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Three Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

I have a fantasy surrounding Thanksgiving. The unfortunate thing is that I think this fantasy sounds expensive. I dream of owning a big house in the country (but let’s be real… not too far away from a Target and Starbucks. #priorities) with lot’s of bedrooms, a big living room with soft carpet and big couches that you just sink into, a grand kitchen, and a big dining room. Why? Because I want to host the ultimate Thanksgiving weekend. I want this to be my thing.  

I’m short a really big chunk of change to build my dream house, but a girl can dream!

Some day I’ll host Thanksgiving dinner, with or without my fantasy home. It’s not really about the house anyhow. It’s just fun to imagine…

The reality is just as good. I grew up eating Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in my grandparents small houses, full of laughter, TV trays, football on in the background (my Grandma Gray loved her football), a table and counter full of delicious food, crazy little dogs fighting and getting under everyone’s feet, loud games of Yahtzee or Rumikub battles and grandma making up her own rules, and so much love. These are the warm memories that shape my love of the holidays to this day.

Actually, I think reality is better than the fantasy.

THREE PERFECT PIES TO MAKE FOR THANKSGIVING

So, maybe you’re a dreamer like me with ideas of bringing perfect pies to your family Thanksgiving dinner. Or maybe you don’t cook at all are hoping to shock and impress your friends with homemade classic comfort food. Maybe you got stuck with the responsibility of the all-important Thanksgiving pies and you have no idea to begin. Whatever your reasons, I can promise you that the perfect pie is totally do-able!

We need to start with the most critical item: pie crust. 

So many people don’t like pie crust, so they pay it no mind and just buy one of those factory pressed-into-a-foil-pie-plate looking crusts in the freezer section. Kind of tragic, really!

Now, there is no shame in taking a short cut on the pie crust. You hear me? NO SHAME! Pillsbury makes the bomb pie crust that you just roll out and press into your pie pan. It rocks.

Still, if you want to experience the triumph of making the whole pie from scratch, or if you’re cheap like me and know you can make the pastry for half the price of buying it… let’s do this pie crust thing!

Three Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

Pro Parenting Tip: give your little one a few tablespoons of flour and a piece of dough and it will keep them busy while you bake. Works like a charm!

Three Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

Shaping your crust needn’t be a pain! I create a pretty crust edge like this:

  1. Lay out your pie crust in a 9-inch pie plate.
  2. No need to trim the edges – just fold them under, leaving a 1/4 inch lip above the edges of the pie plate.
  3. Lay two fingers on the edge of the pie crust, about 1 inch apart.
  4. Place the index finger of your other hand in the 1 in space between your fingers on the edge of the pie crust (see picture below) and gently pull the pie crust to make a scallop shape.  
  5. Repeat the process all the way around the edge of the pie crust.

3 Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

Another really simple method is to fold under the edges of the pie crust and then crimp them with a fork:

3 Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

If you want to just place your pastry in a pie plate and not mess with fancy edges, check out this pie plate (click the picture to view details):

My favorite thing to do with a pumpkin pie is to use a pie crust dough to cut out little shapes and decorate the crust:

3 Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

TIP: When making pies, you NEED a pie crust shield! This will avoid all the tears that will inevitably flow when your pie crust burns before the pie filling is even finished baking. I love this one:

3 Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving - The Perfect Pie Crust
Serves 32
A recipe for a deliciously flaky pie crust. Makes pie crust for 4 single crust or 2 double crust pies.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
142 calories
12 g
0 g
10 g
2 g
2 g
31 g
75 g
0 g
1 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
31g
Servings
32
Amount Per Serving
Calories 142
Calories from Fat 86
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
15%
Saturated Fat 2g
12%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 75mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 12g
4%
Dietary Fiber 0g
2%
Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
0%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 1/2 cup shortening
  4. 3/4 cup cold water, divided
Instructions
  1. 1. In medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt
  2. 2. Cut in the shortening by hand using pastry blender until the shortening and flour is the size of small peas.
  3. 3. Sprinkle cold water 2 tablespoons at a time over the dough, tossing with fork until the pastry forms a ball.
  4. 4. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and shape into balls. Wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  5. 5. Roll each pastry ball out on a floured surface to desired size and thickness.
beta
calories
142
fat
10g
protein
2g
carbs
12g
more
All in All http://carissashaw.com/
My next tip is a really big one for me: remove the chalazae from the egg yolk and beat the eggs well.

“WHAT?” you ask? The chalazae is the white part that is connected to the egg yolk. It’s completely edible. The problem is that in custard pies, it sometimes doesn’t break down well. The other egg problem is that when the eggs are not beaten before other ingredients are added, they may not incorporate well. WHY does all of this matter? On more than one occasion I’ve chomped down on some rubbery mass resembling scrambled eggs in a pumpkin pie. AW-FUL! So now I am a serious perfectionist when it comes to making sure my eggs are well incorporated into my recipes.

three-pies-you-need-to-know-how-to-make-for-thanksgiving-13

Now that we’ve discussed some of my favorite pie making tips, let’s get to the recipes for the three perfect pies to make for Thanksgiving!

PERFECT PUMPKIN PIE

Pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving is a MUST! When you purchase canned pumpkin puree for your pie, be sure to get 100% pure, unseasoned pumpkin. There is also a version that is already seasoned for pie, but it’s really better to add your own seasonings.

Speaking of seasonings, my recipe calls for cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, but you can substitute 1 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice instead.

3 Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

*Drool*

3 Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving 3 Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

Perfect Pumpkin Pie
Serves 8
The classic pumpkin pie
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 5 min
292 calories
39 g
60 g
13 g
7 g
5 g
155 g
340 g
25 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
155g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 292
Calories from Fat 114
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
20%
Saturated Fat 5g
23%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 60mg
20%
Sodium 340mg
14%
Total Carbohydrates 39g
13%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 25g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
169%
Vitamin C
5%
Calcium
15%
Iron
10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 large eggs
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  7. 1 can (15 oz.) pure pumpkin
  8. 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
  9. 1 unbaked pie crust (to fit a 9-inch pie pan)
Instructions
  1. 1. In a medium bowl, use a whisk to beat eggs for about 1 minute.
  2. 2. Whisk in the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves and beat well.
  3. 3. Stir in the pumpkin then gradually stir in the evaporated milk.
  4. 4. Pour the pumpkin mixture into a prepared, uncooked pie crust.
  5. 5. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes then decrease the heat to 350 and bake for another 50 minutes.
  6. 6. Cool the pie at room temperature for 1 hour and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
beta
calories
292
fat
13g
protein
7g
carbs
39g
more
All in All http://carissashaw.com/
3 Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

PERFECT PECAN PIE

I’m a big pecan pie fan. It’s a really perfect classic pie for a Thanksgiving feast!

3 Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

Perfect Pecan Pie
Serves 8
The classic pecan pie
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
518 calories
71 g
77 g
26 g
6 g
5 g
132 g
176 g
37 g
0 g
19 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
132g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 518
Calories from Fat 223
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26g
40%
Saturated Fat 5g
27%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 77mg
26%
Sodium 176mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 71g
24%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 37g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
3%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 eggs
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 cup light corn syrup
  4. 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  5. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  6. 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecan halves
  7. 1 unbaked pie crust for a 9-inch pie pan
Instructions
  1. 1. In a medium bowl, beat eggs with a whisk for about 1 minute.
  2. 2. Mix in the corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla, then stir in pecans.
  3. 3. Pour filling into pie crust.
  4. 4. Bake at 350 for 70 minutes.
  5. 5. Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.
beta
calories
518
fat
26g
protein
6g
carbs
71g
more
All in All http://carissashaw.com/
3 Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

PERFECT APPLE CRUMB PIE

Apple pie… oh, apple pie! There is nothing more happy than the smell of an apple pie baking in the oven. I have warm memories of my mom baking an apple pie on cold fall evenings and waiting so patiently to claim the first slice.

I can’t reproduce my mom’s apple pie, so I’ve gone a different direction and perfected my own apple crumb pie. I think this recipe tastes like something a grandma would make.

3 Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

3 Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

Perfect Apple Crumb Pie
Serves 8
A wonderful apple crumb pie recipe. Just like grandma would make!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
55 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
55 min
357 calories
63 g
31 g
12 g
3 g
7 g
190 g
9 g
43 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
190g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 357
Calories from Fat 105
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
18%
Saturated Fat 7g
37%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 31mg
10%
Sodium 9mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 63g
21%
Dietary Fiber 4g
15%
Sugars 43g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
3%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Filling
  1. 8 cups cored, peeled, and thinly sliced Granny Smith apples
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Topping
  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
Instructions
  1. 1. In large bowl, toss together the filling ingredients. Pour into a 9-inch pie crust.
  2. 2. In medium bowl, use pastry blender or fingers to mix together the topping ingredients until a crumb forms. Sprinkle evenly over top of pie.
  3. 3. Bake at 400 for 45 to 55 minutes or until pie crust and crumb topping are deep golden brown and filling begins to bubble.
beta
calories
357
fat
12g
protein
3g
carbs
63g
more
All in All http://carissashaw.com/
 So, there you have it! Three perfect pies to make for Thanksgiving!

Enjoy, friends!

Three Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving Three Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

Willow approved…

3 Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

 

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1 Comment on Three Perfect Pies to Make for Thanksgiving

  1. Terri
    October 30, 2016 at 6:28 am (11 months ago)

    These pies all loo amazing. I cannot make pies but now im tempted try again

    Reply

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