A recipe for Thanksgiving

I do not like pumpkin pie.

There, I've said it.

I think pumpkin is an absolutely fabulous thing. In fact, along with plaid, apple picking and boots, it's what I would call a true marker of autumn. I don't know about you, but my plans include turning orange this season.

Enjoying a pumpkin spice latte while taking a mid-morning walk on a crisp, cool day. Pasta tossed with pumpkin, bacon, and sage. Pumpkin tacos, if you're so inclined. I introduced you to the joys of pumpkin oatmeal. We've eaten pumpkin pancakes. I'm a particularly big fan of pumpkin bread -- I adapted Julie's version to great success for those looking for a winner of a recipe -- and pumpkin risotto. And last year, I brought Laura Calder's squash cake to Thanksgiving dinner at my uncle's cottage.

Now, the cake was good. We all liked it and the texture was especially nice. But it was also a little on the boring side. This is all well and good after a large meal, I think, and in general I tend to prefer my dessert on the less-sweet side of the scale. However, to a family accustomed to and in love with pumpkin pie, it was a little underwhelming I'm sure.

I've gone back to the drawing board this time. Maple syrup. Whisky. Brown sugar. Nutmeg. Cinnamon. Ginger. I'd like to give pumpkin pie a run for its status. I don't know about you, but I'm headed out of dodge this weekend to enjoy some time at the cottage again -- reading, kayaking, listening to Motown, playing Mexican Train, roasting marshmallows, and refining my bartending skills. It sounds promising.

And, I'll add, so does this cake.

Maple Whisky Pumpkin Cake

Yields about 8 slices

3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (dark, or Grade-C, recommended)
1/3 cornstarch
1/4 cup coconut flour or alternative
2 cups pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup whisky (I like 40 Creek)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
21/2 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F and grease a springform pan. Cream egg yolks with sugar until well combined.
2. Add in pumpkin, maple syrup, whisky,  spices and salt.
3. Mix until thoroughly combined.
4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
5. Gently fold egg whites into the batter and mix in.
6. Add in any nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.) that you may like at this point.
7. Gently fold mixture into springform pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the sides are crisp, about 50 minutes - 1hr. Serve warm with cinnamon whip cream or creme fraiche.


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