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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Food: Thanksgiving Pies

It really wouldn't be Thanksgiving without stuffing a turkey.....and stuffing your face at the same time, right??

I always look forward to candied yams at Thanksgiving.......and PIE. This year I was in charge of brigning dessert to my family's Thanksgiving dinner. I made one pumpkin pie and one cranberry pie.

The pumpkin pie recipe I always use was my Grandma Helen's. I always make my own crust too. No store-bought crust enters my household.

Before adding whipped cream.
I always get lots of compliments on this pie recipe and people request it all the time.
It's super easy also.

Tawny Pumpkin Pie

1 1/4 cup solid pack pumpkin (or fresh)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp flour
2 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
2 Tbl water
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla extract

Put all ingredients in a blender, adding milk last. Blend until well mixed. Pour into prepared pie crust.
 Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.
Then bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until set.

I've made this pie using both fresh pumpkin or the canned kind. Fresh pumpkin is a little more watery looking, which can be disconcerting at first, but it still sets up nicely. It will also not look as "orange"; canned pumpkin has food coloring added to it to give it that "orangey" look. Fresh pumpkin will look more yellow, but after all the cinnamon is added and it's cooked, it will look pretty much the same.
The kind of pumpkins you want for pie-making are actually quite small, round in shape and the skin will look more brownish-orange in color, rather than orange. If you buy them at a market or grocery store they will often be marked as "pie pumpkins" by the store to make it easier for consumers to identify.
You want to cook the pumpkin first, to make the flesh easy to scoop out for pies. My grandma would cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and guts, and then put the two halves on a shallow baking pan in the oven. I don't remember the exact cooking temp, probably 350 or 375, and we would just cook them until the flesh was soft and fork tender and then we could just scoop it out of the shells.

I also made a Nantucket Cranberry Pie:

This is a delicious alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie. I actually make this pie often at other times of the year; it's great for 4th of July picnics, Christmas time, or actually ANY time!

The "crust" is actually on the top, so it's pretty quick and easy to make this one. Whole fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped pecans and sugar go in a round cake pan or pie pan that has been generously buttered.

The top "crust" is made with sugar, flour, eggs, almond extract and more butter.

The batter is poured over the top of the cranberries and then baked. Mmmm!

Nantucket Cranberry Pie

Butter, for greasing
2 cups (heaping) cranberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup pecans, chopped (measure, then chop)
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbl sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Generously butter a pie pan or round cake pan. Add cranberries to bottom of the pan, sprinkle with chopped pecans, then sprinkle with 2/3 cup sugar.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, melted butter, eggs, almond extract, and salt. Stir gently to combine.
Pour batter slowly over the top in large "ribbons" in order to evenly cover the surface. Spread gently if necessary. Bake for 45-50 minutes. 5 minutes before removing from oven, sprinkle 1 Tbl sugar on suface for a little extra crunch.
For serving, cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

                                                    Delicious!!! Thanks for stopping by!



Marigene said...

Pumpkin pie is a must here, too! I have been making that Nantucket Cranberry pie for years...to me it is more cakelike than a true pie...delicious.
Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend!

racheld said...

Oh, My---I'm craving both of those, and there's still half a Chocolate chess and most of a vanilla cheesecake in the fridge! I'm going to try one or both before Christmas.

Hope your holiday was WONDERFUL!

rachel at LAWN TEA