Thanksgiving Pies

by Sue Taggart

Pies, Pies, Pies……it’s Thanksgiving, so time to get baking!!!

This year, I decided to make the three favorite Thanksgiving pies—apple, pumpkin and pecan—but all with a bit of a twist. I also included a cake and why not, it is Thanksgiving after all!

So, here are my three favorite pie recipes. The cake is a Bourbon and Vanilla Apple Cake, which we have featured before and the recipe can be found here. Now for the pies…..

1. Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust

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This is the best apple pie I have ever tasted–probably because of the deliciously crunchy, flaky, cheesy crust!

Serves 10-12:


– 2 cups all-purpose flour

– 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

-1½ sticks unsalted butter

– ½ tsp salt

– 6-7 Tbs ice cold water


– 1 cup packed light brown sugar

– 3 Tbs all-purpose flour

– 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½” thick slices

– 4 tsp cornstarch

– 2 tsp cinnamon

– ½ tsp ginger

– ¼ tsp cloves

– ½ tsp salt

– ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

– 1 freshly grated zest of one lemon

– 2Tbs cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes

Making the crust:

Mix the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. (You can use a food processor if you like). Then mix in the shredded cheese. Sprinkle in the ice water until the dough binds together.

Mold the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled—at least an hour.

Making the filling:

In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cornstarch, spices and salt. Then stir in the apples, lemon zest and juice.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease a deep 10” pie dish with a little butter

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 16” diameter. Transfer the dough to the dish leaving the excess over the edge of the dish. Pile up the apple mixture, dot with the butter cubes and fold over the overhanging dough. This will leave the apples in the center exposed.

Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, cover with foil and bake for 60 more minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 15 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the apples are bubbling.

Allow to cool before serving. Delicious topped with clotted cream!

2. Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie in a Ginger Snap Crust

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The best of everything, crunchy, spicy crust and light, smooth pumpkin cheesecake filling!

Serves 8:


– 6oz gingersnaps, pulverized into small breadcrumb size pieces

– 3Tbs granulated sugar

– 4Tbs melted, unsalted butter


– 12oz cream cheese at room temperature

– ¾ cup granulated sugar

– 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

– 1 large whole egg

– 1 large egg yolk

– 1½ Tbs all-purpose flour

– ¾ tsp cinnamon

– ½ tsp ginger

– ¼ tsp cloves

– ½ tsp salt

Making the crust:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pulse gingersnaps and sugar in a food processor until fine crumbs. Add melted butter and mix until combined. Press mixture evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9” pie dish. Put in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Then, bake the crust until golden, about 15 minutes and let cool completely. Reduce the oven to 325 degrees.

Making the filling:

In a bowl (or food processor) stir or pulse the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and pumpkin and mix or pulse till smooth. Add egg and egg yolk together with the flour salt and spices. Mix until incorporated. Pour into the prepared crust and bake for about 30-35 minutes until set. Let cool and then refrigerated for at least 4 hours before serving.

3. Bourbon Pecan Pie

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This is not as sweet as most pecan pies, which is why I really like it!

Serves 8:


– 2 cups all-purpose flour

– 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

– 1 stick+7Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled

– ¾ tsp salt


– ½ cup granulated sugar

– ¼ cup packed light brown sugar

– 1½ tsp all-purpose flour

– ½ tsp salt

– 4 large eggs

– 1½ cups honey

– 2 Tbs bourbon

– 1½ Tbs unsalted butter, melted

– 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract

– 2 cups unsalted pecan halves

Making the crust:

In a bowl whisk together the flour, brown sugar and salt. Stir in the melted butter until the dough forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a 9” pie dish and gently press the dough evenly over the bottom of the dish and up the sides to the rim. Crimp the top edge with fingertips. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Making the filling:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together both sugars with the flour, salt and eggs until smooth, then mix in the honey. Add the bourbon, melted butter and vanilla, mix and lastly fold in the pecans. Pour into the chilled crust, and cover loosely with foil. Put onto a foil covered baking sheet and bake for at least one hour (may take 15-20 minutes longer) until the filling is set. Let cool completely—about 3-4 hours before serving.

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