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Posts from the ‘Dessert’ Category

creamy pumpkin banana tart.

I’m going to level with you.

When I came across this combination of flavors – the pumpkin with the banana – I immediately dismissed the recipe because it just sounded too weird…too reminiscent of mushy baby food or something.


I beg you – BEG YOU! – please don’t judge this recipe by its cover (or title).

I don’t know what else to say except, this tart is simply divine.  Otherwise it would be nowhere near this blog.

It totally fit the need for pumpkin, which as you know I’ve been loving these days…adding a little here in this pasta or a little there in this french toast.  And I’m not sure I’m quite done yet, as it’s just now November and we’ve still got quite a ways to go until Thanksgiving.

Am I the only one who thinks November and December are officially the best months ever?

Another appearance by my trusty Cuisinart processor. Such a worthwhile investment for this frugal foodie.

If you don’t have a processor just pulverize the graham crackers into crumbs, then mix together with the other crust ingredients.

My big helper doing her best Vanna White impression with the tart shell.

Here’s a trick to perfectly packed tart shells!  Use the bottom and sides of a measuring cup to spread around and pack in the crust.

Heat up your pumpkin mixture, whisk in egg yolks, and then fold in some whipped heavy cream.

And as a side note:  I promise I’ll return to my regularly scheduled, nutritious but fabulous dinners, soon.  Lord help me.  It’s November and December, some of the best (and calorie-filled) cooking months of the year.  This is going to be hard.

So there you have it.  A terrific tart to serve at Thanksgiving or just because it’s Fall.  A hint of banana, lots of creamy pumpkin and spice and a graham cracker crust.  And far less than buying one of those fancy desserts at the store.

And if you are looking to put those extra graham crackers to use (I mean besides making the 1-hour driving trip to Granny’s house easier on your toddlers), may I point you toward these coffee s’mores pie or mini s’mores tarts recipes to use ’em all up.

Creamy Pumpkin Banana Tart

(adapted from Barefoot Contessa, serves 10)

For the crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (14 crackers)

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 stick butter, melted

For the filling:

1/2 cup half and half

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 large egg yolks

1 package (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin

1 ripe banana, finely mashed

1/2 cup cold heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar

For the decoration:

1 cup cold heavy cream

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350F

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter in a bowl or process in a food processor until well combined.  Pour into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press evenly into the sides, and then the bottom (using the bottom of a measuring cup works well for this).  Bake for 10 minutes, then cool at room temperature.

For the filling, combine the half and half, pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water until hot, about 5 minutes.  Whisk egg yolks separately, stir some of the hot pumpkin mixture back into the double boiler and stir well.  Heat mixture over the simmering water for another 4-5 minutes, until it begins to thicken, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

Dissolve gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water.  Add the dissolved gelatin and banana to the pumpkin mixture and mix well.  Set aside to cool.

Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until soft peaks forms.  Add the sugar and continue to whisk until you have firm peaks.  Carefully fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture and pour into the cooled tart shell.  Chill 2 hours or overnight.

For the topping, whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until soft peaks form.  Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk until you have firm peaks.  Pipe or spoon the whipped cream decoratively on the tart.  Serve chilled.

TOTAL:  $6.45 or $.65 per serving

Wondering how on earth I arrived at these costs?  Take a look at my shopping guide to show see what I pay for items, per serving, etc.


378 calories per serving

20 grams of fat

48 carbs

3 grams protein

3 grams fiber

P.S. Mosey on over to Facebook and check out my current GIVEAWAY!

Join the Frugal Foodie Family Food Blog Community on Facebook


gluten-free coconut macaroons.

The other day I found myself in a total conundrum.  I had a growing list of people coming over for a dessert event at our home, with only 2 desserts planned.  Figuring I needed one more little thing – something easily nibble-able (totally a word) and delicious but quick and easy to whip up in the short time I had before everyone showed up…I made these macaroons.

I know what you’re thinking…”Duh, Kelly, these cookies should totally be making an appearance at your Easter table or Mother’s Day brunch, not smack-dab in the middle of Fall.”  And you would be right.  But here’s what makes them perfect for this time of year:  have you seen the deals on baking items during the months of October, November and December?  Jimminy Christmas!  They’re practically giving these items away!  So since I had extra coconut in the pantry and several cans of condensed milk (and can we just stop for a moment and ask how in the world they actually condense our milk any further?)…these fit the bill.

And boy were they delicious.

There are 5 ingredients in this recipe – 5!

First mix up coconut, condensed milk and vanilla…

Next, beat up some egg whites and salt…

That’s right – go on and beat ’em up good.

Mix the eggs and coconut mixture together and plop ’em onto a baking sheet!

Seriously, people…it doesn’t get much easier than this for bakery-fresh cookies that are gluten-free.

And here they are in all their coconutty glory.  And if you have some coconut leftover, may I suggest tossing some in these scones or this granola or this heavenly tart.

Coconut Macaroons

(adapted from Barefoot Contessa, makes 20-22 cookies)

14 ounces unsweetened shredded coconut

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 325F

Combine coconut, condensed milk and vanilla in a large bowl.  Whisk egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make firm peaks.  Carefully fold egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto baking pans lined with parchment paper using either a small ice cream scoop or two teaspoons.  Bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

To store:  Keep at room temperature, well wrapped, for several days.

TOTAL:  $5.51 or $.28 per cookie.

Wondering how on earth I arrived at these costs?  Take a look at my shopping guide to show see what I pay for items, per serving, etc.


145 calories per cookie

9 grams of fat

14 carbs

3 grams protein

1 gram fiber

Mosey on over to Facebook and let me know what you think or send me a pic if you tried it!

Join the Frugal Foodie Family Food Blog Community on Facebook

peanut butter white chocolate oatmeal cookies.

I’m pretty sure my cookie snobbery reaches all the way back to my childhood, when my mother would (thankfully) insist on making our own cookies from scratch rather than (gasp!) buy pre-made cookies!  Oh the horror!  The days when I finagled my way into a box of Oreos were few and far between. Read more

coffee s’mores pie.

Yes indeedy.

This here’s a sophisticated take on the classic campfire recipe.  A touch of chocolate in the graham cracker crust, hints of coffee in a rich ganache, all topped with toasted meringue.  You won’t be disappointed, I promise…unless you simply can’t stand coffee or chocolate.  In that case, I’ll just say you’re missing out and then direct you to take a look at the many other dessert recipes I’ve shared. Read more

caramel nut sticky buns.

YES.  The answer to your question is yes…I am a schizophrenic foodie.

Last week I was finishing up a fruit and veggie cleanse, talking about things like summery salads under 350 calories and these quinoa-stuffed bell peppers; then sprinkled between these days of utter discipline and health, I’ve managed to crank out loaded peanut butter ice cream with salted caramel and dark chocolate, berry lime crumb bars and these wickedly awesome sticky buns. Read more

peanut butter ice cream with salted caramel and dark chocolate (aka heaven).

I’m bit by the homemade ice cream bug every year around this time.  I dunno – I think it’s the weather mixed with weird childhood memories of block parties and 4th of July potlucks and my family’s old school rock salt ice cream maker.  Well anyway last year I tried this dark cherry chocolate chip and this year I thought I would give this candy bar-inspired recipe a try.  Peanut butter ice cream meets homemade salted caramel sauce and dark chocolate shavings.  

Pure heaven. Read more

blueberry lime crumb bars.

It was bliss…PURE BLISS, when I walked into the store several days ago and was reminded of the berry bonanza extravaganza that happens every year around this time.

Blackberries for $2!

Organic strawberries for $2.69!

Blueberries, 2 for $5! Read more

father’s day roundup.

The dads in my life totally rock.

My dad took me to breakfast every Saturday, even in my awkward years when I was a pain in the you-know-what and too cool for school.  Talking with me over breakfast might have been like talking to a slice of melon. Read more

grilled spiked pineapple with toasted coconut.

Planning to fire up the B-B-Q this weekend in honor of Memorial Day?

Bet you were planning on tossing on a few steaks, some chicken, maybe some veggies if you were feeling really adventurous… Read more

mama’s day inspirations.

Mother’s Day has evolved over the years in our family. 

After a nearly disastrous first Mother’s Day where, 2 months post-partum and clearly still quite hormonal, I deviated from my normal “let’s not make a big deal out of this holiday” routine and opted instead for a tantrum that mirrored my now 2 year old…we have since moved on to a more peaceful (and less estrogen-filled) Mother’s Day tradition.

Andrew now knows that we go out on Saturday, and I cook brunch on Sunday.  Because… Read more

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