All the classics, twists on the classics and brand new pie and tart ideas for the holiday season!
If you're looking for delicious pie recipes for your holiday spread Michele Di Pietro and I have you covered! Everyone enjoys a taste of the classics like pumpkin or pecan pie, but there are lots of ways to snazz them up - and add some new pie recipes to your repertoire.
1. Apple pie
Apple pie is the first pie I ever learned to make and it's something I serve year-round. It's especially delicious during the holidays and one of the best loved Holiday Classics. I always use butter in my crust because let's face it, who doesn't love a buttery crust?
2. Minnie Miller's Mississippi pecan pie
I collect a lot of cookbooks and I've found some delicious and unique recipes in some of the ultra-regional cookbooks I've collected that have been put together by local organizations like schools and clubs. I have a cookbook from the Rome Italy Baptist Church, the Three Rivers cookbook from Pittsburgh PA, one from Richmond Virginia, another from the Chipola River in Florida.
Come On In is my favorite cookbook of this genre by far and it's one of my most used cookbooks of all. It was published by the Junior League of Jacksonville Mississippi in 1991 and it's still available for purchase online.
There's all kinds of info in the book's side columns like: “clearing up the clarified butter question”, and my favorite pecan pie recipe: Minnie Miller's Mississippi Pecan Pie.
3. Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie
This recipe is a specialty of Michele Di Pietro's sister. Give this delicious recipe a try and tell me if the chocolate twist on a pecan pie classic isn't positively amazing?
Last year I found this delicious recipe created by the Food and Wine editors and I just love it! A delicious blend of sugar, maple syrup and honey and a dash of apple brandy that adds a hint of caramel apple flavor to the scrumptious and nutty toasted pecans. A great recipe to add to your holiday pie repertoire!
5. Pumpkin Pie
Back when I still lived in the United States many years ago I used canned pumpkin to make my pie filling. I used the pumpkin pie filling recipe that was right on the can and I saved that recipe and use it every year; it's delicious!
These days I make my pumpkin filling from scratch. I put big slices of pumpkin - seeds removed - skin side up on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350°F until the pumpkin is just tender. Next I scoop out the filling from the skin and process it until it's smooth and creamy. Since there's a lot of liquid in pumpkin I then slow-cook the pumpkin over a low flame until it's nice and thick. Cool and then use just as you would canned pumpkin.
There are lots of delicious variations to a pumpkin pie and one that I love is chef Joanne Chang's fabulous recipe:
A great marriage of two delectable classics, pumpkin and pecans.
This is another delicious way to put pumpkin and pecans together in your pie but here the pecans are in the delicious streusel. This pie is a creation of Robert Stehling and it's one of my favorites.
Sweet potatoes and other squash like butternut are beautiful substitutes in just about any pumpkin recipe. This year I have an abundance of butternut squash from my garden so I've used butternut squash to replace pumpkin in my classic pie recipe.
Sweet potatoes are scrumptious and I use them constantly as a roast vegetables side, in soups, you name it. Nik Sharma created a delicious pie recipe I think you'll love:
The recipe uses butter, dark brown sugar and ground almond flour for the crust. The filling is loaded with delicious sweet potatoes and a dark beer. I use Guinness Stout but Nik used Negra Modelo in his recipe. Also in the filling is dark brown sugar, honey and some pie spices like ginger, cardamom and turmeric. A truly unique recipe but absolutely delicious!
Yotam Ottolenghi is one of those cookbook authors whose books are not just recipe collections but works of art. His photographs are exquisite and I love to flip through his books, read the recipes and enjoy the pleasure of everything he creates. It's almost satisfying enough to just read the recipes… but not quite!
If you love desserts then you'll love his book Sweet, full of delicious and clever recipes. One of my favorites from this cookbook is his
There are lots of great fruit pies you can make and another of my favorites is this one:
This recipe is from Midwest Living and "Lisa Ludwinski of Sister Pie in Detroit says this sweet-tart recipe, which she shares in her new Sister Pie cookbook, might be her all-time favorite--especially served with vanilla ice cream."
11. Streusel-Topped Pear Pie
This is another delicious fruit pie you'll find in the Come On In cookbook from the Junior League in Mississippi. It's super delicious, made with fresh pears, and the streusel topping includes grated cheddar cheese - a unique and scrumptious pie!
If you're cooking for a crowd sometimes you're better off serving hand pies or mini tarts. I've got you covered with some great recipes and one of my favorites is from Seattle High 5 Pie:
The owner Dani Cone says these are perhaps the number one favorite and she makes them available year-round, and not just during the fall season. Mainly because there's an outcry from High 5 Pie customers when they're taken off the menu!
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There are two tart recipes in Ottolenghi's Sweet that are definite musts to include in your Thanksgiving mini-tart recipe repertoire:
"Named after the snowy mountain they resemble, Mont Blanc tarts—with their white meringue, whipped cream and tan-colored chestnut purée—can often taste more fabulous than they look, with all that beige and white. We wanted to see if we could improve their visual appeal—bring in some more contrast by playing around with the colors, for example—but after various experiments (dark chocolate pastry, a lighter-colored purée), we were beginning to think that the timetested route up this particular mountain was the only winning one.
It was a moment of pure synchronicity, then, that at one of our weekly pastry meetings there were various things lying around that came together in a flash: empty tart shells, candied pecans, an open can of chestnut spread. At the same time, Helen and Yotam both grabbed an empty shell, filled it with the chestnut spread, spooned over smooth whipped cream and added the element that had been missing—the candied pecans—which brought the crunch and the look needed. There’s a metaphor in there, we’re sure, about climbing mountains, not giving up and things tasting all the sweeter when you’ve had to work just a little bit harder to earn them."
Yet another genius Ottolenghi recipe creation are these:
I am a fig aficionado and I adore pistachios so this recipe speaks to all my favorites! This year for the first time I dried some figs from our trees, and froze some too, and was excited to create this luscious tartlet recipe. It's a great one to make at Thanksgiving because figs and chestnuts really speak to the season. These tartlets are so unusual and flavorful you'll be a star with your guests when you serve them!
Perfect Flaky Pie Crust
There are lots of great flaky pie crust recipes: just take a look at all the recipes above. There's one KitchenAid tool that simplifies pie crust making and almost guarantees your crust will be flaky and it's the Pastry Beater. It's a quick and easy tool that cuts butter (or another fat) into flour so you end up with a wonderful crumbly crust.
More Thanksgiving Holiday Recipes:
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