For some of you, the minute Halloween is in the rearview mirror is the minute you break out your rolling pin, your crust cutters and pie punches, and your nutmeg. You are raring to go on Thanksgiving pies.
For others, maybe you need a little help. And boy, do we have you covered. We’ve got an online pie class with pros devoted to strategy and technique. We’ve got ready-to-go fillings, recipes galore, and all the gear you need. Let us break it down for you, in case it’s feeling overwhelming. Because honestly, this season should be… easy as pie.
First things first: Pies need crust. Here is our hands-on guide for any questions you might have. This is the recipe you want. Do a couple test pies; have your family love you. This is when you nail your pie crust recipe, then stash a few rounds of dough in the freezer, labeled. Boom: You just made Thanksgiving so much easier. If you’re the sort of learner who really prefers hands-on help, take our virtual Thanksgiving Pie Class on Monday, November 16th with Brian Hart Hoffman and Erin McDowell!
Once you have the swing of it, there’s something so Zen about rolling out pie dough. You muscle out the stress of your day as you roll. So make sure your gear is stuff you love to use. Our selection of olivewood rolling pins couldn’t be prettier. You can get a pastry blender, which you’ll need for evenly distributing butter into flour, to match. And although you could get away with one pie dish for a small Thanksgiving, there will be a time when you’ll want two. Whichever way you go, make sure yours is gorgeous.
And hey, if you care about aesthetics, you’re not going to want an au naturel crust. You’ll want yours pristine; our silicone pie crust shields can help. We’ve also got a lattice pie crust cutter with you in mind, and could-they-be-more-adorable autumnal pie crust cutouts. Watch this video for how to make your pie knock the socks off Instagram:
Now is when you just pack your cabinets with everything you crave in a pie. Coveting candied ginger? Use it to top your go-to pumpkin pie recipe. Chocolate chips? Sure; sprinkle each slice of our Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie (!) with it as you serve them. If you prefer pears to apples, we’ve got you covered on the recipe front.
As for perishables, look at your go-to recipes; are they calling for salted butter and unsalted? You can buy it now and freeze it. Same goes for chocolate. Think big at the farmers’ market and buy what looks good. In general, if you want it (i.e. sweet potato), we’ve got it in our recipe database. So shoot for the moon!
Repeat after us: It is 2020. This year necessitates shortcuts. Order a pie online. You could get the filling online, too. Our test kitchen tries every single beautiful little number on there. You could have Southern cherry pie for Thanksgiving, if that’s what floats your boat. There are no rules.
Smoked Pecan Pie is a best-of-both-worlds (one homemade; one shortcut!) scenario: You can use Texan smoked pecans from a jar to shave off prep time, add plenty of butter, sugar, and other pantry staples, and have a picture-perfect ready for the oven in just 25 minutes. One hour later, it’s time to break out the vanilla ice cream.
“Oh, thanks, I made it on the grill.” What the what? It’s true: This Cranberry and Lemon Curd Pie comes together beautifully on a grill (such as a Traeger). It lends a delicately smoky note to classic seasonal ingredients like ginger, pecan and cranberry. Lemon, butter, eggs and sugar make the ruby-hued cranberry curd silky, not intense, which is just what you want when these heavy-hitter flavors are on the table.
Oh, Ina. Ina Garten’s Thanksgiving menu is soup-to-nuts wonderful, and this Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream is no exception. In the Contessa’s words: “Pumpkin has a distinct squash flavor that you want to enhance without overpowering it. I’ve filled the prebaked crust with a lightly spiced pumpkin mixture that tastes more like a mousse than a dense custard.” Spiked with dark rum, grated orange, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, she avoids the “boring and dense” pumpkin pie you may have tried in the past. It’s simply incredible, and so very Ina.
Some of you just read the words “Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie,” ran to the window, and threw all their other Thanksgiving dessert recipes out of it. Intuitively, you know these ingredients will be marvelous together, and they are. Contributed by TODAY food contributor and chef Elizabeth Heiskell, whose friend Sarah brought the pie to a party, the recipe makes two pies. You’ll need them both for whatever event you’re throwing or attending. This one disappears in a heartbeat.