Thanksgiving Pies

Thanksgiving is a great time for baking and pies are some of my favorite things to make, especially on cold winter days. Every year there’s the discussion of should the pumpkin pie be traditional or should it have a twist to it like a ginger crumb crust or pumpkin cheesecake filling? This year I went totally traditional using the tried and true “Libby’s” recipe and switched things up a bit with a simple yet yummy cranberry walnut tart and something a little different, a vegan chocolate pecan tart that got rave reviews.

 

 

TRADITIONAL PUMPKIN PIE

Makes 12 servings

One 9-inch deep-dish pie shell or, if you want to make your own the recipe follows:

PASTRY CRUST:

  • 10 oz   All purpose flour
  • 5 oz    Sweet Butter cut into ½ inch dice
  • ½ cup  Ice Water for mixing
  • Pinch of Salt

PREPARATION:

Heat oven to 400° F. Combine flour and salt and either work the butter into the flour by hand or pulse in a food processor until crumbly. Add water slowly and mix until the mixture comes together–do not make it too “wet.” Wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes before using. Roll out on a floured surface until 2-3” larger than the 9 dish. Roll out the pastry thinly to line the dish, crimp the edges. Chill for 20 minutes. Line with parchment paper, add rice or beans and bake blind for 20 minutes. Take out the paper and bake for a further 5 minutes.

PUMPKIN FILLING

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pure pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk

Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.

Bake in a preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Decorate with pastry stars or leaves.

 

 

CRANBERRY WALNUT TART

Makes 12 servings

PASTRY CRUST:

  • 10 oz   All purpose flour
  • 5 oz   Sweet Butter cut into ½ inch dice
  • ½ cup  Ice Water for mixing
  • Pinch of Salt

PREPARATION:

Heat oven to 400° F. Combine flour and salt and either work the butter into the flour by hand or pulse in a food processor until crumbly. Add water slowly and mix until the mixture comes together–do not make it too “wet.” Wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes before using. Roll out on a floured surface until 2-3” larger than the 8” flan tin. Roll out the pastry thinly to line the flan tin. Chill for 20 minutes. Line with parchment paper, add rice or beans and bake blind for 20 minutes. Take out the paper and bake for a further 5 minutes.

FILLING:

  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup  packed, light brown sugar
  • 1   egg
  • ½ tsp  vanilla extract
  • ½ cup  plain flour
  • ¾ cup   walnut pieces
  • ⅔ cup  fresh or frozen cranberries
  • confectioner’s sugar for dusting

FILLING:

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Stir in the flour, then fold in the walnuts and cranberries. Spoon the mixture into the pastry case and press down lightly. Bake for 45 minutes.

Serve warm or room temperature dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

 

 

VEGAN CHOCOLATE PECAN TART

Makes 8-12 servings

Ingredients:

CRUST

  • ½ cup  raw pecan halves
  • ¼ cup  hemp hearts or raw almonds
  • ½ cup   shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbs  coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbs  coconut oil

FILLING

  • 10  dates (soaked in warm water for 15 minutes)
  • 2 Tbs   coconut oil
  • ½ cup  coconut milk

TOPPING

  • ½ cup    100% dark chocolate chips or pieces
  • 1 Tbs     coconut oil
  • 1 cup    pecan halves

 

CRUST:

Put all the crust ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and mix on a medium speed until it comes together.

It should have a mealy texture, don’t over blend.

 

FILLING:

Press the crust mixture into 9″ tart pan.

Next, mix the filling ingredients at a high-speed in your blender or food processor.

You may have to scrape down the sides a few times. Try to get it as smooth as possible Spread the mixture evenly in the tart pan.

 

TOPPING:

Put the chocolate and coconut oil in a pan.

Melt them together, carefully on a low heat.

Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the tart.

Place the pecan halves on top of the melted chocolate.

Put the tart in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes before serving.

 

Sue Taggart