Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving pies’

Thanksgiving Report: Cranberry Apple Crumb Pie

Friday, November 27th, 2009
Aunt Lura (in seasonal headband) poses with the cranberry apple pie.

Aunt Lura (in seasonal headband) poses with the cranberry apple pie.

Like most Americans, my family can’t imagine Thanksgiving without pie. My Aunt Lura volunteered to bring a pumpkin creation to our table Thursday so our side of the family only had to make two pies.
(Of course, we didn’t actually have to make even two since we were feeding only eight people, but what is Thanksgiving without excess?)
We knew my honorary cousin Eric was coming so we baked our favorite key-lime pie. Eric is the nephew of my late wonderful semi-godmother Dagny Johnson, who lived on Key Largo, so we HAD to celebrate the Florida Keys.
(You can read more about Dagny and get the key-lime pie recipe in this post from April.)
We also wanted to celebrate our local bounty so we made another pie with two fruits native to both my home state, Massachusetts, and mother’s home state, New Jersey—apples and cranberries.
I had the not very bright idea of making the pie crust with apple cider instead of water to enhance the apple flavor. It DID help the flavor. It also made the crust much harder to manage! So I don’t suggest it. Just use your standard pie crust.
In fact, I’m thinking another time I might eschew the pie crust altogether and call the dish Cranberry Apple Crumble. (If I do, I’ll let you know how it turns out.)
Aside from the sticky crust, everything about this pie proved a success—the apple-cranberry ratio, the rich crumb topping, the contrasting textures. My family highly recommends it.
The Pie
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon flour plus 1/2 cup later
3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 cups cranberries
1 9-inch pie crust
1/2 cup oatmeal (regular, not quick)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter (you could probably get by with less, but THIS WAS THANKSGIVING FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE!)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and tablespoon of flour. Add the fruit and toss to combine. Pour this mixture into your pie shell.
In another bowl combine the remaining flour, the oatmeal, and the brown sugar. Cut in the butter. Pour this crumbly topping over your pie.
Bake the pie for 10 minutes; then reduce the oven temperature to 350 and continue baking for 30 more minutes. Serves 8.

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Pumpkin Pie Plus

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

pumpkin pie plus web

As a child I was the only member of my family who didn’t gravitate toward pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. The custard filling was just … so … smooth.
As a grown up I am more enthusiastic, although the consistency still tends to flummox me. The recipe below solves the consistency issue by addiing other textures to the custard’s custardiness.
The flavors it adds don’t hurt, either!
The pie looks appropriately festive in my pumpkin-shaped pan from Wilton, but you may of course use a standard pie pan. Here’s the recipe………..
1-1/2 cups pumpkin or winter squash puree
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger or allspice (or a bit of each)
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
2/3 cup caramels
3 tablespoons cream
1 handful toasted pecans
1 handful toasted coconut
1 9-inch pie shell
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together the pumpkin, sugars, spices, milk, water, and eggs. Place the combination in the unbaked pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes; then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until firm. Allow the pie to cool for a few minutes.
In a small saucepan combine the caramels and cream. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until they melt together.
Drizzle the caramel mixture over the pie, and top with the pecans and coconut. (If you’d rather save some caramel to drizzle over the top, please do so!)
Serves 6 to 8.
I’ll have more recipes later in the week, but since many of my readers are shopping for Thanksgiving NOW (yes, I know, some of you have even finished; I of course have yet to start!), here are a couple of recipes from last fall to get you going:
Happy baking……..

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Pie in the Sky

Friday, November 20th, 2009


You will eat bye and bye
In that glorious land above the sky.
Work and pray, live on hay,
You’ll get pie in the sky when you die.
                      —  Joe Hill, “The Preacher and the Slave”
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’m ready to devote a few words to pie. Turkey is the center of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Cranberries are the jewels that adorn the table. But pie is the not-to-be-missed culmination of this late November feast. It arrives with fanfare and seldom disappoints eaters.
Why pie? Like Thanksgiving itself it’s old fashioned. And (again like Thanksgiving itself) it represents a fair amount of work. Most of us don’t roll out pie crust every day so when we do it’s an event. At their best Thanksgiving pies are a family effort, made with love and many hands.
Pie is also ideal fare for this time of year when skies darken and breezes blow. It fills us, warms us, and comforts us as November chills our bones.
So—my next couple of posts will be pre-Thanksgiving pie recipes. The first one actually isn’t precisely for Thanksgiving proper since it’s a main-dish pie made with ham. (I’m always willing to stray from turkey, but I find that my family simply won’t consider any other main dish.)
It would be great for Thanksgiving Eve, however, or for one of those days after Thanksgiving when you just can’t look at a piece of turkey any longer, let alone consider eating it.
This ham pie is adapted from one created by Lucinda Finck of Heath, Massachusetts. I found it in The Heath Fair Cookbook, a staple of my cookbook shelf. If you don’t have fresh herbs to include, you may do without them or use a smaller quantity of dried herbs. The fresh ones really do taste wonderful in the pie, however.
Herbed Ham Pie
for the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) sweet butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if your ham is very salty)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
several shakes of the pepper grinder
1 small onion, finely minced
2 cups milk
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2-1/2 cups diced ham
1 cup cooked peas
1/2 cup cooked carrots
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
for the crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
a handful of parsley, minced
1/4 cup cold butter
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
First prepare the filling: melt the butter. Blend in the flour, salt, mustard, and pepper. Add the onions and milk. Cook until thick.
Stir in the ham, egg pieces, vegetables, and thyme. Pour the filling into a 2-quart casserole dish.
Next, make the pastry: in a bowl combine the flour, cheese, salt, and parsley. Cut in the butter. Add the water until it forms a ball, and gently roll it out on a lightly floured board until it is large enough to cover the casserole dish. Place it on top.
Bake the pie for 20 to 30 minutes, until most of the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbles. Serves 4 to 6.

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Ham and Cheese Pie on Foodista