Need Dessert for Thanksgiving Dinner
Hi All. I am going to friend's Thanksgiving (third year in a row) and want to bring a dessert that is not a pie as I don't want to compete with Aunt who brings all the pies. I believe I brought Epicurious' Lemon creme brulee tart last year but looking for something new. Any suggestions? (Has anyone besides me made the hazelnut crusted tart with cranberry and apricot from Epicurious? I loved it but found the dough impossible to work with therefore don't feel like attempting it again!)THANKS EVERYONE!!!
Good for you! I always try to have an apple pie and pumpkin in some alternative apparition. I like pumpkin cheesecake (I can give you an excellent recipe or there are loads of the on the net). I also like pumpkin bread pudding. It's excellent and I'm happy to share that recipe too. But it entails baking a pumpkin yeast bread (which is excellent) and then the bread pudding.
Let me know if you want any of the recipes. I can e-mail them. I'd simply post them but Chowhound deletes them and sends me pointed little notes.
hi rainey! I've been deleted, but as yet no little notes. I think a list of ingredients is OK, but instructions MUST be paraphrased. I think, (as you do?) that a straightforward acknowledgement is best.
4chowpups--I would bring a Tres Leches Cake--I use the recipe from "Monica" at the Allrecipes site. It will be a revelation to some guests and an old favorite of others. Use after pumpkin and chocolate have been covered, of course!
This is one we've been enjoying in my family for 10 years.
• 32 ounce cream cheese
• 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
• 1/4 cup all purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon orange peel, grated
• 5 eggs
• 16 ounce pumpkin puree, NOT pie filling
Directions paraphrased by rainey:
With an electric mixer, mix all ingredients except the eggs. Mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of bowl a few times.
With the mixer off, add two eggs. Turn mixer on medium speed and blend together with cream cheese mixture. Add the remaining eggs, one at a time with mixer running. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing.
Pour mixture into a buttered and floured 9 inch springform pan.
Bake in a 250 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours. When the center is set (general movement when the pan is jiggled but no trace of ripples), gently tuck crust back inside the edge of pan and let cool in oven with door open. The cake will shrink as it cools and you don't want it to get hung up on edges suspended on the rim of the pan.
Best if served the day after it's baked.
Notes: My adaptation of this Orlando Sentinel recipe is our Thanksgiving alternative to pumpkin pie. Can be prepared crustless (as the original from an Orlando bakery was) or with a ground nut or cookie crumb crust. Cinnamon glazed nuts or slices of candied ginger dipped in white chocolate make a nice garnish.
A half recipe can be baked in a 7" springform pan. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours. This half size is great for Thanksgiving when there are other desserts to choose from.
I made this caramel coated pumpkin flan a few years ago. It was a huge hit. The best was when I served it because it slid right out of the dish. It looked so impressive but it was really a minimal effort.
Also great was this pumpkin cheesecake with a bruleed top.
The difficult thing was to find a pan big enough for the water bath. My fit almost exactly so I had some slight problems when replenishing the water. But, it still tasted great.
I'm from the school of 'can't have enough desserts'. Each year we do one cheesecake (always different each year anything from lemon with a burgundy sauce to brown sugar with a whisky sauce), something pumpkin-y (pumpkin crumble - a.k.a. 'pumpkin crack' - is great. I have a recipe if you want it), one fruit pie and chocolate truffles.
I have a package of Dufour puff pastry begging to be used and as regulars know I am on a quince binge. So a quince tarte tatin will be made and probably some small pear mincemeat tartlettes.I made the pear mincemeat earlier and it has been ripening. There will only be 4 of us so I have to watch out about too many leftovers but I still have 6 lovely quinces to use up and the season is so short I can't let them go to waste
Thanks for the fantastic responses thus far...you all are terrific!! I love the idea of bread pudding (one of my favs.) but honestly, don't know if I have it in me to make the bread etc. as I am making lots of other goodies too...and as usual, CANDY, you make me wish I were coming to your house!!! I've yet to use quinces, mainly due to being a chicken that something I make will stink and I'll waste the whole thing, but I know I'll be trying soon!!
Question for cheesecake makers: I've only made one pumpkin cheesecake at a girls only dinner for new divorcees, me being one of them. The cooks (myself and friend) got so drunk on a fine bottle of champagne (we are incredible light weights I might add)that I never got to sample the cheesecake!! Oops, the question is this: are there any rules to follow so they come out well? Is cracking a common issue? what about water baths etc.???
Waterbath yes. To avoid cracking, avoid extreme temperature changes so don't pull it out of the oven right away. When it's almost done, I crack the oven, put a wooden spoon in the door, and leave it for an hour until the oven cools. I have also baked a cheesecake overnight at a low temperature. It was really creamy and no cracks.
If it does crack, cover it with chocolate ganache.
I said above that I am mystified by the wish to complicate cheesecake with water baths. Never found it necessary. Likewise all the preoccupation with cracks. They're more or less inevitable but also completely insignificant. If you bake your cheesecake 24 hours in advance, the texture will even out and the crack with "repair" itself.
Cheesecakes are among the easiest things to do and you get an awful lot of bang for your buck whether it's a plain standard with fresh fruit (gloppy toppings make me want to retch) or a sophisticated flavored/marbled beauty.
OK. I hear you, but I'm pretty happy with the results I've had for 35 years when I bake a day ahead and let it mellow. I don't mind effort in the least. I just seriously don't think it's necessary. I'll try it some time just to see if the results improve but I'll be surprised if it does.
Is someone bringing pumpkin pie? If they are maybe pumpkin cheesecake is too much pumpkin. What about cranberry cheesecake? I was trying to find a recipe from OceanSpray that I used, but it doesn't seem to be on the website. They did have this cranberry-pear cake that looks good.
re: Marion Morgenthal
Here you go: (BTW, I've also made this recipe up and baked mini-cheesecakes with it for holiday gifts, and the small size also turns out beautifully).
White chocolate cranberry cheesecake
Yields 10" spring form pan
2 cups ginger snap cookie crumbs
1 stick butter melted
Combine the cookie and butter thoroughly. Press firmly into the bottom of a 10" spring form pan.
1/4 cup sour cream
3 lbs cream cheese softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb white chocolate chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp butter
8 oz dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat the heavy cream and butter together over medium heat. Pour heated cream over white chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar until smooth. Slowly add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla. Slowly add the white chocolate mixture, continue to beat until thoroughly combined. Fold in the dried cranberries. Pour over the ginger snap crust. Bake approximately one hour. Cheesecake is done when it only slightly jiggles when tapped.
If I am doing dessert after such a heavy meal as Thansgiving dinner, I like to do something with lemon it seems lighter and fresher somehow.. I am fond of doing a lemon pudding cake with whipped cream and raspberrries, or a lemon layer cake - lemon chiffon layers spread with seedless raspberry or red currant jelly, then filled with lemon curd. Both the curd and the chiffon cake recipe come from an old edition of the Fannie Farmer cookbook - the curd is actually called Lemon Cheese, if I recall correctly, but any lemon curd recipe would be fine, with just about any light lemon cake layers. Whipped cream on top, with some grated lemon zest.
i do an apple custard tart, which is rich, but since i make in a quiche tin, it's thin enough not to be too rich.
line a 13-inch quiche tin with pastry. peel, core and thinly slice 2 good-sized granny smith apples, the arrange over the pastry on a spiral pattern. sprinkle with 3-4 tablespoons sugar (white or brown) mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice (any combination to taste) and put in 400-degree oven until the sugar starts to carmelize. in the meantime, mix together 1 cup heavy cream, 1 egg, 2 teaspoons vanilla. pour the custard mixture over the apples, lower the oven to 350 and bake until custard is set -- about 30 minutes.
Here is a recipe that came from our local paper a few years back. I changed some things that didn't work for me, like they just had you scoop the hachiyas into the crust-my version is much prettier (I think!). Anyway, it is quite different, but also still quite "fall" and festive. It was a big hit when I served it at Thanksgiving last year.
Two Persimmon Tart with Almond Base
The crust and the filling may be made ahead of time. In fact, the entire prebaked base (crust plus filling) may be made and frozen until ready for use. You may have these cooked bases ready for a variety of fresh fruit toppings. The recipe yields 3 tart filled shells because it’s easier to make this amount. These freeze well for up to 3 months. The challenge is to find soft, near-bursting Hachiyas, or squirrel them away in advance (they freeze well.) (Note: my technique of processing them in the food mill means that you could buy some nearly-ripe Hachiyas up to a week and a half before you need to make the tart, puree them when they are very soft, then keep the puree in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. This alleviates the problem of finding really soft Hachiyas at just the right moment, which was a problem for me.)
Pastry (yields three 9-inch tarts) Fruit (for ONE tart)
13⁄4 c. powdered sugar 4-5 ultra-ripe Hachiya persimmons, 11⁄2
3⁄4 c. blanched sliced almonds to 2 pounds
11⁄2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 fuyu persimmons, thinly sliced
1⁄2 tsp salt
2 eggs Topping
1⁄2 tsp vanilla 1 pint whipping cream
1 c. cake flour 1⁄4 c. powdered sugar
3 to 31⁄2 c. all-purpose flour 1 tsp. vanilla
1⁄2 tsp five spice powder
1⁄4 tsp ground cardamom
1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature Chopped crystallized ginger, for garnish
2 c. almond paste (not marzipan) (optional)
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
4 tsp. flour
For pastry: Put 3⁄4 c. of the powdered sugar in a food processor. Add the almonds and process until you have a fine-meal crumb. Set aside. Using a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, salt and remaining powdered sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. On slow speed, add vanilla, cake flour and sugar/almond mixture. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and begin gathering together the dough with your hands. It will feel like a rich butter cookie dough. If necessary, add additional flour to stiffen the dough. Handle the dough as little as possible.
Form the dough into 3 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight. Two may be frozen for future use.
For filling: Cream the butter. Pinch off small amounts of almond paste and, with the mixer going, add them gradually to the butter. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating fully into the mixture. Stir in the zest and flour. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to assemble.
For tart base: Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll out a chilled pastry disk to fit a 9-inch tart ring with a removable bottom. Line the tart ring with the pastry. Fill with one third of the almond paste filling. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, turning half way through. Remove when the filling is just set. Cool, wrap in plastic and refrigerate or freeze.
To assemble: If using a frozen or refrigerated tart base, crisp in a 300° oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool. Scoop the flesh out of the Hachiyas and into a food mill set over a bowl. Mill the fruit. (Or, put the scooped out fruit in a blender or food processor, then put it through a sieve to remove the fiber). This puree may be kept in the refrigerator for several days. Immediately before assembling, soften 1⁄2 package of gelatin in 2 Tbsp. of water in a small metal measuring cup with a handle. Heat a small pan of water just to a simmer, and hold the measuring cup in the water, stirring the gelatin to dissolve. Immediately pour the dissolved gelatin into the persimmon puree and stir. Pour the puree into the tart shell and spread it out evenly. Place the sliced Fuyu in a ring around the outside. Chill until ready to serve, at least 1 hour.
Beat the cream until it begins to thicken, then add the spices, sugar and vanilla. Beat until it forms soft peaks. Serve the tart with a spoonful of the whipped cream and sprinkle with the crystallized ginger.
I came across this recipe (Roasted Pears with Almond Crunch and Mascarpone) from Epicurious a month or so ago when I was looking for a fruit dessert for a dinner party. It was a huge success, very easy, do-in-advance, and servable at room temp (although I did put it in a turned off oven to warm up a bit). I was so pleased with the results that I've decided to do it for again for T'giving.
I think ice cream is also a nice accompaniment to almost any other desserts being offered. Last year I did this buttermilk and nutmeg ice cream from Bon Apétit, Dec. 2004.
Nutmeg and Buttermilk Ice Cream
Recipe By: Bon Appetit, December 2004, page 44
• 1 cup buttermilk, chilled
• 12 large egg yolks
• 3/4 cup sugar, may be part brown sugar
• 3 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 1 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
Directions paraphrased by rainey:
Put 3/4 of the buttermilk in a large bowl. Reserve 1/4 of it.
Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Put them in a heavy, large saucepan and then whisk in the rest of the ingredients except for the reserved buttermilk. Apply medium-low heat and stir until custard thickens — I like a silcone spooula with a flat end. The custard is done when it leaves a path on the back of the spoonula when your finger is drawn across. That will take about 11 minutes of cooking time.
Remove custard from heat and stir in the buttermilk you set aside to cool it down. Now strain the custard into the bowl with the cold buttermilk. Stir together. Refrigerate custard until cold, at least 6 hours.
When it is fully chilled taste to see if you have all the nutmeg flavor that you want. Then add a little bit more because freezing will mute the flavor in the frozen ice cream.
Process it according to the directions that come with your machine.
Check several hours before serving. If ice cream is very hard, alternate storing it in the fridge and the freezer until it is a scoopable consistency.
Makes 2 quarts
My note: A flavor similar to eggnog makes this perfect to accompany Thanksgiving and Christmas desserts.
If the Aunt is bringing all the usuals (the pies), I would opt to do some little one-biters. We usually stuff ourselves SO much, and WANT to try everything for dessert, but can't fit it all in....so some tiny samples are perfect, in my book.
How about some mini lemon cheesecake squares with a pecan crust? Chocolate Truffle Cookies? Caramel Pecan Bars?
Just some random thoughts!
I haven't decided yet either, but my thoughts so far are:
Cake Bible Chocolate angel food cake, with a bowl of Grand Marnier flavored whipped cream nearby
Miniature chocolate eclairs
Miniature pecan pies made in mini-muffin cups
Martha Stewart coconut cake (the best cake ever. On one hand, I want to make something new. on the other hand, I know the relatives are nuts for it)
a variety of cupcakes
bananna pudding in a trifle bowl w/ torched meringue
Last year, against my better judgement, I made a 3 layer chocolate cake with mocha frosting between the layers and Chocolate ganache on the outside. I feared it would be too heavy after the big meal, but my aunts and uncles LOVED it.
Just thought that I too would add my two cents.
I love the cranberry cheesecake too, I add some Grand Marnier for that little bit extra something. ( Crans and Oranges its a match!)
The other suggestion I have, as it was a nice change on my own table last Thanksgiving, was Apple Clafouti, it was just soooo good and not the usual pumpkin. (my son's girlfriend keeps talking about it)
For our family, we would rather have sweet potato praline pie than pumpkin. Which I HAVE to have, it would be like forgetting the bird. OH and my husband's Pecan Pahhhh.. Can u tell tell where he hails?
Although I haven't tried it, I'm tempted to do it this year, Creme de Menthe Pie? Has anyone done this one?
This is great!
I too am planning my Thanksgiving menu, I am getting some great ideas here~!!!
By the way, there was a thread for Apple Crisp going last week, and so I made one, FABULOUS!!!! Just did it the way you all said to. I just used the apples (and a left over Bartltt Pear) SOOOOO GOOOOD, my husband kept coming in from the garage where he was working, saying how good the house smelled. Then my sons showed up with the little gal pals, everyone just loved it.
Love the Chowhounds!
Thank you for the continued generous responses. Everyone's suggestions sound great. I love the idea of a clafouti (my fav.!) or a cheesecake or little bites...being a compulsive hound, it is difficult to narrow down the field and just make one!! Cupcakes or cheesecake may win out mainly because it would be a definite deviation from the other desserts made and would appeal to the kids too.
P.S.to Danna~I made the Barefoot Contessa's coconut cupcakes (posted here) and split the middle, made a coconut custard filling and topped with her cream cheese frosting...they were fantastic and I had to give them away so I wouldn't eat them all!!!
I can't make it this year, so allow me to beg you to make this and report back. Crepe cake!!!! 20 layers of crepes with chocolate frosting/ganache and then cream poured over the whole thing. I'm gonna have to do this for something soon. Found it on slashfood who found it on foodaholic.
Girl, are you out of your mind??? I confess, yes I am a Chowhound in the truest definition HOWEVER ambitious???? I hate to say where my culinary skills have led me due to time constraints and raising four "men" who are beginning to eat me out of house and home!!
(Besides Krissywats, it is you who I look to for my voyeuristic baking pleasure...and while I'm on it where is CARBLOVER???)
Thank you! there's an idea! I could make a jillion yellow cupcakes and fill half w/ coconut custard, and frost w/ 7-minute (I disapprove of cream cheese frosting on coconut cake ;-)...and then do the other half w/ chocolate frosting and ....maybe....ricotta & shaved chocolate filling? mascarpone and candied orange filling?
Only problem: I've never made filled cupcakes before. Was it tricky?
Well, as usual I took the "weenie" way out and did not pipe in the filling. Instead I cut them in half and put in the filling and put the top back on. As with everything I do, I tend to go over the top with things (my soups are more like stews!) and I love custard filling. They did come out really well and I'm also not a big fan of cream cheese frosting but I did use the one in the recipe. I love the idea of chocolate with the coconut!!!
FYI: I asked my most conservative eater in my house what he thought I should make and he said "chocolate cake Mom!" I may end up making chocolate cheesecake although I'm leaning towards a mascarpone one for simplicities sake. Don't hate me Krissywats!!!
Carb lover may be around but I haven't had my food porn fix in a LOOOOONG while!!!
Gourmet mag for November has a wonderful-sounding prune and mascarpone tartlets. I guess that's actually a pie, isn't it. It looks and sounds soooooooooooooooo good, though. Almost made me reconsider my decision not to resubscribe next year due to their increased fancy ads for watches, Lexuses, perfume, and their restaurant/hotel recs that cost and arm and a leg. Makes me sick! But now I see this tartlet and...
What about a trifle? I just remembered that we made a trifle a few years back and it was wonderful. Paul Deen has a recipe for a Thanksgiving trifle:
2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
1 (5.1-ounce) package cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional
Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl.
I like trifles, too. The are a nice change of pace, can look dramatic, and are forgiving to a rushed or stressed out cook. Further, i would like to apologize for saying something negative in response to your helpful post. But....
Paul Dean has offered up a recipe with 2 mixes and 3 pre-packaged products, one of which is Cool Whip? I would like to officially revoke her Southern card. She's embarrassing me.