Can you believe we are in the single digits for our countdown to Thanksgiving?! With only 8 days to go, we are right in the thick of planning and prep time. One part of the Thanksgiving feast that can be made ahead of time or at the very last minute are the desserts. Many desserts keep well in the fridge or freezer, or can be assembled and baked easily the day before or the day of the big meal, making them a great course to start prepping when you can’t start on anything else, or to finish on when you need something to turn out well in the midst of the scramble to finish the sides. Even if you are not hosting Thanksgiving this year you can help out. Pies travel easily and take some stress off the host, who is likely elbow-deep in a bird – offer to bring dessert. Easy as pie, right? ;)
Though “easy as pie” can be a misnomer, there are some easy and delicious pie recipes that even the novice baker can accomplish. Bake it in a pretty pie plate and wrap it with a dish towel and you have your contribution to the meal and your hostess gift all in one! Multitasking is the way to go this time of the year. To take some stress off the host/hostess, the novice baker, and even the experienced pie maker, I have gathered pie recipes of all varieties. Fruit pies, chocolate pies, nut pies, pumpkin pies, modern takes on classic pies, you name it, we have it here in our thanksgiving pie roundup. You can even use store bought crusts if you don’t want to deal with homemade pie crust – I won’t tell (but please get Pillsbury; the store brand crusts are no good).
Pie Tips and Tricks
Before we get to the recipes, let’s start out with some tips from master pie bakers. The two biggest tips across the board: use very cold butter and don’t overmix your dough. Cold butter and shaggy dough are your friends here.
- Sprinkle any prepared fruit (cut apples, peaches, etc.) with sugar and let them sit for a few minutes. Then drain off any juice that runs. This will avoid a soggy crust. — Saveur
- Baking your pie on the bottom rack will ensure that bottom crust gets nice and golden brown. — Bon Appétit
- A wash is essential to give pies a burnished crust. — Martha Stewart To find the picture perfect wash for your pie, check out the photos in the link.
- Joy the Baker is one of my go-to’s for pie making tips. She takes us through the steps to make the perfect all-butter pie crust (as opposed to using shortening, or a combination of fats to make the dough).
- Martha Stewart’s pate brisee is one of my all-time favorite pie crust recipes. It is buttery and simple, which makes it great for any pie you might make this holiday season.
Now that we know how to make a perfect pie crust, let’s learn how to make the pretty designs to make your pie the envy of the dessert table.
- Follow these instructions to make the lattice pie crust you have wanted to try to craft for years. (It is easier than you think!)
- Once you perfect your lattice skills, add a braid, change the sizes of the lattice strips to make a plaid pattern, or use a knife, pie crust or cookie cutters to add a pretty leaf or floral element to the pie top. Bonus points if you do all of those at once!
- If you’re into the trendy look, maybe try a herringbone pie crust top instead of the classic lattice.
- For a simple, but pretty look, cut your pie crust into diamonds and shingle the top of your pie. You can also shingle your pie with cinnamon sugar spirals.
- Most pies that I make only have the single bottom crust, but it can be fun to add pie crust leaves or a braid to the border to pretty up the pie.
We know how to make pie crust, how to pretty up our pies, now let’s get the pie recipes so we can get started in the kitchen!
- The famous salted caramel apple pie from Four and Twenty Blackbirds
- Also acclaimed, Dutch apple pie with muscovado toffee sauce
- Cider caramel apple pie
- Sour cream custard cardamom apple pie
- Caramel apple pie
- Maple pear and ginger pie
- Bourbon pear crumble pie
- Bourbon pumpkin pie with pecan streusel
- Ginger pumpkin tart with maple pecan crust (vegan and gluten free)
- Pumpkin pie with speculoos cookie crust
- Pumpkin pie bars with chocolate chip gingersnap crust
- Bourbon pumpkin pie
- Pumpkin slab pie (for when you have a large group coming over, say for Thanksgiving, but don’t want to make 500 separate pies)
- Bruleed pumpkin pie one and two
- Maple pumpkin pie with salted pecan brittle
- Chocolate pumpkin pie
Chocolate, Nut and Other Miscellaneous Pies
- Salty honey pie
- Bourbon chocolate chip pecan pie
- Cider cheesecake pie
- Chocolate crusted pecan tart
- Chocolate chip cookie bottomed salted rum caramel tart with toasted marshmallow (phew, what a name)
- Skip the lemon for fall with this cranberry curd tart
- Tuscaloosa Tollhouse pie (aka chocolate chip cookie pie, and one of my favorite recipes in the Baked cookbook)
So, which pies are you making this holiday season?
Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6