

To make the topping, completely drain the pineapple, saving a 1/2 cup of the juice. Stir together sugar, cornstarch, pineapple, and the pineapple and lemon juice. Stir over medium heat until it thickens, then spread over the pie.

Chill at least one hour in the refrigerator before serving.

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