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Ok, on to the pie!!!
My favorite non-traditional pumpkin pie is silky and creamy with a nutty, buttery graham cracker crust..if you have not tried it, you should! People are usually impressed with the flavors and especially the crust...
The recipe is adapted from an old Cool Whip recipe and Honey Maid Graham cracker crumbs. I apologize for the less than spectacular pictures....I was in a hurry!!!
Here is the recipe!
1 1/4 cups finely-crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
5 Tablespoons melted butter
Or you can use a store-bought graham cracker crust if you don't want to turn your oven on!
4 oz cream cheese, softened (I use whole fat, but lower fat would probably be ok)
1 Tablespoon 1/2 and 1/2
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups Cool Whip or sweetened whipped heavy cream
Pumpkin mousse layer
3/4 cup half and half (you can use milk or heavy cream also)
2 (3.4 ounce) packages of vanilla flavored instant pudding.
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
1 Libby's canned pumpkin 15 ounces (I find other brands too watery)
In a medium-size bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, nuts, and then stir in the melted butter to combine. Press mixture into a 9 inch pie plate and bake in a 350° preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes. Remove crust from oven and cool to room temperature.
While crust is cooling soften the cream cheese in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl on 50% power for about 30 seconds . In a medium-size bowl mix the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon half-and-half, and 1 tablespoon sugar with a wire whisk until well combined. Carefully fold in the 1 1/2 cups of Cool Whip. Spread this layer on top of the pie crust and refrigerate while preparing the pumpkin topping.
In a large bowl mix the dry pudding mix and pumpkin pie spice to combine. Then add the 3/4 cups half and half and mix thoroughly and quickly-the pudding will start to set up so you want to add your pumpkin quickly. Then whisk in the pumpkin and make sure there are no pudding lumps.. whisk until smooth-it will be thick.
Remove the cooling pie from the refrigerator and top with pumpkin mousse mixture. Refrigerate for approximately 4 hours or until set. Enjoy!!
* you can substitute the following spices for pumpkin pie spice to make approximately 2 teaspoons:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.