This is one of the paninis I demo'ed recently at the local library.
It's exactly like pumpkin pie in that it uses the best part of pumpkin pie: the filling. It's kinda-sorta like pumpkin pie with sweetened whipped cream on top of the filling in that it has cream-based sweetened cream cheese on top of the filling. It's nothing like pumpkin pie in that it uses cinnamon-raisin bread instead of pie crust.
But what it is ... is delicious! Just don't use regular 100% pure pumpkin straight out of a can (or a pumpkin). A bit of sugar and spice to prevent the panini from tasting like a veggie sandwich.
The instructions assume you own a panini press. I happen to not own one. So to simulate a press, I fired up a grill pan over medium heat and placed a small but heavy frying pan on top of the sandwich to press it down into the grill ridges. Had to flip the panini over half-way through, but as you can see, it was totally worth it.
Pumpkin Pie Panini
Yield: 2 paninis
4 slices cinnamon-raisin bread
4 Tbl. Pumpkin pie filling (store-bought or recipe below)
2 Tbl. soft-style cream cheese, whisked with 1 tsp. granulated or brown sugar olive oil cooking spray
Heat panini press to 400F. Meanwhile, arrange bread on work area in a single layer. Lightly spritz each slice with cooking spray.
Flip over 2 of the slices and spread with cream cheese mixture.
Spread pumpkin pie filling on top.
Top with remaining bread, greased sides up.
Transfer paninis to press; close cover; cook for 1 ½ - 2 minutes or until tops have nicely browned grill marks.
Use a spatula to transfer paninis to cutting board. Carefully slice each in half, then arrange 2 halves decoratively on each of 2 small plates.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
Adapted from the350degreeoven.com
Yield: about 2 cups filling
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/ cup milk (regular or low-fat)
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
Stir together all ingredients in a 4-cup heat-safe mixing bowl until smooth.
Cover bowl. Microwave at 100% power for 5 minutes.
Let cool for 15-20 minutes. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate up to 5 days. Stir if separated before using.