Thursday, November 14

THE 2013 THANKSGIVING PIE GUIDE

Ah, Thanksgiving. A little turkey, some cranberry sauce, watching football on TV, catching up with the cousins beside the fire, family togetherness and of course PIE! Everyone knows that a holiday pie is the grand finale to any Thanksgiving dinner. And if you’re like most Americans, you like to pull out all of the stops when it comes to serving up the best slice of homemade goodness possible. Selecting the best recipe is only half the battle. Luckily, I've picked out my 5 favorite pies, again doing a bit of hunting and gathering them together for your convenience. So, let’s hear it for the pies, no matter which way you slice it - your pies will be simply unforgettable

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin pie is a traditional sweet dessert, often eaten during the fall and early winter. As pumpkin is a symbol of harvest time this classic pie is most often served for Thanksgiving in the United States. 
SERVES 6 - 9

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 (9 inch) refrigerated pie dough
  • whipped cream, for topping
WHAT TO DO
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. 
  • Pull from freezer and fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color. (I personally have dispensed with lining the pie tin with foil and weights. I pricked the bottom and sides lightly and baked for 10 minutes until the crust was beginning to turn golden brown. I made a shield with foil for the edges of the crust and then filled and baked pie).
  • For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.
  • Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.
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Chocolate-Pecan-Bourbon Pie
This recipe won pie-baking queen Michele Stuart her first National Pie Championship, and was voted into Good Morning America’s “Best Slice Challenge” contest. She considers this pie her 'lucky' pie....and rightfully so! Way to go Michelle!
SERVES 6 - 8

INGREDIENTS
Crust:
  • 1 Traditional Pastry Pie crust dough for a 9-inch single-crust pie
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (to glaze the crimped pie edges)
Filling:
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1¼ cup dark corn syrup
  • ½ Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and kept warm
  • 1½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
WHAT TO DO
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • To prepare the pie shell, on a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll out dough with a rolling pin until it forms a 10-inch circle. Place it in a 9-inch pie plate so that the edges of the circle drop over the rim. Using your thumb and index finger, crimp the edges of the pie shell. Brush the edges of the pie shell with heavy cream to create a perfect, golden brown finish. Set the pie shell in the fridge while you make the filling.
  • To prepare the filling, using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix together the eggs, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and bourbon. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl at least 2 times while mixing. Add the warm melted butter and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the pecans and chocolate chips. Sprinkle the pecan–chocolate chip mixture across the bottom of the pie shell. Pour the filling over the nuts and chips, covering them completely.
  • To bake, place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the pie is firm. The edges of the filling will rise, but the middle will remain little loose. Don’t worry about this—the pie will continue to bake after it’s removed from the oven. Transfer the pie plate to a wire cooling rack and allow the pie to cool and set for 2 to 3 hours before serving. To really blow your guests away, drizzle each slice with bourbon sauce to serve.
  • Chocolate-Pecan-Bourbon Pie is best enjoyed either at room temperature or warmed at 350°F for about 10 minutes. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When wrapped tightly with plastic wrap, it can also be frozen for up to 2 weeks.
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Yamboree Yam Pie
Sweet potato pie is a beloved classic that has adorned Southern Thanksgiving tables for decades. This simple recipe won the blue ribbon at the Texas Yamboree among 150 foods competing at San Antonio's famous Folklife Festival. It is by far this Southern gal's favorite Thanksgiving pie!
MAKES 1 PIE

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked
  • 2 cups cooked and mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 Eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 cup Half and Half\
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
WHAT TO DO
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine all ingredients and mix well. You can mix in a food processor or blender for smoothest texture, but we like ours au naturel and a bit lumpy!
  • Pour into pie shell and bake for an hour.
  • Good warm or cold!
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Ree Drummond's Caramel Apple Pie
This extremely easy apple crumb pie is Ree Drummond's family’s favorite pie. It is filled with Granny Smith apples, topped with an oat-pecan crumble, and drizzled with warm caramel. Sounds like a WINNER to me!
SERVES 8 - 10

INGREDIENTS
For Filling:
  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • 7 to 8 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Juice of ½ lemon
For Topping:
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup jarred caramel topping
WHAT TO DO
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll pie crust out on a lightly floured surface so that it’s 1 inch larger in diameter than top of your pie pan. Carefully fold dough in half and transfer to pan, then unfold it so it covers pan. Tuck edges underneath to make a neat dough rim. Crimp edges.
  • Throw apples into a large bowl with sugar, flour, salt, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Let sit while you make topping.
  • Combine butter, flour, brown sugar, and salt with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) in a bowl until mixture is crumbly and lumpy. Add oats and pecans.
  • Mound apples into pie pan, then sprinkle on all topping. Cover crust edges with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes, then remove foil and continue to bake until top is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. If top browns too quickly, cover pie with foil. Drizzle caramel sauce over top before serving.
  • HOLY CATS!
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Citrus Raisin Pie
My sweet grandmother, Little Gran, LOVED mincemeat pie. As a result we always had a mincemeat pie close at hand during the holidays. Sadly, since she passed on, we no longer hold to this tradition - however we have substituted my Mother's Raisin Pie, which I must tell you is divine and to be loved! Here is a twist on that beloved pie with the unusual flavor combination of the sweet raisins and tart citrus juice. 
MAKES 1 PIE

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell, unbaked
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • whipped cream for serving
WHAT TO DO
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add raisins and continue to boil for 5 minutes.
  • While mixture is boiling, mix together sugar and cornstarch. Pour this mixture into the raisin mixture and cook until thick.
  • Once the mixture has thickened, remove from heat.
  • Add the juice of two lemons, lemon zest, juice of one orange, orange zest, and finely chopped walnuts. Mix well.
  • Pour the raisin mixture into a 9-inch pie crust, and place the second pastry over the top of the pie.
  • Bake at 400°F for 50 minutes.
  • Allow pie to cool for 1 hour, and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
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I truly hope this 2013 Thanksgiving finds you and your family all healthy and full of joy. Take the time to cherish your loved ones and to be ever mindful that you have much to be thankful for. We here in America have been blessed beyond measure. May the good things of life be yours in abundance, not only at Thanksgiving but throughout the coming year. Cyber HUGS to all!


ENJOY!
~THE DOMESTIC CURATOR~
RONDA

Thanksgiving, pies, holidays, 2013, raisin, citrus, yams, pumpkin, caramel, apple, bourbon, pecan, chocolate, spectacular, desserts

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