Ap-pie-tizing desserts

Nov. 23, 2009, midnight | By Julia Wynn | 14 years, 8 months ago

Three delicious pies for your Thanksgiving table

Pies are classic for any occasion. Their warm, flaky crust, which surrounds a sweet, smooth filling, is the ideal combination of firm and soft deliciousness. At Thanksgiving, many turn to a pumpkin pie for the culminating course. But pecan pie is also a tasty and seasonally appropriate choice. And don't forget about vanilla, which is always in. Here are three fantastic Thanksgiving pie recipes that will make you wish you hadn't stuffed yourself with the main course favorites.

Pumpkin pie

You will need these seven ingredients to make pumpkin pie. Photo courtesy of Colin Wiencek.

Ah, the classic pumpkin. It is the standard last act for each Thanksgiving feast. The unique flavor and spongy filling are what we wait all year for, and this recipe certainly covers all the necessary elements of the ideal pumpkin pie while adding a pecan crumble topping to the mix.
Prep time is about 18 minutes. Cooking time is about 50 minutes. Makes about eight servings.

- oven
- 2 medium bowls
- electric beater
- 9-inch pie pan
- mixing spoon

- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 16-ounce can pumpkin
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tbsp butter, softened

Make sure not to overmix your ingredients. Photo courtesy of Colin Wiencek.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Beat eggs until frothy in medium bowl. Add pumpkin, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, maple syrup and evaporated milk to mix. Beat until just well blended.
3. Pour blended filling into crust. Bake for 25 minutes in oven.
4. Combine all topping ingredients with mixing spoon.
5. Remove pie from oven and add topping over filling. Return pie to oven and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the center is firm.
6. Take out and enjoy!

Pecan pie
This recipe makes a pie that is close to perfection. The sweetness of the mixture contrasted with the sharpness of the pecans creates a full flavor that isn't too sugary. Caution: the richness of this dessert may be too much for some. Small servings are recommended.

Prep time is about 30 minutes. Cooking time is about 35 - 40 minutes. Makes about eight servings.

Filling is slowly poured into the prepared pie crust. Photo courtesy of Colin Wiencek.

- oven
- 9-inch pie pan
- large bowl
- beater

- 4 eggs
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 stick melted sweet butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups shelled pecans, chopped
- 9-inch unbaked pie crust
- 1/3 cup shelled pecan halves

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9-inch pie pan with purchased pie crust pastry.
2. Beat eggs thoroughly in large bowl. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, melted butter and vanilla to the eggs, and combine well.
3. Sprinkle chopped pecans on the pastry in the pan. Pour mixture over pecans. For decoration, place the pecan halves around the edge of the filling next to the crust.
4. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake an additional 25 - 30 minutes, or until the filling is firm.
5. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
6. Enjoy!

The finished pie comes out delicious. Photo courtesy of Colin Wiencek.

Vanilla cream pie
Vanilla flavor is a universal crowd-pleaser. With its classically delicious taste, this pie is suitable for any occasion. The creamy flavor and consistency will impress anyone who tries a slice. Don't be deterred by the long prep time; three and a half hours are reserved for the pie to chill at various times during the preparation.

Prep time is about four hours and 30 minutes. Makes about eight servings.

- medium saucepan
- stovetop
- whisk
- shallow pan
- 9-inch pie pan
- refrigerator

- 1/2 cup and 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 2 cups 2 percent or whole milk
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean, about 3 inches long, split lengthwise
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 9-inch pie crust
- whipped cream

1. Whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan. Add yolks and then immediately, but slowly mix in milk and evaporated milk.
2. Drop in vanilla bean. Cook over medium heat, stirring often. When mixture begins to thicken, stir constantly for about 8 - 10 minutes.
3. When small bubbles appear on the surface, continue to cook for about one minute longer, still stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter.
4. Remove the entire vanilla bean. Scrape out its seeds and whisk them back into the filling.
5. Pour the filling into the shallow pan. Place plastic wrap directly over filling surface to avoid a skin from forming. Cool until warm, about 20 - 30 minutes.
6. Pour warm filling into pie shell and place sheet of plastic wrap over surface again. Refrigerate until pie is completely chilled, about three hours.
7. When ready to serve, take out and finish with whipped cream topping.
8. Enjoy!

Julia Wynn. Hello, my name is Julia Wynn and I am looking forward to my senior year as a member of the Silver Chips Online staff. I love to dance (especially poms), listen to music and play piano. My two main food necessities are any kind of … More »

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