"Who's having pie?" "Grammama? Uncle Romey? Apple or pumpkin?" "A little of both, please."
Are you ready for Thanksgiving pie-baking? If there's ever a time of year to get elbow-deep in flour, it's now, Thanksgiving. And this is the year -- right, isn't it? didn't you promise yourself? -- to learn how to make homemade pie crust. For last year's Pi Day celebration, I collected some of the best homemade pie crust recipes from pie-baking food bloggers, packed with photo tutorials, ingredient tips and plenty of encouragement. Once you've heard the moans of appreciation from your family, you'll never go back.
CONVENIENCE TIP: Okay, so maybe this isn't your year to make your own crust. The Pillsbury roll-out crusts are just fine but I have a couple of suggestions to improve them. Unroll the crust on the counter, sprinkle the top surface with a tablespoon or two of sugar. Now roll the crust evenly so that it become quite thinner. (If you have a rolling pin to do this. Otherwise use a bottle of some sort.) Place it in your pie pan and cut off all but about an inch overhang. Throw that stuff away -- it's just not needed. Now fold the overhang back over the pie pan's edge. Crimp it between your fingers all around the circumference. Now follow the package instructions for filling or baking.
Let's take a look at Thanksgiving's two classic pies, pumpkin and apple. These recipes are classics, but with a twist, just a small edge to make this year's celebration extra-special.
PUMPKIN PIE RECIPES
"Fresh pumpkin can be a little watery and needs to be reduced into an intense purée to work as a good substitute for canned pumpkin. We decided that our efforts were better spent enhancing the flavor of good-quality canned pumpkin (not pre-seasoned, sugar-added “pumpkin pie filling”) with the complimentary flavor of roasted sweet potatoes." ~ read Thanksgiving Countdown: Pumpkin Pie from CookThink
"While many traditional pumpkin pie recipes use cream or half-and-half, I like to use coconut milk. Pumpkin and coconut milk - its perfect!" ~ read Spice-Kissed Pumpkin Pie from 101 Cookbooks
"Just make this pumpkin pie recipe and serve it with a smile. No apologies. No caveats. No waffling or waggling. You don't have to label it vegan. Or gluten-free. Or lactose-free. Because no one will ever know. It tastes that good. And you'll score serious points with your vegan guests. You'll be a hero to gluten-free pie lovers. A goddess to egg-free pumpkin-cravers. A rock star to dairy-free angels." ~ read Vegan Pumpkin Pie Worthy of Thanksgiving from Karina's Kitchen
"This pumpkin cheesecake is a perfect Thanksgiving dessert for anyone who wants South Beach Diet friendly Thanksgiving recipes or who's watching their sugar intake." ~ read Reduced-Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake from Kalyn's Kitchen
"But nothing beats the convenience of canned pumpkin. This recipe puts a bit of a twist on the traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie: The filling has honey, ginger, and cardamom, and the crust is made with 100% whole wheat flour and walnuts – for a bit more flavor, and a texture like a cheesecake crust. The best part? No rolling pin required. You just pat it into place in a springform pan, give it a quick rest in the freezer, and bake away." ~ read Deepdish Pumpkin Pie with Whole Wheat Walnut Crust from Hogwash
APPLE PIE RECIPES
"Apples at their simplest can be their very finest. Sure, I love an oozy, heavily spiced and lidded apple pie, but I also think there is something matchless about apples, butter and sugar, baked until bubbly. " ~ read Simplest Apple Tart from Smitten Kitchen
"I was inspired by my two favorite pies - Pumpkin and Apple - after walking around the Greenmarket in Union Square. Nothing is more autumn-appropriate than these two flavors rolled into one! ... It's a crowd pleaser since everyone likes apple pie and pumpkin pie but it was the first time my friends' had both flavors in 'one delish pie'." ~ read Pumpple Pumpkin Apple Pie from The Kitchn
"My pie and I went to a pot-luck that evening, and believe me, this pie is a dreamy, swoon-worthy, be-sure-you’re-sitting-down-when-you-taste-it, best-crust-ever kind of pie." ~ read Apple Gruyere Pie from Rice and Spice
"These days nary a pie recipe gets published that my father doesn't want to try, especially when I'm around to make the crust. He made this delicious crumble pie a few days ago and it was half gone by noon. There are three of us. The pie serves 12. Did I say it was half gone by noon? You get the picture." ~ read Apple Cranberry Currant Crumble Pie from Simply Recipes
What's Your Favorite Pie at Thanksgiving?
Last year, BlogHer food editor Alanna Kellogg made 16 pies in four weeks, perfecting the tricks and techniques and tips for Flaky Tender Pie Crust.
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