HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


What are you serving for Thanksgiving dessert?

There will be only 8 of us this year. So, it looks like pumpkin pie, warm apple cobbler, an assortment of 6 ice creams that I ordered on the net from Graeters (surprise for my husband) and assorted chocolate covered pretzels (for my stepdaughters).

I also do an edible centerpiece of dried fruits, nuts in the shell, clementines, etc. What are you serving?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Tarte Tatin served with choice of creme fraiche or vanila ice cream.

    1. For the 6 of us:

      Cranberry upside down cake or a chocolate cranberry pie/cake
      Tres Leche cake
      Pumpkin Cheese cake
      Chocolate bourbon pecan pie

      We are very much a dessert family

      1. There will be 8 of us: pumpkin pie, homemade apple crumb pie, and the chocolate/cranberry tart from Bon Appetit in this month's mag. Hoping for some leftovers!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Diane in Bexley

          I'll also be giving that chocolate/cranberry tart from BA a try. It looks good...

        2. My sister-in-law usually bakes two or three pies, though I like to squeeze one of my own in there, too, since I love to bake. There are usually about 15-20 of us. We typically have an apple and a pecan and/or pumpkin pie from her and some ice cream. Last year there were a lot of clementines floating around the house, so I made a clementine-lime pie. It was delicious. This year I have a tentative plan to make my offering the Moosewood Dessert cookbook's peach and ginger pie in a gingerbread crust (if peaches aren't too expensive).

          3 Replies
          1. re: Neuromancer

            Peach and ginger pie sounds amazing. Can you even get fresh peaches now? Or might frozen work?

            1. re: DaisyM

              Frozen would probably work...I figured I could find fresh peaches but they might be really expensive.

              1. re: DaisyM

                I've made fresh and frozen peach pies with ginger, both crystalized and fresh grated. The combination's wonderful, and frozen peaches work fine, sometimes better than fresh.

            2. Pumpkin pie

              Gingerbread (Gramcery Tavern) w/ Vanilla Ice Cream

              Chocolate Bread Pudding

              Apple Blossoms/Dumplings

              1 Reply
              1. re: Emme

                That Grammercy Tavern cake is awesome and keeps well. I've even made cupcakes, frosted with a lemon creme frachie frosting(just barely sweet) or with a little lemon curd piped into the bottom...so good!

              2. I make a pumpkin cheesecake from Gourmet Magazine every year. The first year I made it we thought we would have too much dessert and it would be a waste. It turned out to be everyone's favorite and is now a staple on the menu.

                5 Replies
                1. re: SweetPea914

                  I think that's the pumpkin cheesecake that we make. And it is also a staple with my family (and my SIL's family) now. My brother once made me drive from VA to NJ to deliver him a slice after he missed Thanksgiving with us.

                  1. re: viperlush

                    How sweet of you, you must really love your brother, and he owes you one for that! :-)

                    1. re: viperlush

                      That could be the one I make too (is it the one with the bourbon sour cream topping?). I love it, though it depends on how many people are coming. If it's a smaller group, then I make brandy pumpkin pie, also from Epi.

                      bourbon pumpkin cheesecake

                      brandied pumpkin pie

                      I usually do one other dessert - something with either chocolate, or fruit.

                    2. re: SweetPea914

                      Is that the one on the cover of the November issue a few years ago? If so, I've made it many times and it's always spectacular.

                      1. re: oakjoan

                        yes, if it's the one with the bourbon and sour cream topping. My non-chowhound family was sceptical at first, but it always seems to be the dessert that goes first ! :-)

                    3. A pumpkin pie from a pumpkin our CSA sent. My two and a half year old says he wants "cherry cake." No clue where that came from but I'll do my best!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: lupaglupa

                        There's a cherry poundcake that I've had as a guest, never made it myself, here's a recipe (what I've had was also made with maraschino cherries):

                      2. We'll have pumpkin pie and a cranberry dessert as usual, but I can tell you right now that most of my usual suspects will be hukering down over more mashed potatoes and gravy. I'm tempted to forego dessert and just set out a 55 gal. drum of giblet gravy and a bunch of soup spoons!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cayjohan

                          LOL....sounds like our group not a sweet tooth in the bunch! We will be having a stunning platter of gooey cheeses, salted nuts, olives and maybe a few apple slices tossed with lemon juice and salt. Yummy

                        2. For 23 we have apple pie (my mother's apple pie is the reason my uncle married my aunt 60 years ago!), pumpkin pie, pecan pie and there is an open space in the spot where my sister's lemon meringue pie was. She moved to Annapolis so doesn't drive to Thanksgiving. The lemon meringue pie I made last year was a disaster. We like lemon desserts so I have to think what to sub. Also recently my BIL has been bringing cheesecakes.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                            Have you ever made lemon chess pie? It's very easy and, IMHO, better than lemon meringue.

                            1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                              Bon Appetit published an appealing pie called a Lemon Cloud Tart in April 2006. I saved the recipe, but I haven't made it. I went to the Epicurious web site and found that lots of other people were attracted enough to go ahead and make the recipe. The reveiws are good.

                              Incidentally, the recipe calls for making the lemon curd from scratch. Back in the day, I used to make my own bernaise sauce and lemon curd, and I was really experienced with low heat butter-egg-flavoring recipes. Now, for convenience, I'd probably buy a good quality lemon curd like Stonewall Kitchens.)

                              The pie was originally served with a rhubard compote, appropriate for its spring publication date. Two of the reviewers didn't have rhubarb, so they made a blueberry compote with good results.


                              1. re: Indy 67

                                Thanks for the two suggestions. I was thinking of making my lemon meringue charlotte which I can freeze ahead of time. Layers of lady's fingers and meringue with lemon curd ( I make a ton at Christmas and can it so I have it all year long.) and whipped cream -sounds heavy but really turns out to be a light dessert.

                                1. re: Indy 67

                                  I've made this desert a couple of times, but I skipped the rhubarb compote completely. It was delicious. I've also made it when in a hurry with a prepared graham cracker crust and that was good too, but the shortbread crust is MUCH better. Making the curd is pretty easy. I usually do that a day or 2 ahead, and do the crust ahead too. Then on the day of I just have to put it together.

                                2. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                  I make lemon meringue pie, but put good, fresh whipped cream on top instead of all those egg whites. It's a nice little change, and I like it better.

                                3. Hi Daisy,

                                  Let me start off by saying that the following recipe employs a cake mix. Let me also state that 99.99% of the time I am a "from scratch" baker. That being said, the following recipe is one of the rare times I will use a mix as a part of a recipe. It is deeelishus, and anyone I've given the recipe to has had the same success as I have. This year for Thanksgiving, we will be a group of about 20. I'm doing all of the desserts and the pumpkin cobbler will be one of the treats that I prepare. I'll also do a pecan pie, a crunch top apple pie, and something chocolate.
                                  Happy Thanksgiving,

                                  Pumpkin “Cobbler”

                                  1 29 oz. can, solid packed pumpkin
                                  4 beaten eggs
                                  1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
                                  1/2 tsp. salt
                                  1 tablespoon cinnamon
                                  1 tsp. ground nutmeg
                                  1/2 tsp. ground ginger
                                  12 oz. can evaporated milk
                                  1 box yellow cake mix, (without pudding added), such as Duncan Hines Moist Yellow (18.25 oz.)
                                  1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
                                  5 oz. (10 tablespoons) of melted sweet butter

                                  Whisk the salt and spices into the sugar.
                                  Combine with the pumpkin, eggs and milk, using whisk to fully combine.
                                  Pour mixture into an “UN” greased 9” x 13” glass baking dish.

                                  Cover the pumpkin mixture with the dry cake mix. It can be done right out of the bag. It is not necessary to sift the cake mix, but I like to break up any lumps in the bag, as I gently cover the surface of the pumpkin mixture. When all of the cake mix is used, take your finger and gently level the dry cake mix.

                                  Sprinkle the nuts over the dry mixture, and drizzle the melted butter over all, trying to cover as much surface area as possible

                                  Bake the cobbler in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn off, but do not open oven door, and let the cobbler cool for at least one hour (longer is fine, but not necessary), inside of the oven.

                                  Serve the cobbler at room temperature with lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired

                                  Serves 12-15

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: JeffW

                                    What kind of dessert does this produce? It looks like a combo of pumpkin pie filling and dump cake, i.e. dump a few ingredients in the pan and bake it. Is it cake like, pudding like, or sort of a squash crisp, subbing pumpkin for the fruit? Dump cake always reminded me more of a fruit crisp than a cake.

                                    1. re: amyzan

                                      The filling indeed is the same as pumpkin pie filling. As for the topping, all I can say is that it is crunchy, buttery and fairly addictive. I suppose you could call it a crisp like topping. I actually made this dessert for our Halloween dinner tonight!

                                      1. re: JeffW

                                        I'm picturing something like a streusel/coffee cake topping?

                                        1. re: momjamin

                                          Correct! And my if the leftovers from last nights dinner, didn't make for a great breakfast with strong black coffee.

                                    2. re: JeffW

                                      Our family has that too, only we call it "pumpkin pie cake." Mom will be making that and one of her famous lemon meringue pies, and I am planning to make creme brulee and probably an apple pie.

                                      1. re: JeffW

                                        Thank you, Jeff! My family and friends loved it, and I have been instructed to make it every year. I"ve never gotten that response. My bro renamed it Stupid F'n Cobbler because he ate half the pan - I've never seen him eat so much dessert!

                                      2. Always make the "Easy Pumpkin Pie" from the recipe on the Libby's pumpkin pie mix. It's so easy & everybody loves it. I love to bake from scratch, but this one is so easy & my family always devours it. We're usually 12, so there's always other desserts. Other Thanksgiving desserts vary depending on whether others are bringing, I'm dieting or my sister & I find something our kids like better than pumpkin - usually chocolate based.

                                        1. First year contributing more to Thanksgiving than cranberry sauce; there will be 14-15 but most of them aren't big desert folks (we're not related). It might have something to do with the fact that my stepdad's mother seems to use sawdust in place of flour in her baked goods, unless she buys them on sale at the grocery store bakery. She's a nice woman, but a great cook she is not.

                                          I'll be baking two pies: one apple and one pumpkin, both with gluten-free crusts. It will be my first time baking any kind of pie so I'll do a test run the week before. I'm also making cranberry oatmeal cookies and I might bake a batch of Ina's outrageous brownies, too. That should be plenty of sweets for this crowd and enough for me to binge afterwards.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: Agent Orange

                                            Though I will actually be in away in manhattan this Thnksgiving, I thoght I'd post a traditional family dessert because I figured noone else will have mentioned it. Of course there will be pumpkin pie, and probably pecan pie and most definitely a spice cake, but the firt thing I reach for on Thanksgiving are peanut butter sandwiches made with ritz crackers and dipped into chocolate...so addictive.

                                            1. re: notgreg

                                              Wow! Are they served with a little bowl of chocolate or do you actually cover them in chocolate and let them cool? What part of the country is this from or is it your family thing?

                                              1. re: DaisyM

                                                You cover them and let them cool. We are from Tennessee, and I can imagine this is probably a Southern thing. My aunt has been making them for as long as I can remember.

                                                1. re: notgreg

                                                  I'm from Kansas, and my mom does it, too. ;) Only she usually covers hers with "almond bark" because it's cheaper than chocolate.

                                                  1. re: notgreg

                                                    I haven't seen these since I lived in North Carolina. Maybe it's time to resurrect them!

                                              2. re: Agent Orange

                                                I love Ina's Brownies!! Thanks for reminding me. I will be making those and probably some typical Turkey day dessert with apples. I loathe pupmkin! I will also make my chocolate pecan pie. Chocolate is a good thing.

                                              3. In my very traditional family we will have all the usual suspects: Apple pie, pumpkin pie, mince pie. God forbid we deviate. It must be scribed in granite somewhere.
                                                Have tried, in the past, to sneak in a gingerbread cake I love and a lemon merengue.... I was nearly stoned to death.

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  I will be making my Pineapple cheese pie, which tastes like a cheesecake. and I have
                                                  to make Paula Deans "not yo mama`s banana pudding", a lemon merengue pie for
                                                  my wife a chocolate mousse pie for my oldest son, and a punkin pie for tradition. Ican`t
                                                  wait to get started, I tell everybody to get the heck out of the kitchen and come back when I call them. I love making the complete holiday dinners.

                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    Re: tradition. I'm not allowed to do pumpkin cheesecake or other variations on pumpkin + pie -- it has to be pumpkin pie.

                                                    My grandmother makes apple squares -- essentially apple pie baked in a jelly roll pan. Flat squares of apple pie -- a wonderful ratio of crust (top and bottom) to cinnamon-y apple filling and you can eat it with your fingers. I'd better get the hang of it soon -- she keeps complaining about the crust not doing right for her. (I never see any complaints among the kin, and she never takes home leftovers.)

                                                    1. re: momjamin

                                                      I've been looking for something like this. Are you allowed to share the recipe?

                                                      1. re: OysterHo

                                                        Sure -- we don't have too many secret recipes in the family, just my Death by Chocolate ;-)

                                                        Granna's Apple Squares, in Granna's wording (hope it's not too telegraphic)

                                                        Crust, for 9in x 12in small jelly roll pan.

                                                        (You can use your favorite double-crust recipe. Here's Granna's.)
                                                        2 cup flour
                                                        3/4 tsp salt
                                                        2/3 cup vegetable shortening
                                                        Approx 6-8 Tbsp cold water. Mix in order given, then roll out half (or a little more than half) for the bottom crust. Roll the remaining crust and fold over to rest while doing the filling.


                                                        Approx 8 apples (we use McIntosh), peeled, cored, and sliced (may need more)
                                                        3/4 cup sugar
                                                        1/4 tsp salt
                                                        2 Tbsp flour
                                                        1 tsp cinnamon

                                                        Pile the apples on the bottom crust in the pan, sift the sugar, salt, and flour over the apples, then sprinkle cinnamon over. Dot with butter. Place top crust over and seal all edges. (I brush top with milk and edges with water so won't brown too quick.) Prick top with fork or knife. Bake 450F for 10 min, then 350F another 30min or until golden brown.

                                                        1. re: momjamin

                                                          Yummy memories; my mom made something like this. The apples we grew were quite juicy, and so she sprinkled crushed cornflakes over the bottom crust before filling. Terrific taste. A simple icing was drizzled over the top. The high crust-to-filling ratio is really appealing!

                                                    2. I think this year for us (16 people, I think?) it's Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce, which was a hit last year, and the Triple Chocolate Cheesecake and Deep Dish Apple Crumb pie from this month's Everyday Food. I'm not a pie person but that looks so pretty!

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: delaneymae

                                                        is this actually made with pumpkin bread? I have just come across a rather tempting recipe for pumpkin bread pudding, it however is made with white bread layering pumpkin custard, served with a whiskey creme anglaise and cranberry syrup. I'll probably change the toppings, but was wondering if should actually make pumpkin bread..

                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                          if delaneymae is using the epicurious recipe, it doesn't use actual pumpkin bread, but these do:



                                                          1. re: Emme

                                                            Thanks Emme! my choices are to bake the p bread, or layer with the p custard.I have never made bread pudding, butI knowing me, I would love it.
                                                            I am always watching my fat intake and so I tend to shy away from desserts. Then because I want to serve it, I don't want the temptation staring at me all week. I must find someone who hates to cook and that would absolutely love my dessert trials.

                                                            But back to the recipes. thanks for sharing these two, I'll go through them later today. /Got a question maybe you would know the answer to..
                                                            with bread pudding, does the bread go away, does it break down, or are you knowing your eating bread. I sure wish I saw or had a perfect sample...
                                                            thanks again for the links!

                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                              it doesn't break down and disappear, but it certainly melds a bit, and comes together almost a little cake like (tastes nothing like cake obviously) and good bp still has an identifiable grain/crumb.

                                                              the most amazing bread pudding i've had was a chocolate one from a catering company last thanksgiving.

                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                Sorry to reply so late, I seem to be losing my threads.. Chocolate bread pudding sounds pretty incredible. I can't believe I've never had it.

                                                      2. Along with the usual suspects (paper bag apple pie and pumpkin pie) I will be serving a classic charlotte russe.

                                                        13 Replies
                                                        1. re: lrostron

                                                          What is "paper bag" apple pie???

                                                          1. re: DaisyM

                                                            Essentially it's a single crust apple pie with a streusel topping, composed of butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon, which is sprinkled over the apple filling, then slide into a regular, grocery store paper bag, clipped closed, placed on a cookie sheet, and baked for about 50 minutes. The steam in the bag just caramelizes the topping, and its so good. From an old recipe book from the Apple Hill area in El Dorado county above Sacramento, CA.

                                                            1. re: lrostron

                                                              Irostron, would you mind sharing the recipe? We just recently received a bushel of Golden Delicious apples and my family has "ordered" an apple crumb pie. The last recipe I made didn't turn out the caramel topping I was looking for and am seeking a new recipe. Thanks!

                                                              1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                                Sure, it's pretty straightforward. Just be careful when you remove the clips, it's hot!

                                                                Paper Bag Apple Pie

                                                                3 to 4 large baking apples - about 2 1/2 pounds or 7 cups, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
                                                                1 cup granulated sugar (divided)
                                                                2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup flour, divided
                                                                1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
                                                                1 (9- to 11-inch) unbaked pastry shell
                                                                2 tablespoons lemon juice
                                                                1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, room temperature
                                                                1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                                1 large, unused brown paper bag

                                                                Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

                                                                Toss apples with 1/2 cup of the sugar, 2 tablespoons of the flour and the nutmeg. Spoon into pastry shell and drizzle with lemon juice.

                                                                To make topping, combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup remaining flour and the butter. Cut with two knives until mixture is combined and crumbly. Sprinkle over apples, covering entire top.

                                                                Slide pie into heavy brown paper bag large enough to cover pie loosely. Fold open end over twice and staple or clip to fasten securely. Place on large cookie sheet. Do not let paper bag come into contact with sides of stove.

                                                                Bake for 1 hour.

                                                                Remove from oven and split bag open. Remove pie and cool on wire rack.

                                                                Serve with Cheddar cheese or ice cream.

                                                                Makes about 8 servings.

                                                                1. re: lrostron

                                                                  You use a standard large grocery bag? How come it doesn't burn up in a 425* oven? :O

                                                                  Can you make this the day before?

                                                                  1. re: OysterHo

                                                                    Standard brown paper bag. It does not burn (it does discolor a bit and if you're hesitate to put it in there, just spritz some water on the outside of the bag). The key is do not let the bag touch the sides of the oven. That might take some manuvering, but it works. That, or you can reduce the oven temperature to 375 and increase the baking time by 15-20 minutes. Remember, the pie is on a baking sheet, so the bottom of the pie will brown up well. You most certainly can bake it the day before, just it warm up a bit before serving. It's wonderful warm, and just as good if it's not!

                                                                    1. re: lrostron

                                                                      Thanks Irostron! Sounds so good not sure if I can wait until Tgiving. Might have to give it trial run this weekend!

                                                                      1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                                        I was thinking the same thing. Let us know how it turns out?

                                                                        1. re: lrostron

                                                                          this would probably work just as well for a crisp?

                                                                          1. re: alex8alot

                                                                            Sorry for the delay; caught up in all the office Halloween merriment yesterday ... crisp? I would think so, aside from reducing the cooking time, I've not tried it that way.

                                                                            1. re: lrostron

                                                                              well I will try it this week and report back. I am a bit crisp-obsessed at the moment. thanks for checking back!

                                                                        2. re: OysterHo

                                                                          Fahrenheit 451-- the burn point of paper. Thank you Ray Bradbury.

                                                              2. There will be 6/7 of us. While the menu is still in flux, it looks like:

                                                                Pumpkin pie
                                                                Coconut Custard Pie
                                                                Chocolate Loaf
                                                                Toasted Pecan Pie
                                                                Lemon Meringue

                                                                The chocolate cranberry tart from BA is also under consdieration.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Frobisher

                                                                  I've been debating desserts. I usually whimp out and ask a family friend to bring pies but her pies aren't that good. My MIL used to make great pies. The family friend also makes a pretty good Indian Pudding. We have to have apple pie but the different pumpkin desserts posted sound great. I inherited my MIL's antique and well used apple peeler but with a kitchen under construction, this isn't my year to learn how to make pies!

                                                                2. Not nailed down but so far it looks like pumpkin custard profiteroles with a caramel sauce, some kind of cheesecake (my husband's choice each year) and maybe a chocolate mousse. I'm going sort of 'french' themed this year.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: krissywats

                                                                    Wow! Do you have a recipe for the custard profiteroles?

                                                                    1. re: megek

                                                                      Not sure if its the same one, but I checked Epicurious, and found this 2004 Bon Appetit recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                      1. re: megek

                                                                        Yep - that's the one I'm doing. I'm going to start out with gougeres so there will be the same of touch at the beginning and the end.

                                                                  2. Definitely pumpkin pie, and this year I think I'm going to make apple dumplings -- they're basically baked apples, wrapped first in pie dough and stuffed with some sugar and spices, and then basted in a light caramel sauce afterwards. The recipe is from the Joy of Cooking, and I made it once last fall to rave reviews and have been dying to make it again. Also maybe sweet potatoe pie, and probably a chocolate cake (we have a lot of birthdays in my family around Thanksgiving, so there's always a birthday cake).

                                                                    1. Pumpkin pie (Libby's)
                                                                      Sour cherry pie (Minute Tapioca Recipe from long, long ago)
                                                                      Vanilla ice cream
                                                                      Mango sorbet

                                                                      Maybe another pie if I'm feeling sassy? Not sure yet.

                                                                      1. I always make a very dense chocolate cream pie. You can find the recipe on Epicurious. It's called Triple Chocolate Pudding Pie with Cappuccino Cream.

                                                                        My sister-in-law is bringing other desserts, so I dont' know what else there will be. In that past when I haven't been hosting T-day, I would always make some kind of apple dessert (usually apple pie, but sometimes an apple-walnut tart) along with the chocolate one. I would also sometimes make homemade ginger ice cream to go with it all.

                                                                        I hate pumpkin pie unfortuantely.

                                                                        1. Always Carrot Cake, Cream Cheese Pound Cake (usually this is the "extra" cake just to have around for munching), Pecan Pie, Chocolate Layer Dessert (the one in EVERY church cookbook - daughter's favorite) and Sweet Potato Pie. Also I usually only allow my Mother to help. The other sisters are decorative but useless! =-) There will be about 18 of us and I can't wait to start buying the groceries. It's like laying in supplies for a long hard winter. Oh, and maybe an Apple Crisp.

                                                                          1. Chocolate peacan and pumpkin pie with loads of whipped cream.

                                                                            1. Currently thinking of a Cranberry Swirled Cheesecake and a Pumpkin Spice Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese frosting and candied pecans. There will be 8-10 of us, so I think 2 desserts should suffice.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Plat du jour

                                                                                Pumpkin Spice Cake?? Caramel Cream Cheese frosting??? Recipes please!

                                                                              2. For 12 adults and 4 kidlets -- Definitely pumpkin pie. And Granna's apple squares (mentioned upthread). And probably pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese-based filling. And something chocolatey.

                                                                                Unless I invite myself to one of the tables described here -- yum!

                                                                                1. For us, it always has to be pumpkin pie and pecan ... both traditional, and no variations, please! I love these references to apple squares. It sounds very similar to what my late grandmother-in-law made, called "apple thin." Only instead of a jelly roll pan, it is baked in a pizza pan, but still cut into squares. Beautiful with blueberries and peaches, as well. But in any case, at T-giving, I don't get to experiment with any pies. The menu is "fixe"!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: k_d

                                                                                    This reminds me, I almost forgot about our family's version of Derby Pie, which is really pecan pie with chocolate chips. (No bourbon.)

                                                                                  2. I also going to make a warm apple cobbler - but add in blueberries and use granola on top of the cobbler. it is delicious!

                                                                                    1. There will be only 8 of us this year....pumpkin pie, warm apple cobbler, an assortment of 6 ice creams ...and assorted chocolate covered pretzels"

                                                                                      Sounds good to me. Where are all the "portions are out of control" voices on this?

                                                                                      I don't know what I'm having yet - still three weeks away

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: FrankJBN

                                                                                        I know it is too much....but I want everyone to have their favorites! And the reason for the 6 different ice creams is because that is the minimum order from Graeters. My husband went to med school in Cincinnati like 30 years ago and still says it was the best ice cream he's ever tasted. So this is his surprise. I wonder if it will be as good as he remembers!

                                                                                        1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                          DaisyM, I think your dessert selection sounds about right for 8 people- it's really only two desserts (with ice cream options:))- and you can hardly please everyone with only one dessert option. I don't consider chocolate pretzels a "dessert" in terms of Thaksgiving dinner. I can relate to keeping some "fun" treats around for the kids... No need to justify any of it in my opinion!

                                                                                          1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                            Keep in mind, I said it soumnds good to me.

                                                                                            "you can hardly please everyone with only one dessert option"

                                                                                            Bet you can. Aren't you pleased when someone offers you dessert?

                                                                                            1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                              Thanks! But it does sound ridiculous to serve 6 flavors of ice cream....even to me!

                                                                                        2. Oh I'm one of "those" people that loves sweet potato pie more than pumpkin.
                                                                                          So it will be sweet potato pie with praline topping and homemade pralines and cream ice cream. The other dessert I'm tossing around is a blackberry cheesecake. (just hope I can find the berries!)

                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                            Why does that make you one of "those" people? Sweet Potato Pie is just a variation on the same theme. I read once that "pumpkin pie filling" sold in cans is mostly butternut squash because it has a smoother texture.

                                                                                            1. re: lupaglupa

                                                                                              oh just because of the debates I get into locally. Most of the people I know around here would not consider a sweet potato pie. I happen to just love it and I do find it has a distinct flavor difference. I enjoy roasting them, pureeing them and the whole homemade process. I love the texture too, I find it different, and it may be my imagination but my gosh I do love sweet potatoes, so rich and they set up well. I just prefer it so much more. Add a flakey pate brisee crust, and I am so happy! And I promise it's not because it comes out of a can, I have used other products that are canned, that would not discourage me. Might be I just really love my recipe!.
                                                                                              On a side note. I never knew that about processed pumpkin. how do they get away with that?

                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                The government classifies pumpkin as squash, so the manufacturers can label it as they wish, whether frozen or canned. If you want pumpkin, just look for 100% pumpkin on the label.

                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                  Or bake your own - it's very easy and the taste is excellent, quite different from the canned.

                                                                                                2. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                  I sneaked a sweet potato pie on my "only-pumpkin" family 5 or 6 years ago and they claimed it was the best pumpkin pie they ever ate. They assumed it was a homemade pumpkin pie since all they'd ever had was Mrs Smith's pumpkin. They still don't know it's sweet potato!

                                                                                              2. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                I have been looking for a sweet potato pecan pie recipe. Would you mind sharing your recipe chef chicklet? For the record my family and I prefer sweet potato too. I was shocked when I went away to college and found out some people had never heard of sweet potato pie.

                                                                                                1. re: amethiste

                                                                                                  I'll post the recipe for you tomorrow. You will love it!

                                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                    Sorry was out yesterday, but here it is.

                                                                                                    Sweet Potato pie with pecan short crust and praline topping

                                                                                                    1 ½ cup of mashed sweet potato - roast the sweet potatoes until soft at 350 wrapped in foil then peel and clean and whirl with a stick and a little cream for a smooth thick mash - not too thin.

                                                                                                    ½ brown sugar
                                                                                                    ½ tsp nutmeg
                                                                                                    ¾ tsp ground ginger
                                                                                                    ¼ tsp salt
                                                                                                    1 cup scalded whole milk
                                                                                                    2 eggs well beaten
                                                                                                    1 T flour
                                                                                                    Combine sweet potatoes with brown sugar, cinnamon nutmeg, ginger and salt and mik

                                                                                                    Combine all the dry ingredients for the pie crust
                                                                                                    2 c flour
                                                                                                    ½ tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder, ½ cup sugar, ½ cup butter – ice cold cut into cubes keep in the fridge til your ready for it.
                                                                                                    ½ cup finely chopped pecans
                                                                                                    ¾ C plus 2T cream
                                                                                                    Combine all the dry and cut the butter in, use food processor add the nuts and cream mix until it all comes together.

                                                                                                    Topping ¾ cup of brown sugar, 1 cup pecans rough chop mix it together and spread over, I also paint the edges with cream and drop large sugar crystal on them towards the end of baking.
                                                                                                    Bake at 325 until golden and pie is set.

                                                                                                      1. re: amethiste

                                                                                                        Your welcome, make sure to watch the topping as not to burn cover it loosely if you need too. I've been ok, I use the convection oven for this mostly - drives the neighbors right on over.

                                                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                          The pie was great! I used a frozen crust to save time but it was still wonderful. Thank you! I also made a key lime pie with an Oreo crust.

                                                                                              3. I've made a pumpkin upside-down cake with cranberries and pecans in the past, and am having a dickens of a time finding the darned recipe again. I shall prevail, however, since it's delicious, sweet, tart, and beautiful to see, as well as being Uber-holidayish.

                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: rcallner

                                                                                                  Wow, if you find it, can you post? Sounds great!

                                                                                                  1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                    I've been looking for an upside down cake that would be more upscale, so let us know if you find it!

                                                                                                    1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                      This isn't rcallner's recipe, as there aren't any pecans. http://www.saveur.com/food/classic-re...
                                                                                                      I made it for dinner last night, and it definitely needs some tweaking baked in an 8 inch cast iron skillet as the recipe suggests. (Who really has a bunch of abelskiver pans at home? No one I know, but I don't know any scandinavians...) There's too much caramel for a cake flour based cake to support, so if you're making it in the one pan, I'd cut the cramel recipe in half. That should be much more manageable. Otherwise, it's a fantastic combo of flavors if you like caramel.

                                                                                                      1. re: GIAD

                                                                                                        Bingo, GIAD, I think that's it. Man, I gotta start stashing the things that work....Recommend fresh whipped cream lightly sweetened with powdered sugar and a splash of lemon to garnish.

                                                                                                      2. re: rcallner

                                                                                                        do add pumpkin puree to the cake batter?

                                                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                          RE: Pumpkin cranberry/pecan upside down cake: I was surfing around and found this version - I think this is actually the one I had and lost somewhere. It's from A Passion For Desserts by Emily Luchetti:

                                                                                                          Pumpkin Upside-Down Cake
                                                                                                          with Cranberry Pecan Topping
                                                                                                          Makes 8 to 10 servings

                                                                                                          Creating desserts with pumpkin is always a challenge. Pumpkin purée is so strong and thick that practically everything you make with it ends up tasting like pumpkin pie. And although pumpkin pie will always be a favorite dessert, especially for Thanksgiving, it is nice to be able to offer an alternative. The recipe for this cake comes from a very good home cook, Bea Petcavich. I transformed it into an upsidedown cake with cranberries and pecans in a brown sugar topping. It's a festive cake for autumn—don't wait until November to try it!

                                                                                                          8 ounces (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
                                                                                                          1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
                                                                                                          2 cups cranberries
                                                                                                          4 ounces (1 cup) coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (see page 26 of book)
                                                                                                          2 large eggs
                                                                                                          1 cup pumpkin purée
                                                                                                          6 tablespoons vegetable oil
                                                                                                          1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                                          1 cup granulated sugar
                                                                                                          1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
                                                                                                          1 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                                                                          1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                          Chantilly Cream

                                                                                                          Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper.

                                                                                                          Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Pour the brown sugar mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

                                                                                                          In a medium bowl, combine the cranberries and pecans. Place them in the pan over the brown sugar mixture.

                                                                                                          In a large bowl, whisk togetherthe eggs, pumpkin purée, and oil. In another bowl, sift together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Carefully spread the batter over the cranberry pecan topping.

                                                                                                          Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Place a large plate or platter on top of the cake. Invert the cake and plate together, then remove the pan. Carefully peel off the parchment paper.

                                                                                                          Let cool completely before serving. Serve with Chantilly Cream.

                                                                                                          Planning Ahead: The cake can be made a day in advance; wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

                                                                                                          1. re: rcallner

                                                                                                            This sounds very good, I am in a quandary what to make! I might have to make them all!

                                                                                                      3. Love this thread!!!!! Giving me some new ideas. Mom and I are the dessert queens and til my grandparents passed, we were really traditional at thanksgiving-
                                                                                                        pumpkin pie (the libbys recipe with double the eggs and the secret ingredient - molasses)
                                                                                                        apple or cherry pie (depending on which cousin won the "its my favorite" contest)
                                                                                                        mincemeat - made with moose meat (old family recipe - measured in bowls as in one bowl of this, 2 bowls of that - add alcohol to taste - my job!!! - and age for at least 2 weeks)
                                                                                                        and maybe a pecan or chocolate pecan
                                                                                                        The order of the day was the "grandpa special" - just a little sliver of everything according to grandpa. Oh and don't forget the whipped cream and hard sauce as appropriate.

                                                                                                        Christmas we experiment - but maybe this year we'll do it on both holidays

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: AlaskaChick

                                                                                                          Oh Alaskahchick your traditions are precious!. Moose meat, wow I wish I had such stories to share that is just the best!
                                                                                                          I'm considering now adding another pie to honor someone on this thread, do something different to get conversation going at my dinner table.

                                                                                                          Hmmmm I wonder if I can find moose meat in the Bay Area, possibly I'll need to head East to the Sierras for a butcher more in tune.
                                                                                                          Yosemite is around the corner, wonder what pies they will make.
                                                                                                          All is so regional and so distinctive to our homes, just so fascinating to me.
                                                                                                          I love the holidays, the traditions and the food that comes with it.
                                                                                                          Here we go!

                                                                                                        2. Well- we are 20+, so we like desserts for Turkey day, the weekend, and enough to send some back with the college students. I host the dinner, and make apple, blueberry and pumpkin and lamon meringue pie. This year one of my nephews had a school thingy where they were selling pies, etc. So, I sucked it up, and bought a chocolate mousse cake. My family will also bring truffles, cookies and probably some kind of trifle. Nobody will me hungry. Will also have lots of ice cream and whipping cream ready to go.

                                                                                                          1. I think I will be making my usual pumpkin pie (Libbys recipe) and Creme Caramel (Julia's recipe) for Thanksgiving. My family loves flan and loves that recipe. I have been making it for at least the past 10 years. Sometimes I make those Italian chocolate meringue hazelnut cookies to use up the left-over egg whites.

                                                                                                            1. Although I usually detest pumpkin, this cake is always a winner with all:

                                                                                                              Golden Pumpkin and Apricot Cake

                                                                                                              Also, my cousin's incredible apple pie, fresh fruit, and whatever wonderful runny cheeses Fairway has to offer.

                                                                                                              1. Cajun Country Bread Pudding with Hard Rum Sauce and Frangelico Cream.
                                                                                                                No need for any other dessert as this one always takes the cake - ha ha!

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: GIAD

                                                                                                                  GIAD...what is cajun country bread pudding? Just the hard rum sauce and cream sound amazing!

                                                                                                                  1. re: GIAD

                                                                                                                    You simply must share the recipe for Cajun Bread Pudding. I'm heading to New Orleans tomorrow (no joke), and just the idea of this dessert has given me new inspiration!

                                                                                                                  2. If I was doing a turkey day dinner with the trad recipes I would be making Frank Stritt's Sweet Potato Tart with a Coconut Crust and a sauce of Rum Cream Anglaise. It is etheral, could float off the plate and heavenly in flavor.

                                                                                                                    There are only the 2 of us this year so it will be a lobster feast.

                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                      Interesting - we will just be two as well, and I'm thinking of making the JC recipe that Rubee posted as a lobster appetizer.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                        This is what we're doing too! What else are you making besides lobster? This is our second t-day on our own, and after making a traditional dinner last year (subbing chicken for turkey) and eating leftovers for about two weeks, we decided we should do something more interesting. I don't mind spending all day cooking - last year I pretty much camped out in the kitchen watching the parade and called my mom about every hour because I wasn't sure about this no family thing, but it's too far to travel for both xmas and turkey day, and this year xmas won. My menu right now is lobsters...and I've been struggling with what else to make. Help? Thank you!

                                                                                                                        1. re: kkbriggs

                                                                                                                          I finally settled on a dessert and have pie dough chilling at this moment. It will become an apple and quince pie with cold heavy cream.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                            Sounds delicious! My tarte tatin is done and I just have to whip together the cream and creme fraiche to serve with it!

                                                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                              I made a quince tarte tatin last winter and it was wonderful. I used Dufor puff pastry and cooked the quinces until they were tender and the syrup thickened before baking. Today i had quinces and apples and thought why not pair the two. Smells wonderful right now but not quite ready to come out of the oven.

                                                                                                                      2. I do the app's for my family get together, but this year I am adding a dessert to take.

                                                                                                                        I got these from a friend, and they are easy and delicious.

                                                                                                                        Killer Pumpkin Bars

                                                                                                                        Note: These are cake-like and moist in texture rather than firmer, denser or with a crust and topping like other bar-type desserts.

                                                                                                                        2 cups sugar
                                                                                                                        1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temp.
                                                                                                                        2 cups canned pumpkin (one 15-oz. can)
                                                                                                                        4 eggs, room temp.
                                                                                                                        2 cups flour
                                                                                                                        2 tsp. baking soda
                                                                                                                        1 tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, ground cloves
                                                                                                                        1/2 tsp. salt

                                                                                                                        Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 15 X 10 1/2 X 1 pan. Sift flour, baking soda, spices, and salt together; set aside. Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add pumpkin and eggs; beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Spread mixture into pan. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until cake springs back when touched or toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and frost.

                                                                                                                        3 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
                                                                                                                        1 stick butter, room temp.
                                                                                                                        1 tsp. vanilla
                                                                                                                        1 tsp. orange zest (optional)
                                                                                                                        2 cups powdered sugar

                                                                                                                        Beat together until smooth.

                                                                                                                        1. Not sure what I am doing this year but last year was:

                                                                                                                          Pumpkin Flan (SO and i both hate crust on pumpkin pies, and she loves flan, so this works perfectly.. its basically the inside of a pumpkin pie with caramel sauce on top)
                                                                                                                          Applesauce Spice Cupcakes (half with Cream Cheese frosting (for me) and half with Caramel frosting (for her))
                                                                                                                          Praline Bread Pudding w/ Creme Anglais

                                                                                                                          1. I'm thinking of making these Miniature Pecan Pies from yesterday's Washington Post.


                                                                                                                            They have a cream cheese dough crust that sounds really appealing. And I love things in bite sized servings - no cutting required.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: Linda513

                                                                                                                              Thanks for the link! I've made tassies similar to that recipe, and would advise you mix the butter and cream cheese well before adding the flour for the dough. If you mix all three ingredients as the recipe advises, you may overwork the dough, losing some of the delicate texture. They're fantastic, and always go quickly at dinners and parties. Many people who would be intimidated by a piece of pecan for whatever reason will eat two or three tassies.

                                                                                                                            2. I'm so glad I'm not the only one to make many desserts for not a ton of people, lol! We had apple pie, pumpkin chiffon pie, chocolate-pecan-cranberry pie, and pumpkin-praline cheesecake.