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. :)
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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