Pumpkin-Apple Pie

All of the to-do of Thanksgiving and Christmas for me boils down to one question: apple pie or pumpkin pie? Very often I do not have to or want to choose. But every year when my waistline increases as the temperature decreases, I'm thankful for those small changes that make me feel like less of a glutton.

Pumpkin-Apple Pie
So this year I combined my pumpkin and apple pies into one Franken-pie. A recipe from a Nestle cookbook I had guided the way:

Pumpkin Dutch Apple Pie

Apple Layer
1 9" deep-dish pie shell, unbaked
2 cups green apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp flour
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Pumpkin Layer
1.5 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
5 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp butter

For the apple layer, combine apples with sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; pour into pie shell.
For the pumpkin layer, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and pour over apple mixture.
For the crumb topping, combine flour, walnuts and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until it looks like a coarse crumb.
Bake pie for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with crumb topping. Return to oven to finish baking for 20 more minutes, or until the pie does not jiggle in the middle when gently shaken. Cool completely.

Pumpkin-Apple Pie Slice
When sliced, the pie looks like you took a pumpkin and an apple pie, sawed off the extra pie crust, and shoved them together. The taste, though, is wonderful. My family seemed skeptical at first about this creation as our only pie for Thanksgiving, but we all loved it! The cinnamon really unites these two while they both provide different textures. Plus the crumb topping really makes the pie feel whole and complete.

Pumpkin-Apple Crostata
What do you do when you buy a two-pack of pie shells but only use one? What do you do when your first pie left you with some apple and pumpkin filling? The answer, of course, is to experiment! I tossed the remaining apples in the pumpkin filling, poured this into the pie crust, and, to get rid of the empty look of the pie, I folded the edges of the crust over to form a pseudo-crostata. It bakes in about the same amount of time as the pie (though I'm sure it was probably done a bit sooner), looks more rustic but tastes just as good. This is a good alternative for those who do not care for the full brunt of pumpkin pie's custardiness but still want to enjoy this interesting flavor combination. Plus it makes smaller slices, so you're gaining just as much enjoyment for less guilt. There's just no downside. It makes me wonder what other desserts need to be shoved together...perhaps banana-cherry jubiloster (jubilee-foster, that is)?