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What kind of pie can I make?

Sir Gawain Nov 7, 2003 01:51 PM

I'll be baking a pie for Thanksgiving. However, the ingrates (henceforth, "they") who will be consuming it have told me that apple pie is "a bit boring" for them (even though mine is excellent). Also off the list are pumpkin (don't like it), pear (too dull), pecan (unh-unh, don't like that one either).

I know they like key lime pie and cherry pie, but those are anything but seasonal and Thanksgiving-y.

Maybe I don't have enough imagination, but what other kinds of pie have you made that would make sense at this time of year and that are EXCELLENT??? I am also interested in creative updates on apple pie, such as a sour cream apple pie.

No, I don't want to buy it - I want to make it.


  1. k
    kjhart Nov 7, 2003 02:13 PM

    How about something with cranberries and other fruit (or nuts)? Here's a link to several recipes from Epicurious. Though I'm afraid I can't vouch for any of them.

    Link: http://www.epicurious.com/s97is.vts?a...

    3 Replies
    1. re: kjhart
      Parrot Mom Nov 7, 2003 03:15 PM

      This is the apple/cranberry that caught my eye on Epicurious and I'm making too..


      For topping
      1 cup all purpose flour
      1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
      1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
      3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

      For filling
      4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
      (about 5 cups)
      1 16-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce
      3/4 cup sugar
      1 teaspoon cornstarch

      1 purchased 9-inch deep-dish frozen pie shell, unthawed
      Vanilla ice cream

      Make topping:
      Mix first 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips
      until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.

      Make filling:
      Place baking sheet in oven and preheat to 350°F. Toss apples,
      cranberry sauce, sugar and cornstarch in large bowl until well blended.

      Transfer apple-cranberry filling to frozen pie shell, mounding in center.
      Sprinkle topping over pie. Set pie on baking sheet in oven. Bake until
      apples are tender, juices bubble thickly and crust is golden, about 1
      hour 10 minutes. Transfer to rack. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm with
      vanilla ice cream.

      1. re: Parrot Mom
        Caitlin McGrath Nov 9, 2003 05:55 PM

        I've been making this pie for several years (obviously, one needn't use frozen pie crust) and it is very good. A tasty option is to add some chopped walnuts or pecans to the crumb topping mix.

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
          jen kalb Nov 9, 2003 10:11 PM

          this is virtually the same - except for the crust it is the same - as a cranberry apple crisp which Richard Sax published quite a number of years ago. I make it (the crisp_ frequently at holiday time and it is excellent. good and tart, too.

    2. j
      josephsm Nov 7, 2003 02:14 PM

      I'm making the Epicurious Triple Chocolate Pudding Pie for my Turkey Day. It's easy to make and has created quite a buzz from the people I've already tried it out on.

      Next time I make it, I will grease the pie plate, as the crust has tended to stick. I just spread the Cappuccino cream across the top of the pie so I don't need to lug more than one dish.

      Link: http://www.epicurious.com/run/recipe/...

      1. k
        KP Nov 7, 2003 02:20 PM

        Easy. Sweet potato or yam pie.

        2 Replies
        1. re: KP
          Sir Gawain Nov 7, 2003 02:36 PM

          Forgot to mention that they don't like THAT either. But thanks for the thought.

          1. re: Sir Gawain
            Sandy Nov 10, 2003 07:42 AM

            Don't like sweet potato pie? They're worse than ingrates, they're barbarians.

            Try a vinegar pie (it's much better than it sounds). It's much like chess pie, but I prefer it. Avoid the ones that contain odds and ends, such as raisins - it uses what is basically a custard filling.

            Or possibly make an Amish funeral pie (also much better than it sounds).

        2. j
          JudiAU Nov 7, 2003 02:23 PM

          Gourmet or Bon App. ran a FABULOUS recipe for apple-cranberry pie with cornmeal pastry pie recipe a few years ago.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JudiAU
            kjhart Nov 7, 2003 02:56 PM

            The recipe for this was the first one that popped up in the Epicurious search I posted below. It sounds great.

          2. w
            Wisco Nov 7, 2003 02:30 PM

            Buttermilk pie or chess pie? Easy to make and good. I use a recipe from a Farm Journal cookbook that's similar to the one below.

            Link: http://southernfood.about.com/library...

            1. m
              Maxine Nov 7, 2003 02:34 PM

              Your idea gave me this idea: sour cream raisin.

              Is it too early for mincemeat?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Maxine
                Caitlin McGrath Nov 7, 2003 02:46 PM

                My mother always made mincemeat pie for Thanksgiving.

              2. j
                Jenny Nov 7, 2003 02:56 PM

                How about a pumpkin cheesecake? That might shake up your guests' preconception of pumpkin pie enough and also keep the dessert seasonal. Try to find a recipe that keeps the two separate so anyone who doesn't like either part can just eat the other part.

                1. k
                  Karl S. Nov 7, 2003 03:15 PM

                  I myself would choose (real) mincemeat, but for a bigger crowd pleaser, pear-cranberry is quite classic for the holiday, since we are still in prime fresh pear season (oh, those Comice pears....).

                  1. b
                    Browniebaker Nov 7, 2003 03:30 PM

                    I second the motion for chess or buttermilk pie. Great for a table of picky ones. I've never met anyone who didn't like chess pie. Even the persons who have never heard of chess pie, succumb when they taste it.

                    1. e
                      em Nov 7, 2003 03:32 PM

                      Wow, they don't like pumpkin, pear, or pecan! They sure are picky and you are a lot nicer than me. I would make what I liked. I did make an apple pie with sour cream a few years ago, it was excellent. I don't know where the recipe is, but I'm sure I found it online.

                      My mother always made one pumpkin, one pecan, and one lemon chess pie. Maybe, they would like lemon chess.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: em
                        em Nov 7, 2003 03:46 PM

                        I forgot, I made a White Chocolate Almond-pecan pie last year. I was trying to do something a little different. It was really good. Maybe, you could substitute walnuts for the pecans.

                        4 eggs, beaten
                        1 cup light corn syrup
                        2/3 cup sugar
                        3 tablespoons melted butter
                        1 tablespoon vanilla extract
                        1 tablespoon almond extract(or less to taste)
                        1 tablespoon chocolate extract
                        6 ounces white chocolate, melted
                        1 cup pecan halves
                        1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
                        9-inch unbaked pie shell
                        Combine first 8 ingredients, beat with an electric mixer until blended. STir pecans and almonds into mixture. Pour mixture into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

                      2. d
                        DanaB Nov 7, 2003 03:37 PM

                        What about Banana Cream Pie? I've got a link to the recipe for the banana cream pie from the Liberty Cafe in SF, which is amazing. There are many cream pie choices you could go for: i.e. coconut cream pie, chocolate cream pie, etc., although my favorite is definitely banana.

                        You could also make a mud pie (coffee ice cream/fudge) or a peanut butter pie.

                        If you want to spurge on berries, you could always do a blueberry, strawberry or raspberry pie, but those are cheaper and better in the summertime when the berries are in season.

                        One vote against chess or buttermilk pie, although it's okay, I'm not a big fan. Doesn't strike me as special enough for a special occasion.

                        Link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: DanaB
                          Jujubee Nov 7, 2003 03:42 PM

                          Mmmmh, good idea. You could take it a step further and do chocolate banana cream pie. Basically, banana cream pie but with a chocolate layer on the crust before the banana cream filling.

                        2. c
                          Cricket Nov 7, 2003 03:38 PM

                          If you want a show stopper try this. I know, I know it's Emerils, but it's wonderful.


                          Link: http://www.wchstv.com/gmarecipes/eban...

                          1. s
                            Shaebones Nov 7, 2003 03:50 PM

                            For Thanksgiving EVERY year, my mother in law makes one apple pie, one pumpkin pie ......and one lemon morange (sp) pie.

                            1. e
                              Emme Nov 7, 2003 04:03 PM

                              Well, since they don't like pumpkin pie, I'll venture a guess that they might not like my butternut squash and maple roasted chestnut puree pie.

                              Instead, I'll throw in a vote for a Rhubarb Pie. There's a number of them on epicurious, just search for rhubarb, obviously.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Emme
                                divstudent Nov 7, 2003 09:34 PM

                                They might not like the butternut squash and chestnut pie, but I sure would! Can you post the recipe please?

                                1. re: Emme
                                  wally Nov 8, 2003 01:08 AM

                                  Where would you get rhubarb at this time of year? Is is available frozen?

                                  1. re: wally
                                    Emme Nov 9, 2003 12:11 PM

                                    Wasn't thinking about availability :) maybe frozen though.

                                    I'll work on getting my squash and chestnut pie up. I make it kind of slapdash, a little of this a little of that...

                                2. m
                                  Missy P. Nov 7, 2003 05:46 PM

                                  They asked for something different: Persimmon pie! There's a recipe in Rose Levy Berenbaum's Pie and Pastry Bible.

                                  1. j
                                    Joel Teller Nov 7, 2003 05:51 PM

                                    How about quince pie? (make it like apple pie).
                                    And put in some of those dried cranberries.

                                    We have had some success with a tart made with Fuyu persimmons and kiwi fruit. This is the kind of tart where you bake the crust blind (empty), then when it's cool spread a layer of cooled pastry cream, then slices of Fuyu persimmon (the apple-textured persimmon, the crisp ones) and kiwi, in a nice pattern. So the fruit is not cooked. If you make it a long time ahead, you will have to glaze the interior of the crust or the pastry cream will make it soggy. The crust can be made very rich and buttery since it does not have to hold up anything.

                                    1. l
                                      lynn Nov 7, 2003 06:01 PM

                                      i've made this apple-custard tart every thatnksgiving for the past 30 years. the 11-tart pan is exactly the right size and depth as this tart is very rich. am just packing up a care package for my nephew's first thanksgiving away from home -- recipe, tart tin and spices.

                                      pre-heat oven to 400-degrees line an 11-inch tart pan (with a removable bottom)with pastry. peel and core two good-sized granny smith apples (to do it with pears, it would probably take three). slice the fruit paper thin, and lay in the pan in a spiral.

                                      mix together 1/3 cup sugar (white, brown or maple) with 1 teaspoon each, freshly ground nutmeg, cinnamon. sprinkle mixture over the fruit and place in oven until the sugar starts to caramelize -- about 10 minutes.

                                      mix together 1 cup heavy cream, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. pour over the fruit and sugar. lower oven to 375, and bake until custard is set -- about 35 minutes.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: lynn
                                        Liloo Nov 7, 2003 11:53 PM

                                        Wow - this sounds great. I'm saving this recipe!

                                      2. p
                                        Pat Goldberg Nov 7, 2003 06:40 PM

                                        Dear Sir:

                                        How about doing something Czech? I am specifically thinking of the sour-cherry with almond thing I saw in the Kaffeehaus cookbook that you convinced me to get.

                                        And while you are at it, tell them that goose is more traditional than turkey for Thanksgiving. My niece took her class to Plimouth Plantation shortly before Thanksgiving a few years ago, and they (the folks at the Plantations, that is) were going to have goose, not turkey. She impressed the class by explaining she would have her choice of birds !

                                        Pat G.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Pat Goldberg
                                          Sir Gawain Nov 9, 2003 10:54 PM

                                          Ha ha, dear Pat... we're having DUCK with RED CABBAGE!!! So I want to do at least something American...

                                          And aren't you glad you have that book!

                                        2. s
                                          sbp Nov 7, 2003 07:28 PM

                                          I recently made a pear gallette where I first poached the pears in a Quarts du Chaume (Loire Valley dessert wine). The wine is very high in sugar content to begin with, and after the pears were only slightly poached, I removed them (didn't want the filling to be mush). I then reduced the pear/wine liquid to a syrupy consistency -- caramel sauce made out of pear juice and dessert wine (unbelievably tasty). The gallette was addictive. (I also brush the rolled out pastry dough with a mix of melted white chocolate and butter -- this completely seals it and prevents sogginess).

                                          1. s
                                            Sweet Pea Nov 7, 2003 09:12 PM

                                            "ingrates", eh? And you still want to bake, bless your kind heart. I'd go for the chess aka buttermilk pie. It's wonderfully rich and not a lot of time.

                                            1. d
                                              divstudent Nov 7, 2003 09:38 PM

                                              Well, you could do twists on apple pie--make a Tarte Tatin instead, for example, or a traditional English variation on apple pie, which is apple pie with a cheddar crust. Yum.

                                              There's always Shoofly pie, one of my favorites. You could make a crisp instead of a pie (or does it absolutely have to be pie?). Last year I made a mango-nectarine crumb pie that was very good--I admit, I used frozen fruit, but thawed and drained it worked well.

                                              1. c
                                                Colleen Nov 7, 2003 10:22 PM

                                                What about a butterscotch pie? With a generous topping of whipping cream, it's a thing of beauty. And the butterscotch/caramel flavour fits in with the Thanksgiving theme.

                                                This is the recipe I use. Except for tempering the eggs, it's fairly foolproof.

                                                BUTTERSCOTCH CREAM PIE

                                                One baked 9" pie shell
                                                3/4 cup brown sugar
                                                1/4 cup butter
                                                1 + 1/2 cups milk
                                                1/2 cup all-purpose flour
                                                1/2 cup milk
                                                2 eggs, slightly beaten
                                                1/2 tsp. vanilla
                                                1 cup whipping cream, whipped

                                                Combine brown sugar and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

                                                Add 1-1/2 cups of milk (syrup will harden, but will re-dissolve). Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butterscotch has dissolved. Remove from heat.

                                                Place flour in a small bowl and add the 1/2 cup milk. Beat until smooth.

                                                Add a small amount of the hot milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix well. Add to the remaining mixture in the saucepan. Return to the heat and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until there is no taste of raw flour--about 5 minutes.

                                                A spoonful at a time, beating during and after each addition, add part of the cooked mixture to the slightly beaten eggs and mix well. Add to the remaining mixture in the saucepan and cook one minute. Remove from the heat and add vanilla. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then pour into pie shell. Chill until set--about 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream.

                                                A variation on butterscotch pie that my husband adores is to put a layer of sliced bananas (brushed VERY lightly with lemon juice to prevent browning) on top of the butterscotch filling before topping with the whipping cream. I also like to substitute rum flavouring or a little dark rum for the vanilla.

                                                Taking that theme one step further, there's the French-Canadian "Tarte au Sucre," or Sugar Pie (similar to Shoofly Pie--another idea). It's made either with maple sugar or maple syrup, and is VERY sweet. Let me know if you need a recipe.

                                                Another thought--Raisin Pie (basically raisins in syrup in a double-crust pie). Although I like another person's suggestion--Sour Cream Raisin Pie--yum! Rhubarb Custard Pie is also good.

                                                1. s
                                                  saucyknave Nov 8, 2003 12:37 AM

                                                  Lemon tart is always refreshing. The online Saveur recipe is a good one. Though next time, I'm going to try one with the lemon slices.

                                                  For something more seasonal, a frangipane garnished with fans of red wine poached pears. (port's good) Beranbaum has a recipe.

                                                  1. b
                                                    Browniebaker Nov 8, 2003 06:58 AM

                                                    Sweet potato pie? Many who don't like pumpkin pie nevertheless like this. It's a Southern classic. The taste and texture are different from those in pumpkin pie. Just substitute boiled, mashed (or puréed) sweet potato for an equal amount of pumpkin puree in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe.

                                                    1. t
                                                      The Turtle (Bay) Dove Nov 8, 2003 07:31 AM

                                                      How about maple, fig, marsala pie? I usually find Cooking Light's dessert recipes pretty mediocre, but I made this one a couple of years ago and really liked it - in fact, I think I might make it for Thanksgiving this year. You can find it on their website, but I don't think a link would help because you have to get a code from the magazine to sign in (or connect through AOL).

                                                      If you go through the work of buying a copy of the magazine to get the recipe, my memory is that I used my basic pie crust recipe but thought a denser, buttery, tart-type crust would taste better than a flaky pie crust. Also, because it (not suprisingly) is fairly sweet, though delicious, you can't eat more than a small slice so I would certainly want to serve it with some sort of cream accompaniment - probably just vanilla ice cream. Mmmmm. Can't wait for Thanksgiving now! --Joanna

                                                      1. c
                                                        Caitlin Wheeler Nov 9, 2003 04:53 PM

                                                        I made an apple pie this year with a cheddar cheese crust that had almost no cinnamon and was baked in a springform pan. The recipe is in Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess, and is excellent, if you double the pastry amount.

                                                        What about a Mock Apple Pie? Made with soda crackers flavored with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Osgood Pie, Peanut Butter Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, and Parsnip pie also come to mind.

                                                        1. c
                                                          Caitlin Wheeler Nov 9, 2003 04:53 PM

                                                          I made an apple pie this year with a cheddar cheese crust that had almost no cinnamon and was baked in a springform pan. The recipe is in Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess, and is excellent, if you double the pastry amount.

                                                          What about a Mock Apple Pie? Made with soda crackers flavored with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Osgood Pie, Peanut Butter Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, and Parsnip pie also come to mind.

                                                          1. s
                                                            Sir Gawain Nov 9, 2003 11:00 PM

                                                            Holy mole, thank you all! I knew I would unleash a monster of a thread with this inquiry... Thank you, thank you! My Thanksgiving will DEFINITELY feature a pie, but which one I still do not know... buttermilk? pear/cranberry? persimmon? Hmmmm..., maybe I'll have to do a test-bake next week, as I've never had any of these.

                                                            Thanks, you're the best!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Sir Gawain
                                                              countrycrafted Aug 17, 2010 10:31 AM

                                                              I'm a little late to the party, but I was wondering what you wound up making. I would have suggested Mincemeat. :)

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