Spiced Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Roll Crust
It’s Autumn. The leaves are beginning to change, we are enjoying backyard campfires and the kids are drinking lots of hot chocolate and mom is loving this weather.
This is my time of year.
Not just my favorite time of year, but my time of year.
I love the color changes in the trees, I love the crunching sound of the leaves beneath my feet, I love the feel of the cool wind on my face and most of all, I love the treasured scents of Fall.
Most importantly, pumpkin and all the spices that make it amazing to eat.
I chose a pumpkin pie for this week’s #BakeForACure #SundaySupper for several reasons.
One, it’s one of the few pies I actually know how to make. Two, and more obvious, it just goes perfectly with this time of year.
Before I share my awesome recipe, I want to talk about who I baked my Spiced Pumpkin Pie with the Cinnamon Roll Crust for and in honor of.
In order to do that, I have to flash back to my senior year of high school and tell a story, a story that began when I was only in 8th grade. I’m not promising it will be short either.
If you don’t want to hear it, and I’m warning you it’s sad, then just skip ahead to the recipe (it’s at the bottom) and ignore the rest of this long winded post.
When I was in 8th grade, my father was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer – cancer of the nasopharynx.
The nasopharynx is the upper part of the pharynx (throat) behind the nose. The pharynx is a hollow tube about 5 inches long that starts behind the nose and ends at the top of the trachea (windpipe) and esophagus (the tube that goes from the throat to the stomach). Air and food pass through the pharynx on the way to the trachea or the esophagus. The nostrils lead into the nasopharynx. An opening on each side of the nasopharynx leads into an ear.
Sorry about the science lesson but felt that should be explained. It is a cancer that in not usually treatable with surgery due to it’s location. Right at the base of the brain and top of the spinal cord – yikes.
We went through a ton of Chemo and Radiation during the next couple of years, plus surgeries, long extended hospital stays and so much more.
Most people can recall lots of great memories from their high school years. I cannot. It’s not that I didn’t have them, I did.
But at some point in my life, I have clearly blocked out most of what went on during high school. I have very limited and specific memories.
Many times someone will say “Remember when…” and even then it takes a lot of story to get me to remember if even at all.
I’ve clearly blocked that traumatic time of my life. Not intentionally, it just happened.
So flash forward to my senior year of high school which was the roughest of them all, and interestingly the year I remember the most.
Over the summer I had just moved to a new home from the childhood home I had known since birth, I switched schools for my last year of high school (guess who doesn’t go to high school reunions?) and my father was quickly declining.
After only a few weeks in our new home, it was easy to see that my father couldn’t make it up and down the stairs on his own and my mother could not support his weight on her own – we all tried to pitch in but that lasted about a week before we just knew we couldn’t keep doing that.
He was getting up and falling (thankfully not down the stairs – but we were worried) and he so badly wanted to do things on his own, the problem was, he couldn’t anymore. He was moved to a hospital bed in our kitchen and hospice was called.
My life changed quite drastically after that. My father’s bed was situated against these huge picturesque windows in our kitchen.
Right behind my chair at the dinner table in our new house that didn’t even feel like a home to me at that point yet either.
To this day, twenty years later, I still have a tough time looking at that area of the kitchen without seeing him there and I’m very grateful that my mom no longer seats me in that chair when we are invited to dinner.
After he lost his sense of taste, and then his ability to swallow – mealtime became an immense source of stress for me anyway, and that all happened before we even moved.
My father loved food. In almost any form. He enjoyed gourmet, he enjoyed home cooked, fine dining and even junk food.
Most people get their love of food and cooking from their mom’s and their grandma’s, but for me I am pretty sure it came from my father immense love of food and the fact that he was dedicated to having us try anything and everything.
By six years old two of my favorite foods were frog legs and escargot. Yep. He loved food. This was never lost on me. I had a very difficult time with the seating arrangements and everyone was so lost in their own stress and discomfort with the situation I didn’t say anything.
I sat there. I’m sure I lost weight my senior year. It was hard to want to eat, let alone actually do it in front of him. I felt so selfish. I was angry at my family for not noticing, I was mad at my dad for getting sick and making me feel guilty.
He didn’t actually make me feel guilty, but it was a long time before I completely understood that.
During all of those years, my father was in and out of the hospital on a fairly regular basis.
One nurse in particular became his favorite. I remember we all made jokes about the fact that she was young and pretty and that’s why my father adored her, but I can honestly tell you that wasn’t it (I’m sure it helped – she’s gorgeous and she is a twin, so there’s two times the beauty!).
It was all about her heart. She loves her job. It was in her eyes, in her smile, in every word she spoke back then. She was wonderfully made for this job. She has a compassion not just with her patients but with their families too.
I’m sure my father noticed. I was still so young and I noticed. For whatever reason, Lisa brought me a great comfort that until I was much older I wasn’t able to express to her or even noticeably recognize. Even when hospice was called in, Lisa still visited my father as often as she could.
I remember Christmas of my senior year – 1991 (yes I know I am dating myself, I don’t care).
The decline in my father was so obvious, I knew that his days were numbered and that it would be our last Christmas with him.
We never spoke about it, but I felt it, it was with me everyday, every moment I remember wondering when it was going to come.
Living like that is awful. It becomes difficult to enjoy even the smallest pleasures – it was my Senior year!
I remember how challenging it was to get my father from that hospital bed in the kitchen to the next room over where the Christmas tree was and where we would celebrate and open gifts.
I remember every gift my father received that year, but I don’t remember a thing I got – not a single thing.
The most significant gift my father received was from my mother, who had painted a beautiful painting that depicted a much younger me in a gorgeous sleigh pulled by our two dogs. I look at this photograph we took of him holding the painting and he looks so old. He was so young. He was only 51. He also received a shirt that year for Christmas.
A really nice looking grey pull over. (the significance of that is important but later) I remember thinking “What does he need that for, he’s not going anywhere ever again.” What a sad, sad thought because I didn’t know then how true those words were going to be.
The morning of New Years Day 2012 my dad slipped into an 11 day coma and left this world on January 11, 1992.
Quite possibly the worst day of my life thus far.
The worst 11 days of my life.
I remember absolutely nothing from those 11 days. Not a single memory, but one. Lisa.
She came to see him. She was also at his funeral. I remember both of those things. I can’t explain why those memories are so strong, but they are. Lisa and I have stayed in touch off and on for years.
We sent Christmas cards for many years but I’ve moved all over the place and she has two boys and her husband and a different job, you know – how that just happens.
I found her again on Facebook (who can’t you find on Facebook?) and was really excited to find out more about what she was up to these days.
What I found out, is she was still local – about 20 minutes from my house I believe, and she had a new job. She’s still an RN but she is now working with Multiple Sclerosis Patients.
She was in the video for the center she works for and that vibrancy, passion, dedication and heart are all still there and visible for her job and the patients.
The best part is that a couple of years later after we “reconnected” on FB, I got my class list for the upcoming school year and I noticed a last name that I recognized. I’m not going to say it’s a name that’s definitely unique but I knew the area she lived in and it was close to my preschool and … yep, I had her son in my preschool class for a year and I tell you, it was amazing to see her in person, watch her son grow up (because well, it’s been a LOT of years now).
And about that shirt I mentioned? The one he got for Christmas that year. The one I knew he’d never wear. Someone work it. I did. I’m wearing it this very minute. I wear it all the time. Looks adorable with a pair of jeans and it’s darn comfy to sleep in. Don’t know why I’m telling you that, but hey, it matters to me so it goes on my blog. haha
I’m so proud to honor both her and my father with this post and this delicious spiced pumpkin pie. It was AMAZING!
These Contributors, were given a beautiful Easy As Pie Dish by Chantal Cookware.
They have created these beautiful recipes to brighten someone’s day. The team was in agreement, we loved the Easy As Pie Dish! The patented design simplifies the art of baking the perfect pie.
Designed for ease, the interior ridges conveniently hold the dough in place and provide an even, uniform mold for the outer crust. A raised rim on the outside of the dish allows for precise trimming of excess dough. 9″ interior Diameter.
And the best part, it is microwave, Oven, Freezer and Dishwasher safe.
- Funny Cake by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Ham and Spinach Quiche by Magnolia Days
- Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Streusel Topping by Juanita’s Cocina
- Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie by Big Bears Wife
- Pumpkin Maple Pie by Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Spiced Pumpkin Pie with a Cinnamon Roll Crust
Spiced Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Roll Crust
For the Crust:
- 8 ” pie pan – 1 8ct. tube of Cinnamon Rolls
- 9 ” pie pan or larger – 2 tubes of Cinnamon Rolls
For the Pie:
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
- ½ cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1½ cups of canned solid pack pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons light molasses mild
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup of whipping cream
- Using a rolling pin flatten each cinnamon roll. Layer them on top of each other to form a pie crust inside the pie dish. Put it in the freezer for about a half hour.
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients.
- Using your whisk, combine the pumpkin, the molasses and the eggs into the sugar spice mixture.
- Add the whipping cream whisking just until blended.
- Pour the mixture into your frozen Cinnamon Roll Crust.
- Place the pie dish on a cookie sheet in the oven. Bake 10 minutes.
- At the 10 minute mark, cover the edges with tinfoil and reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the center is set.
- Allow to cool before slicing.
- This pie tastes amazing the next day, so I suggest making it the night before. Cover and refrigerate.
- Allow to reach room temperature before serving.
Oh Nicole, I can’t even imagine how hard that was to share, and I thank you for it. I know your Dad is so proud of the beautiful woman that you have become, inside and out. I am even more proud to be able to call you my friend, and I didn’t think that it was possible. What an amazing way to honor your father’s memory – he lives on in every dish you post on here.
Well Nicole, you have me crying with a closed throat. Your memories are similar to mine with my brother six years ago, but I was older and I think that makes a difference. Sweetie, to go throught that as a teenager… can´t imagine it. I hate the fact that it makes us stronger, I really do. And I know you of all people, understand exactly what I mean.
The pie is wonderful and I´m so happy you found Lisa again!
I can’t imagine going through that now, much less when I was a teenager. Wrap yourself in your Dad’s shirt and have a piece of pie.
I have tears in my eyes reading your heartfelt post. So sad to lose your father at such a young age. The holidays must be difficult for you. At least you can put on the shirt and think about your dad and the good memories you have of him before he was sick.
Thanks so much for sharing such a touching story about your father today.
And on a side note, I’ve hear about using cinnamon rolls as a pie crust and I have been dying to try it out! It sounds wonderful…
What a touching story about your father; props to you for having the strength to share.
On that note, cinnamon roll crust is perhaps the most unique thing ever. I’ve never seen a recipe like that before!
Thanks for sharing your father with us through your story! You have a big heart Nicole!
Beautiful pie. Beautiful story. Beautiful father.
My father is my world. I can’t imagine what you went through. But, I thank you for sharing.
Love you, girlie.
That story about your father was so touching-I know how hard it must have been for you to share it, so thank you. <3
About the pie–I loove pumpkin pie and the idea of a cinnamon roll crust with it is just mind blowing!
I can relate to your story Nicole. I know that pie was baked truly with love! The cinnamon roll crust is the best!
Oh Nicole, my heart wrenches over watching your father battle this cancer at such a young age. So sorry. Your pie is unique, amazing and looks delicious.
Nicole, I am so, so sorry. You lost your dad way too soon. Thank you for sharing your story with us…I am so glad you have your dad’s gray shirt to envelop you with comfort…I’m certain your dad’s arms are around you while you are wearing it. And how magnificent that you have kept in touch with Lisa…she sounds like an angel.
PS…fantastic pie for this week’s #SundaySupper!
I’m so so sorry for your loss. It’s horrible to go through such important life’s lessons without a father, I too lost mine way too young. I too have blocked out a lot of my memories. I thought 22 was young, I can only imagine. Your story reminds me a lot of mine, my dad had a Lisa, only it was Kathy and she too was amazing. I’m so glad you got to bake for an amazing woman. My dad was 50 and that alone makes me live every day to the fullest! LOVE the crust on this pie!!
What a lovely tribute to both your father and his nurse.
Your pie sounds fabulous, especially with that cinnamon roll crust!
Did I mention that I am crust challenged? This recipe is stupendous in so many ways!
What a beautiful, beautiful post to honor your Dad. Reading it brought tears to my eyes – I think it is wonderful that you are wearing the sweater he got his last Christmas. It must give you so much comfort and strength! Thank you for sharing ~ Bea
What a beautiful story. I love the story about the shirt, I hope it gives you a lot of comfort. This pie looks absolutely scrumptious. I applaud your creativity, I would never think to make a cinnamon roll crust.
CINNAMON ROLL crust??? Oh my lord yes please!
Nicole, everyone’s posts so far have been very special but this one…tears are rolling down my face. This is such a poignant, eloquent, beautiful post. I can feel how much you loved your dad and how devastating this period was in your life. And I can also see, just from looking at Lisa’s photo, the warmth and love you describe her to possess. And of course, the pie — it’s stunning. And the cinnamon roll crust is just crying out for me to make it. Thank you for sharing both your memories and this recipe.
What a beautiful tribute to your father! I can feel your pain as you share his story, your story, but I am sure he is so proud of you and would be thrilled to know that you are carrying on his love of food.
I love the cinnamon roll crust and will most certainly give this one a try.
Hugs to you,
I should have known that going through posts this week would leave me in tears. What a great post to your father.
Such a beautiful post Nicole. The pie, your story, thank you for sharing. I know it probably wasn’t easy to write it all down, but it was a great piece to your father.
Thank you for sharing the story of your father. Keeping his sweater isn’t that odd. My grandmother died from cancer in 2004. I can’t believe it has been that long already. But I have something that others might thing odd as well. I have her sewing box, and in it, her pin cushion. Every once in a while I will pull it out, close my eyes and smell it. It smells like her house, still. Makes me cry. I miss her so much.
….and your pie looks amazing 🙂
Thank you for sharing such a personal story of your father. I wanted to write a post about my fiance’s father but I didn’t think it was my story to tell. I am so very thankful for nurses like Lisa and happy to hear that you found her again.
I love that she had such a positive impact on an awful situation that you’ve remembered her. Those are the things our nurses need to hear.
Also, the pie looks great, but the story stole the show.
Oh here it is! YUMMY!!!! Bookmarking it now…this looks a.m.a.z.i.n.g!!!!! Hope you are having a great day and thanks for sharing! 🙂
I came to see pie & I’m now holding back tears! I’m a huge daddy’s girl so I can’t even imagine the pain you went through & still struggle with I’m sure! Thank you so much for sharing such a heartfelt story! I’m honored that you shared your #SundaySupper recipe with me @ Mom’s Test Meal Mondays!!
That was a very touching story. Your Sunday Supper Club sounds like a great group. I love the cinnamon roll crust of this pie!