It's only October but the Holidays are right around the corner. And if you're a planner like me, it's never too soon to start thinking about your holiday meal planning. For me one of my favorite things to do around the holidays, especially Thanksgiving is to make pies. What I love about pies is that there is so many types. Even if you don't like one kind of pie, there is another kind of pie that you do like. And all pie tastes great with real whipped cream.
Here are some of my favorite holiday pie recipes, and some ideas so you can start your planning.
Pie Dough (see below)
5 large eggs
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups pecans, coarsely chopped plus 1/3 cup while pecan halves
Set a 9 inch pie pan on a baking sheet. Roll out dough to a 13 inch round. Fit dough into pie pan. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator. Chill for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degree. Bake chilled pie shell until golden, about 20 minutes. (I recommend using pie weights to prevent shell from shrinking). Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 5 eggs, the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, molasses, rum, vanilla, and salt. Stir in chopped pecans. Pour filling into cooled pie shell; arranged whole pecans on top of pie.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake until knife tip inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool.
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
I love the smell of pumpkin pie in the oven. The combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger permeate the whole house. There is a reason why they make a pumpkin spice candle.
Pie Dough (see below)
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teas cloves
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 large eggs
Prebake pie shell for 20 minutes at 375 degrees until crust is light golden brown.
Process the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a food processor for one minute until combined. Transfer the pumpkin mixture to a 3 quart heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring it to a sputtering simmer over medium high heat. Cook the pumpkin stirring constantly until thick and shinning, about 5 minutes.
As soon as the pie shell comes out of the oven, adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Whisk the heavy cream and milk into the pumpkin and bring to a bare simmer. Process the eggs in a food processor until the whites and yolks are combined about 5 seconds. With the motor running slowly pour about half of the hot pumpkin mixture through the feed tube. Stop the machine and add the remaining pumpkin mixture. Process 30 seconds longer.
Immediately pour the warm filling into the hot pie shell. Bake the pie until the filling is puffed, dry looking, and lightly cracked around the edges, and the center wiggles like gelatin when the pie is gently shaken, about 30 minutes.
Source: Baking Illustrated
And I can't talk about Holiday Pies without mentioning Apple Pie. It's an American tradition and it's my favorite. It was the first type of pie I learned how to make. I like to buy the apples from growers, especially in the fall when apples are plentiful in New England. I find the apples to be fresher, and I like to support local businesses.
And if you are more of a chocolate person, Chocolate Cream Pie might more of want you want. It is Mr. Apron's favorite.
Don't let pie crust intimidate you. It's not that hard and just takes a little practice. Homemade pie dough taste so much better than the pre-made stuff and once you get the hang of it, making your own won't take very long. This is my favorite pie crust recipe. It's reliable and easy; and it's great for when you are making a lot pies, like around the holidays and need several batches of pie dough. (Don't let the vodka scare you.)
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water
Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
Source: Cooks Illustrated
I created this post as part of Frigidaire's Talk Turkey Campaign. Share your own recipes and tips at Frigidaire's Make Time for Change site. For every recipe or top that's shared, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children's U.S. Programs, which creates lasting change for children in need.