piesForget the turkey and stuffing! When it comes to planning out my Thanksgiving meal, the first major decision I make is what kinds of pie will I serve! It’s not an easy choice considering how many delectable recipes are crammed into my old wooden recipe box. That’s one of the reason’s I invite extra people over for dessert – that means more pie!

10. Chocolate Cream Pie
This is my brother’s favorite, so if he is on the guest list, this one makes the list. There’s no actual recipe I follow since it is saved in my head. Ingredients: 1 box chocolate pudding (not instant), whole milk, heavy cream, graham crackers, sugar, butter.

Cook the pudding on your stove. Prepare a graham cracker crust (scratch is always best), and pour hot pudding into baked crust. refrigerate. Whip up heavy cream with some sugar. Top chilled pie with whipped cream and serve.

Hint: It is even better the next day for breakfast!

9. Apple Pie
I have not yet mastered traditional pie crust. I think it is because my Grandma’s is so perfect that any attempt I make falls short. Since I cannot seem to get regular pie crust “just right” I make apple pie using the French pie crust called Pate Brisee. I do not have an old family recipe. The best one I’ve turned out after trying many is from one of my favorite baking websites, Joy of Baking.” Here is Stephanie Jaworski’s recipe which cannot be improved upon IMO! http://joyofbaking.com/ApplePie.html

Hint: If you absolutely must improve upon this, I suggest warm caramel sauce over top. What the heck…you will eventually come out of your food coma, right?!?!

8. Frozen Pumpkin Pie

If you are not a huge fan of traditional pumpkin pie, this recipe might be palatable. I grew up eating this at my aunt’s house and so add it into my Thanksgiving rotation every few years. Ingredients: 1 baked pie shell, 1 cup plain pumpkin, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp each ginger/cinnamon/nutmeg, 1 quart vanilla ice cream, 1 cup heavy cream

Spread softened ice cream in shell and freeze. Mix all other ingredients except heavy cream. Whip cream and fold into pumpkin mixture. Spoon over ice cream in shell. Freeze. Simple and delicious.

Hint: Run you knife under hot water before making each cut and it should slide through more easily.

7. Maple-Pecan Pie
Maple syrup makes everything taste better, including pecan pie if you ask me! Ingredients: 1 deep dish pie crust, 1 cup pure maple syrup, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3 eggs, 1/4 cup white sugar, 3 Tbs melted butter, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 Tbs flour, 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Spread nuts over unbaked crust. Whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour filling over nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Hint: If you use unsalted butter, you may want to add 1/4 tsp salt to the filling before you bake.

pumpkin-gooey-butter-cake6. Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
Okay, okay! I know this is clearly NOT a pie recipe. But it does include pumpkin and this is a Thanksgiving list after all. So if you are not a fan of pies, but love pumpkin, this may be the recipe for you. Warning: It is exceedingly sweet. If that’s not your thing, then skip to the next recipe.

One of my favorite homey cooks, Paula Deen, makes this cake. It’s an easy recipe to throw together and fills a 9×13. If you are serving a crowd, this one is sure to please. Here’s the link, http://www.pauladeen.com/pumpkin-gooey-butter-cake-5232

Hint: It’s called “gooey” for a reason. Do not over bake!

 

Stay tuned for Bradley Nierenberg’s five favorite pies! Be sure to comment on what your favorite Thanksgiving pies are!

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