Pumpkin Pizza Pies By Edan Goode

Even though my children are in their teens, they still look forward to my annual tradition of making Pumpkin Pizza Pies on Halloween night. When they were younger, I made them as a way to make sure they had a decent dinner in them before heading off to trick-or-treat so that there was more than candy in their tummies by the end of the night.

When I announced that I was making the pizzas a few days early this year so that I could photograph them for this blog, they said, “but you’re going to make them again on Halloween, right?” It’s nice to have your kids actually request your cooking!

Start by making homemade dough which is a snap if you’ve got a good food processor. I’ve included my No-Fail Homemade Pizza Dough recipe for you.

Start by rolling out your pizza.

Start by rolling out your pizza.

Next, you can make two large pizzas (the recipe makes two big rounds) or you can divide them up into personal pizza size. Here, I made four personal-size ones.

Don’t worry about the shape of your dough. Pumpkins come in all shapes, right? Well so do Pumpkin Pizza Pies! Trim a little bit off to be the pumpkin’s stem. After rolling them out on a floured surface, lay them on a cookie sheet misted with non-stick spray. Let them rest for a few minutes to rise a little.

Add little stems to the pumpkin dough.

Add little stems to the pumpkin dough.

Cut pepperoni circles in half and some in quarters to make half-circles and rounded triangles. Spread pizza sauce on the pumpkins, leaving a boarder of crust. Add mozzerella cheese and then let the kids go to work decorating their own jack-o-lantern face with the shapes. You can also use sauteed strips of red, yellow or green pepper which would make wiggly eyebrows and crooked smiles. Let you imaginations run wild.

Using pepperoni shapes, the kids made their jack-o-lantern faces.

Using pepperoni shapes, the kids made their jack-o-lantern faces.

Bake the pizzas in a preheated 425 degree oven for approximately 8-10 minutes depending on how thin you made the crust. And don’t, I repeat, don’t answer the phone or the door like I did, leaving the timer beeping and the crusts getting just a tad too crispy. Everyone gobbled up their pizzas anyway.

A finished, spooktacular pumpkin pizza pie.

A finished, spooktacular pumpkin pizza pie.

Serve the spooky pizzas with lots of veggies to be sure to get some good stuff in the kids before they get to the “good” stuff from trick-or-treating.

And keep in mind, this idea of shaped pizza is certainly not limited to Halloween. I make heart-shaped ones for Valentine’s Day. Make up your own reason to have shapely pizza! But most of all, enjoy your homemade pizza, whatever the occasion.

Come! E.A.T. with us! 

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Jack-O-Lantern Dinner: Fortify the kids before trick-or-treating with this fun Halloween-themed dinner

When Halloween comes around, I’m ashamed to say you won’t find me in a clever, well-thought-out costume. I just don’t have the imagination for it. I usually go for my old standby – wearing all black and pinning socks and little t-shirts to myself going as “Static Cling.”

Where I do get into Halloween is in the kitchen. Every year, I try to come up with a Halloween-y twist on something I routinely make. Here are two of my family’s favorites:

Makes 4 individual pizzas depending on size of dough ball and size of the pizzas you make.

Pizza dough you make at home or from the store (Whole Foods makes a good one)
Pizza sauce
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Pepperoni circles cut in half to make half-moons and in quarters to make triangles

  1. Divide the dough into individual portions and roll out on a cutting board dusted with white flour.
  2. Take a table knife and cut a free-form pumpkin shape, cutting out a little dough at the top to make a slight indentation.
  3. Take the piece you removed and shape it into a rectangle and attach it to the indented area as though it is the stem of the pumpkin, pressing the tip of the stem into the pumpkin lightly to attach it.
  4. Spread pizza sauce on the pumpkin but within about a quarter of an inch of the edges.
  5. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
  6. Let each person use the pepperoni shapes to decorate their own Jack-O-Pizza face.
  7. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is looking golden.

Makes 4 mini cobblers

1 Ready-made pie crust
Mini-pie tins or individual-size baking cups
Your favorite apple pie filling recipe (sliced apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and lemon juice)
Additions of your choice like chopped walnuts or pecans and raisins

  1. Mix the apple pie filling in a bowl and then portion it out into the individual baking cups or pie tins being sure to fill them to the top.
  2. Using a cup or bowl slightly larger than the size of your baking cup, cut out circles from the pie crust. (see photo below)
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut out Jack-O-Lantern faces or other designs like a sliver of a moon or maybe a leaf shape, making sure the design isn’t too large or else the dough will collapse into the fruit.
  4. Place the pie crust over the baking cup, pressing the edges down so that they stick slightly to the baking cup. As the cobblers bake, the edges will release from the edges of the cups a bit but that’s okay.
  5. Bake in a 325 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and a knife easily pierces the apples when carefully poked through one of the openings in your design.

Note: these also make good breakfast cups served at room temperature.

Put your pie filling in individual oven-safe baking cups.

Cut out circle shapes slightly larger than your baking cups

Cut out Jack-O-Lantern faces or other designs.

The finished product! Cute and yummy.