Planning Thanksgiving

 This Thursday is Thanksgiving. Normally we do not celebrate this holiday, but as each year this holyday is spreading more and more outside the US and Canada, and in consideration to my American readers, today I bring you a couple of proposals for this day.

I wanted to do something a tad different from the typical pumpkin pie because there are many recipes on the Internet already, so the first of my proposals is a Caramelized pumpkin and orange cream. The recipe is from a German book my daughter Pilar brought from Berlin last year, I had a bit of a hard time translating the recipe, but it was totally worth it because the cream is delicious and very easy to make. Its texture is soft and the flavor is very interesting, I would say that the liquor and the orange juice set the tone and turn this dessert into an adult pleasure for the senses.

To write the post today I bought a can of pumpkin puree (Libby’s 425 g). With it I had enough to make the pumpkin cream and 21 pumpkin apple streusel muffins. Two for the price of one!

For those of you who do not celebrate Thanksgiving, fret not, these desserts are perfect for any occasion.

Caramelized pumpkin and orange cream


  • 2 large oranges
  • 150 g of canned pumpkin puree or fresh pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 20 g vanilla pudding powder
  • 50 g Crème fraîche
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar (approximately)


Cut the oranges in half and squeeze them, being careful not to break the skins which we are going to use to serve this dessert. We’ll need 300 ml of juice for this recipe, if you do not get this amount out of the 2 oranges, then you could squeeze another orange, but we only need two oranges for serving.

As I said before, I used a can of pumpkin puree, but in the original version of this recipe the author uses 150 g of fresh pumpkin. The decision is yours, because the preparation time doesn’t vary dramatically from one method to the other.

If we use canned pumpkin puree, then mix it with the juice, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan. Cook, stirring frequently, over low heat until it begins to slightly thicken, about 7 or 8 minutes (if you use fresh pumpkin, peel it and cut into small pieces, mix with the juice, sugar and cinnamon and let it simmer for 15 minutes until soft, stirring from time to time) and add the liqueur (if fresh pumpkin is used, liquefy after adding the liquor).

Measure 150 ml of this mixture and combine with the pudding powder, stirring until there are no lumps. Then mix with the rest of the pumpkin mixture and bring it to the stove again. Let it boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens (about 3 minutes).

Removed the cream from heat, add the crème fraîche and mix well.

Now fill orange halves with the cream and refrigerate for 2 hours. One tip, if the oranges don’t stand right, you can place them in glasses or cups for not spilling the cream.

After that time, sprinkle about one tablespoon of brown sugar over each orange and caramelize with a blowtorch.

If you, like me, don’t own a torch (and also do not mind sacrificing a spoon for the sake of a perfect presentation), a good solution is to take a metal spoon and heat it over the fire (being careful not to burn yourself) and burn the sugar with it.

The second recipe, pumpkin and apple muffins with streusel, I took it out of the back of the label from the can of pumpkin puree, although I modified it a bit to give it a personal touch.

Pumpkin Apple Muffins with streusel


  • 310 g flour
  • 400 g Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 225 g pumpkin puree
  • 7 tablespoons beurre noisette *
  • 2 apples, peeled and finely chopped

For streusel topping

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 60 g of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons butter


Preheat oven to 180 ºC (350ºF)

In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder and salt. Reserve.

In another bowl mix the beaten eggs with the pumpkin puree and beurre noisette *

Now add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients; stir until just absorbed. Add the apples and mix a bit more to evenly distribute them.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill them with the batter (about ¾ full). Sprinkle some streusel topping over the batter and bake for 35-40 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean.

I know that this post is longer than usual, but I know that if I don’t publish the two recipes today is quite unlikely of me to do so before Thanksgiving and as you see in the photos, the theme was already established.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we did at home, because they have already disappeared.

Beurre noisette *: It is made by heating the butter in a saucepan (preferably thick bottomed) over medium heat until butter acquire a nice light brown color (hazel) and some brown spots appears. To stop the cooking and avoid burning the butter, immerse the bottom of the pan in cold water.


44 Replies to “Planning Thanksgiving”

    1. I’m afraid the women of your house have everything planned at this point, so I think is unlikely to include it in tomorrow’s dinner, but maybe if there’re enough pumpkin puree leftover…
      Have fun and Happy Thanksgiving!! 🙂

    1. Hi Barbara!
      Thanks for your comment; I’m glad you like them. That was my intention, no leftovers, because I knew that I’ll end throwing away that puree if I didn’t use it right away 😉 And apparently it was a good idea, because everybody loved those muffins 🙂
      Happy Thanksgiving!!

  1. The pumpkin apple muffins look awesome! I definitely will be trying them, even if it’s not for Thanksgiving. 🙂 Thanks!! And happy thanksgiving!

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