Monday, November 09, 2015

Run-Up to Thanksgiving Recipe Post-Pie Edition

I thought this would be a good time to re-post some of my favourite Thanksgiving recipes from years gone by on the blog. You don't need to celebrate Thanksgiving to enjoy these recipes, and if you live in the UK you can celebrate getting rid of us-so everyone wins! I'll start with the part of the meal everyone likes. Who wants pie?

Pumpkin pie is a love it or hate it thing. I'm not a fan of evaporated milk which the recipes all seem to call for. This recipe is adaptable, and even works as a savoury by changing around a few spices and cutting the sugar. Squash can easily be substituted for pumpkin.

No-Fail Crust (perfect for pastry beginners)

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups shortening
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening. Combine water, egg and vinegar. Mix well into flour mixture. Let rest a bit before rolling out.

For the Pie:
1 ½ cups cooked, mashed pumpkin (I roast it, but if you boil, make sure to drain it well before using to bake). 
1 large egg
½ cup warmed milk (I use 2%, but whole is fine)
½ cup warmed heavy cream cream
1 tablespoon flour (I use Wondra sauce flour for this as it dissolves quickly)
1 tablespoon molasses or treacle (Sorghum is a big agricultural product around here and you could certainly substitute it)
¾ cup sugar (you may prefer more)
1 teaspoon mixed spice. "Pumpkin pie spice" is cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, which I'm less a fan of. Use what you prefer. 
1 tablespoon browned butter
pinch of salt

Combine everything and pour into an unbaked pie crust (it helps to build the sides up pretty high for this pie). Cut out shapes from leftover pie crust.

Bake at 450 degrees F. for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 for 45 minutes.
Cool the pie on a rack until completely cold-about 2 hours. Lightly cover with cling film, and store in fridge. I like it served at room temperature, but if you like it warm, give it a few seconds in the microwave.

Maple Pie

This pie requires an entire cup of maple syrup, which can get expensive. Grade B syrup is really better for this pie as the flavour is stronger, but if you can't find it and money is no object, go ahead and use the extra fancy stuff.

For the Crust:

1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soft butter

Mix well and press into 9 inch pie plate. Bake in pre-heated 375 degree F. oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool before filling.

For the Pie:

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 cup maple syrup
3 egg yolks, beaten(keep in a large bowl)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large, heavy pot. Gradually add the milk and syrup. Whisking briskly and constantly, keep mixture moving until it thickens and boils. Gradually add the mixture to the eggs. Replace it in the original pot and return to heat cooking over low heat and whisking until the mixture becomes very thick. Stir in the butter and extract. Cool slightly before pouring into prepared crust. Chill. When cool, top with whipped cream.

Shoe-Fly Pie

1 Cup Flour
1 Tablespoon Crisco
2/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar

-Work together with pastry cutter until crumbly. Remove half and set aside.

Bottom of Pie:
-1 Egg slightly beaten
-1 Cup Molasses
-1 Cup boiling water
-1 Teaspoon baking soda
-1 Nine inch pie shell

-3 Cups Flour
-1 Teaspoon Salt
-1 1/4 cup Crisco
-1 Egg, beaten
-1/3 cup cold water
-1 Tablespoon vinegar

Mix flour and salt. Cut in crisco. Combine egg, water and vinegar-stir into flour mixture and let stand before rolling out.

To half of crumb mixture add egg and molasses. Add 3/4 cup of the boiling water. Dissolve the soda in remaining 1/4 cup water and add last. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 40-45 minutes.

Ohio Shaker Lemon Pie
 You should slice the lemons thinner than I did here.
You Will Need:

2 lemons
1 ¾ cups sugar
pate brisee
4 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt

(For the pate brisee)
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
½ teaspoon salt
3-tablespoons+-ice water

The day before:

In a large pot, blanch the lemons for 30 seconds in boiling water. Run under cold water and drain. Slice as thinly as possible and place in a bowl. Cover with sugar and let sit 1 hour. Stir once and then let sit 8 hours or overnight.

The next day:

Make pate brisee by cutting shortening/butter into the flour and salt. Add water until it comes together in a ball. Wrap in waxed paper and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Roll out bottom crust and place in pie pan. Arrange lemon slices in crust. To the sugar, add the eggs and salt, whisking until well mixed. Pour over lemons. Place top crust on and make slits for steam. Place in the centre rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and bake 20-25 minutes more. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cranberry Apple Pie
Pastry for a 2 crust pie (I used an all-butter variety)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups raw cranberries (frozen is OK)
2 teaspoons orange peel, grated
1 1/2 cups chopped, peeled apples (Mine were tart varieties)
1 cup raisins (optional)
2 tablespoons butter

Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. Add corn syrup gradually. Add water. Stirring constantly bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until mixture thickens slightly.

Add cranberries, and cook until skins break. Add orange peel. Add apples. Remove from pan and cool completely before filling pie crust.

Turn mixture into a lined, 9 inch pan. Dot with butter. Adjust top crust, cut vents, and flute edges. I brushed mine with half and half, and sprinkled it generously with granulated sugar for a crunchy topping.

Bake in a hot 425 degree F. oven 40-50 minutes.

Cranberry-Strawberry-Raisin Pie

For the pastry:

1 3/4 cup AP flour
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
11 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into fine pieces
2 tablespoons cold shortening, cut small
(about) 3 tablespoons ice water

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter and shortening until fine. Add water a tablespoon at a time and quickly gather together in a ball. Do not overwork. Divide in 2 parts. Roll each into a disk and wrap in cling film. Chill at least one hour until cold. 

For the filling:

12 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen) chopped coarsely
1 cup raisins
A handful of strawberries, hulled and cut in half
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup AP flour

Glaze-1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Fit bottom crust into pie plate. Brush lightly with egg white. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour/sugar mixture in the bottom. In another bowl, combine cranberries, orange zest, melted butter, raisins and vanilla extract. Mix well. Pour into pie plate. Cover with remaining flour/sugar mixture. Place top crust on. If not doing lattice crust, cut slits to vent. Brush with egg wash. Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour or until top is browned and filling bubbles up through vents. Cool before cutting.

1950 Betty Crocker Cranberry Pie
You Will Need:

Pastry for a double crust pie
1-2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups halved cranberries (this is tedious, so I recommend getting a child to do it. If you don't have one, get a neighbour's child, or I can send you mine)
1/2 cup water
Optional 1/2 tsp almond extract (I omitted this)
Optional-1/2 cup sultanas

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 

In a large pot, combine the sugar, flour, salt, cranberries ,sultanas, and water. Mix well, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Once it boils, cook 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat, stir in extract if using. Cool slightly before filling crust. 

Cut vents in top crust, brush with cream, and sprinkle with coarse sugar (or just leave it plain, your pie, your rules). Bake (on a sheet, because we don't want to be scraping burnt cranberry sugar off the oven, do we?) 30-40 minutes, or until crust is golden, and filling is bubbling up through the vents. 

Sweet Potato Pie From Gourmet Magazine, 1973
This pie goes over well with the pumpkin pie haters.

Make pate brisee substituting 1 teaspoon sugar for the salt, and roll it out to an 11 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fit the dough in a deep 9 1/2 inch pie plate, crimp the edges, and chill it for 1 hour.

Remove pulp from 5 or 6 baked sweet potatoes and mash it. There should be 2 cups. In a bowl, cream together 1 cup butter, softened and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, the mashed potatoes, 1/2 cup whiskey (I substituted 2 tablespoons brandy) the grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground mace. Pour mixture into the prepared shell. Bake pie in the bottom third of the oven at 425 degrees F. for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and move to centre rack baking another 40-45 minutes, or until set, and the crust is browned. Let pie cool on a rack and dust with confectioner's sugar.

Raisin Pie

You Will Need:

A shallow 9 inch pastry shell
1/2 cup dark raisins
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter


1 cup plain flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter, softened

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prick pie crust all over and blind bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a 2 quart saucepan combine raisins, 2 cups of the water (reserve rest), lemon juice,
and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and remaining water, beating until smooth. Whisk it into the raisin mixture and boil until bubbling and thick-about 2 minutes. Beat in butter. Remove from pot and cool before filling pie. Meanwhile make the crust.

For the crust: combine flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and soda. Cut in butter until you have crumbs.

Assemble and bake:

Pour filling into pie crust. Top with crumbs and bake 25-30 minutes or until top is golden. Cool, and store in the fridge.

Apple Pie

For the Pastry:

1/3 plus 1 tablespoon ice water (have more on hand in case you need it)
3/4 cup shortening (I used unsalted butter because we prefer it)
2 cups instant type flour (I used Wondra)
1 teaspoon salt.

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter until fine. Add water slowly adding just enough so that the dough comes together in a ball. It should be pliable without being too wet or dry. 

This will make enough for 2 crusts.

For the Filling:

6 cups pared and sliced apples (I tossed mine with fruit fresh to prevent darkening)
3/4-1 cup sugar (I used the full cup as my apples were quite tart)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons plain flour
Dash of nutmeg and salt
2 tablespoons butter

Combine dry ingredients. Add apples and toss to coat. Pour into pie crust, dot with butter and affix top crust. I like to brush mine with cream and then scatter the top with coarse sugar, but that's just one of a million ways to decorate a pie. Cut vents, and place pie on a baking sheet (It WILL spill over) and bake 55-60 minutes. 

Caramel Apple Pie

For the All-Oil Pie Crust:

2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons cold water (the recipe says 4 or 5, I used 4) or milk
1/2 cup salad oil

Sift together the flour and salt. Add the water or milk to the oil and do not stir. Add all at once to the flour and toss lightly with a fork. Gather into two balls, flatten and roll each out between waxed paper.

For The Caramel Apple Pie:

6-8 tart apples, pared, cored and sliced
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons AP flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup dark corn syrup (I used Golden Syrup)

For topping:
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons AP flour
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 cup dark corn syrup (or golden syrup)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I used toasted coconut)

Arrange apples in a lined 9 inch pie plate. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine, sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, salt, melted butter and syrup. Mix well and spread over apples. Top with second crust and cut slits in it to vent. Bake 40 minutes or until crust is golden. Place pie plate on a baking sheet to catch drips and combine in a bowl the brown sugar, flour, butter and syrup. Mix well and spread on top of pie crust. Sprinkle with coconut or walnuts and return to the oven 5 more minutes, or until topping is bubbling.

Mock Pecan Pie
For the crust:

1 cup AP flour
1/8 tsp. salt
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut int cream cheese. Cut in butter until you have a fine meal. Gently knead until mixed and gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk and wrap in cling film. Chill at least 1 hour, but several is better.

Roll out dough and fit into a pie plate (I used a 9 inch, but an 8 would be fine, just higher on the sides). Cover with cling film and chill at least 1 hour. 15 minutes before baking (while the oven preheats) transfer crust to freezer to firm more.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line pie crust with foil and fill with beans or weights. Bake 15-20 minutes or until it is almost dry. Remove foil, prick all over and bake another 5-10 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove to a rack to cool while you make the filling.

For the filling:

4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut in chunks
1/4 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 cup toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place coconut in bottom of pie crust. In a saucepan, over low heat mix together the egg yolks, syrup, sugar, butter, cream and salt. Mix well and stir until wooden spoon is coated on the back or it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees F. (Be really careful not to scramble the eggs).

Strain (to catch any eggy bits) and pour over coconut into pie shell. Bake 20-25 minutes (mine took closer to 35, but ovens vary) until puffed. The filling will still move a bit, but will set when cooled.

Cool on a rack before removing from pie plate.

Cider Pie
Note-in the US, "Cider" is an unfiltered apple juice, not a fermented alcoholic drink.

Blind bake a pie shell. Cool on a rack (I like to slip mine out of the pan to cool-it keeps it from getting soggy, but if your crust is fragile, skip it). Make the filling.

For the filling:

10 tablespoons cornstarch (not a typo)
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
5 cups apple cider

Combine all dry ingredients in a heavy pot and whisk in the cider in a stream. Over medium heat, whisk until dissolved. Increase heat, bring to a boil and switch to a wooden spoon. Cook until mixture is clear, and thick stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Pour filling into a bowl, cover with a piece of buttered wax paper and cool until lukewarm. Return crust to pie plate, fill with filling and chill until firm. Top with sweetened whipped cream.

Sour Cherry Pie
You Will Need:

Pastry for a 1-crust pie (two, if you do a lattice)
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 cups frozen sour cherries
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon (I know that sounds odd, but trust me)
2 tablespoons butter, for dotting top
Cream and sugar for brushing crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients and then toss in cherries. Mix well to coat. Pour into prepared crust, dot with butter and top as desired. Brush crust with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 35-40 minutes. You may need to cover the edge with foil if it browns too quickly.

Plum Pie
You Will Need: 

9 inch single crust pastry, unbaked (My recipe follows below) 

1 3/4 pounds fresh plums, pitted and quartered (4 1/2 cups) 
1/3 cup water 
3/4-1 cup sugar (I used 3/4) 
3 tablespoons cornstarch 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/3 cup AP flour 
1/3 cup sugar 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
3 tablespoons butter 

Crust for single 9 inch shell: 

1 1/2 cups AP flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup butter 
4-5 tablespoons ice water 

Toss flour and salt together. Cut in butter. Add water slowly until dough comes together. Roll. 

Make filling ahead: 

Combine plums and water. Cook until boiling, then cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat. Mix together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add slowly to plums, stirring constantly (a heat-proof spatula works well here). Cook slowly stirring constantly until it thickens and becomes clear-about 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl and cool before using. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line dish with pastry building up the sides. I like to chill my crust in the plate before filling, but you don't need to. Fill with plums, then make topping by combining dry ingredients and cutting in butter until crumbly. Scatter on top of filling. Bake 30-35 minutes or until crust is baked. 
Fluffy Grape Pie

1 cup grape puree, thawed enough to measure
1/4 cup water
1 3 ounce package lemon gelatin
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
1 baked 9 inch pie shell

Bring grape puree and water to a boil. Stir in gelatin until dissolved. Add sugar and mix well. Chill until mixture mounds when dropped from the spoon, stirring occasionally. Beat until fluffy. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into pie shell. Chill at least two hours or overnight. Serve topped with additional whipped cream.

Have I forgotten your favourite pie? Feel free to ask, I've probably baked it at some point, or I can locate a recipe from my cookery book collection. 

What are you baking (if you are) for Thanksgiving? 


Mim said...

I tried making pumpkin pie once but it really wan't our sort of thing. That maple pie looks splendid, though... Is it true that americans don't make many meat pies? When I bake a pie, nine times out of ten it'll be a meat one for tea.

For some reason, I always assumed shoofly pie would contain raisins or currants. Perhaps it's because garibaldi biscuits are nicknamed 'fly graveyards' (nice!) and so I assume any baked good with 'fly' in the name contains dried fruit.

Beth Waltz said...

Yum! The Gourmet sweet potato pie is unfallible -- unless a guest brought by a friend mumbles, "...this pumpkin pie is a little off." I was too much of a lady to bop him. I had the ancestral fish server in my hand, and nobody spotted it as such. Have no idea who snagged the pie slice. Haven't seen it at any gatherings, so perhaps it simply slipped away in the thrift shop bag when the family "silver" was redistributed. (I did score a sterling butter knife in the $1 bin at Goodwill.)

The Ohio Amish lemon pie is interesting, as is the cranberry-apple. My Teutonic taste-buds wake up at any mix of sweet and tart! Alas for the grape pie proposal: no honest-to-Abe concord/fox grape puree was on offer at the local church sales this year. Did find persimmon puree, however, so one can't complain too loudly. And then there was the lady purveying "fence fruit jelly" -- from the shrubs along her back fence. Ever tasted mulberries?

Goody said...

We do meat pies, but they are more often in bread dough casings than pastry-a cabbage/mince one called a Runza is popular in the Midwest. Large pies like a "pot pie" with vegetables and sauce are in pastry, but you're right about not too many individual meat pies/pasties.

The shoo-fly is rumoured to have the name because you have to "shoo" flies away from it or they will become stuck in the molasses filling.

We did indeed have a large mulberry growing next to the fence that divided the backyard from the watseland of unused farm equipment. I never did make jelly from them (they're so small it is hardly worth the bother picking them)leaving them instead for the birds, who would strip the it clean.

Propagatrix said...

I've traditionally made pecan pie (from a lovely recipe by the Houston Chronicle's former food editor), but will have to make something softer this year because my husband's still getting used to his new-ish dentures. I may just order dessert from Lois the Pie Queen, an Oakland soul-food mainstay that's a block from my house. Their sweet potato pie is killer.

Goody said...


I've heard there's a bit of a learning curve with dentures (not that it ever stopped my dad who would pull them out at the table...I'm sure your husband wouldn't do that). If we had someone called, "Lois the Pie Queen" in our neighbourhood, I'd weigh 500 lbs. But I'd be happy!

Mim said...

Ah, so a pot pie is a large pie? I've always wondered where the 'pot' bit comes in, and assumed it was like a pub pie, which is often pie filling in a dish with a pastry top. (Being a carb-lover, I like my pies to have proper pastry bottoms.)