Thursday, November 20, 2008

Keeping Creative Kitchens: Thanksgiving Edition

I wish I had a picture of the turkey we hang every year...the paper turkey. It has it's appointed place on the door out to the deck. After sharing an obnoxiously huge and oh-so-yummy Thanksgiving dinner, we groan and moan and then we gather around the turkey (in a manner of speaking :)) and count our blessings. Each person is given a colored feather and spends about 10 minutes writing down the various things they are thankful for. And then with much laughter and a few tears we take turns sharing our feathers before taping them to the turkey. It's a simple but meaningful tradition and every year, I find myself reflecting on the past year with overwhelming gratitude to the Lord.

Now, I'll readily admit that I have never made an entire Thanksgiving dinner and never roasted a turkey. I do, however, make pies. Yes, I am the family pie baker for Thanksgiving. We never have less than four kinds and I almost never make less than 5 pies. I LOVE it. The annual traditions are pumpkin, apple (I like making apple crumb but we usually also have a fruit juice sweetened one) and blueberry-raspberry. Over the years, I've also made cranberry chess pie, cherry (one of my all-time favorites!) lemon meringue, french silk and I think, pecan and peach. French silk will probably become an annual tradition since it is my brother-in-law's favorite (are you reading this, Jeremy? :)).

This year, I have yet to decide on the final flavors - my mom is actually going to do the pumpkin since she has a lot of pumpkin and the fruit-juice sweetened apple. I should also mention that we always make fresh whipped cream to top our pies! I'm thinking I'll make cherry, french silk, pecan, and blueberry-raspberry. That will give us plenty of chioces! :) So in honor of this holiday, I will share a few pie recipes - unless otherwise noted, the recipes are my adaptations from Williams-Sonoma Pie & Tart Cookbook. I don't have pictures - I'll remedy that this year. :)

PIE CRUST
2 1/2 c. flour
2 Tb. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. cold butter
3 Tb. ice water

Stir together flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until well combined - no lg. pieces of butter. Add water and mix with a fork until dough pulls together. Makes 2 crusts and a little more.

BLUEBERRY-RASPBERRY PIE (double crust pie)
1 c. sugar
2 Tb. cornstarch
2 Tb. quick-cooking tapioca
1/2-1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
8 c. berries (I use frozen unsweetened blueberries & raspberries)
1 Tb. butter

Combine all ingredients except butter and pour into prepared crust in pie pan. Dot with butter and top with top crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until filling is thick and bubbly.

CHERRY PIE (double crust pie)
1 c. sugar
3 Tb. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
6 c. frozen sour cherries
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tb. butter

Combine all ingredients except the butter. Pour into prepared crust. Dot with butter and top with top crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 min. Reduce oven temp. to 350 degrees and continue to bake until crust is golden and filling is thick and bubbly, 40-50 min. longer.

FRENCH SILK PIE - I slightly altered the original recipe I found on allrecipes.com
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 c. white sugar
4 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs (because they are uncooked, I use organic, free range eggs from a trusted source - I also don't allow my kids to eat this pie :))
1 (9 in.) pie shell, baked

In the top of a double boiler, heat chocolate, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale yellow and very fluffy. Blend in the melted chocolate and vanilla. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, taking 5 minutes for each egg. Pour filling into baked pie shell. Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

I top with shaved chocolate (white & dark) and/or fresh whipped cream!

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Happy Thursday, everyone! Thanks for stopping by Keeping Creative Kitchens! I'm looking forward to all your great ideas, recipes, and resources. Feel free to grab the button for your post - you don't have to know me to play along and you don't have to participate to comment or ask questions! :)

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**There will be no Keeping Creative Kitchens next week - have a wonderful Thanksgiving! :)**

3 comments:

Andrew said...

This is the best pie crust recipe ever! And while the French Silk recipe takes a little while, it is definitely worth it!

stephanie said...

well, I liked your post and I love Thanksgiving (Noah said last week, if Christmas didn't include Dad's stockings, then Thanksgiving would be his favorite holiday), I just didn't have anything to contribute. I love pies and look forward to them every year. So, thanks for the recipes, because I know I'll be making them some time. You may be the official pie baker, but I actually have that knack myself as well. They may not be as pretty, but they are tasty.

Mama10EE said...

Those pies sound great! I am not a pie eater myself, but I love to make them and have been searching for a good crust recipe. I'll definitely be giving this one a try!