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Thanksgiving Pies

Hey all!!!

I am looking for all your pie info! I am making pumpkin for sure (my filling is the best I ever tasted but I still have not made the pie crust yet) and I am also looking for another kind. Maybe pecan, chocolate, apple etc. What pies are requested year after year on your family table? Thanksgiving week is here! :)

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  1. I'm making the traditional pumpkin tho our recipe is more custardy than most and trying a new Chocolate Cashew Maple - a transparent style like pecan but I love cashews. The traditional requests in our family are the grandpa special - a little slice of each kind of pie - usually pumpkin, pecan (or the cashew this year), apple or cherry, and mincemeat

    1 Reply
    1. re: AlaskaChick

      That chocolate cashew maple sounds fabulous, chick.

      I was planning on apple and squash only, plus some gunky chocolate dessert for those so inclined, but now I'm also thinking of a maple walnut pie.

      In my husband's Italian family a lemon pie (double-crusted) with a dark chocolate glaze on the top crust was customary. There was a farm around here that sold them by the boatload. I could never cozy up to chocolate and lemon, though. Orange and chocolate, yes.

      A pie I've often made for Thanksgiving, and it's always been popular, is an apple custard pie--apple slices arranged in the shell as with a tart, custard poured over that, baked until set.

      Also nice is a pear-apple pie with walnuts in the filling and the "dutch apple" crumb topping.

    2. I too have a great pumpkin pie recipe.
      If it's in Canada, I HAVE to make my lemon meringue pie but when I'm "Down yonder" I usually make a pecan pie.


      1. Would you mind sharing your pumpking pie filling recipe? I'm always on the lookout for a better pumpkin pie filling

        1. likewise- can someone share their amazing pumpkin pie recipe for a newbie like me??

          1 Reply
          1. re: so_hungry

            I am so sorry I am posting this today!!! I coulnt find my recipe and have been going crazy! Alas I find and still have time to pull it off!
            1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
            2 cups canned pumpkin
            1 cup sugar
            1/4 teaspoon salt
            1 egg plus 2 egg yolks
            1 cup half-and-half
            1/4 cup melted butter
            1 teaspoon vanilla extract
            1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
            1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional

            Preheat the oven to 350
            In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.
            Pour the filling into pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set.

          2. These 2 pies from Epicurious are both great and really easy...

            Fudge Pecan Pie


            Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie


            1 Reply
            1. re: valerie

              Im at work now but when I get home I will post pumpkin pie filling- I make it every year (you think i would have amounts memorized by now) but I would rather wait to get home so i dont make a mistake! That fusge pecan sounds yummy as does chocolate maple cashew!!!!!

            2. I thought this year I was only making pumpkin and apple, but I've had special requests for pear-apple with crumb topping, pecan and sweet potato. So, five pies for 14 people. Sounds about right, right? Plus homemade vanilla and pumpkin ice cream (because my daughter asked for that and I'm a sucker).

              2 Replies
              1. re: Elizzie

                I'm so glad I'm not the only one! Only 3 pies (plus 4 flavors of truffles) for 9 people. Yours is totally worse, Elizzie. I love having 'hounds as a defense when my fiance gives me a hard time for going crazy in the kitchen. :) "But honey...Elizzie on chowhound is making FIVE pies for only 14 people. Plus ice cream! I'm not *that* bad" This year I've got the standard apple and pumpkin, which are non-negotiable in my family. Plus a blueberry cheesecake, special request from my sweetie.

                I also made my crust in the food processor for the first time (first year owning a food processor) and wow, was that easy. So much quicker than a pastry cutter or squeezing the butter between my fingers, so the butter never even got close to melting. I made a test mini-tart out of the scraps of my apple pie (which is currently in the freezer) and it is the flakiest pie crust I have ever made. I highly recommend pie crust in the FP to anybody who is pie crust phobic. Frozen butter, cubed, pulse a couple of times with your flour...tada! A nice mix of Pea sized and smaller crumbs with no effort at all.

                1. re: wawajb

                  Wawajb, feel free to cite my extreme family to your guy. At my grandparents there will be 8 pies, one cheesecake, and a fruit salad for 17 people.

              2. Pumpkin and pecan are definitely on the menu every year at my house. I use recipes from Cook's Illustrated. The recipes call for the pie filling to cook a little in a saucepan on the stovetop before pouring it into a pre-baked pie shell. These recipes are great and will never make them any other way. It may be a little more labor intensive, but the texture of the pies is just so much better than the usual mix-and-pour recipes in most cookbooks. The color on the pumpkin pie is just amazing--sort of a deep brownish orange.

                1 Reply
                1. re: raj1

                  I use the "The Best Recipe" Pumpkin pie recipe from CI and it's excellent. I'm not a big pumpkin pie fan but love this one.


                2. For any that are interested, the chocolate cashew maple is at Epicurious here:


                  The questions about pumpkin pie filling made me remember when I asked my mom how to make pumpkin pie - expecting some family recipe. What she said was "the recipe in on the back of the Libby's pumpkin can. Double the eggs and add the family secret ingredient - molasses." How much molasses I asked? Til its the right color she said. Now I was clear across the country cooking thanksgiving dinner by myself for a lot of hungry guys so I had no "right color" to compare to - but I made it, they ate it, and I've made it that way ever since.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: AlaskaChick

                    Thanks for the recipe, Chick. Just in time for me to go shopping tomorrow! LOL re the molasses. Which color, anyway--the uncooked mixture or the baked pie? Not that it matters when you're serving it to a bunch of hungry guys. Mine would scarf it down if it were lavender. ;-)

                    1. re: MaggieRSN

                      Why should you be spared the last minute shopping - I've still got those few elusive items on my list to buy despite my best efforts to the contrary :-)

                      I still couldn't tell you what the right color is despite the fact that I make them every year - but Mom was right, I add it to the filling right before I pour it in the crust and I know it when I see it.

                  2. I used to make a caramel walnut tart by Martha. Rich and good. Can't find the recipe at the moment.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: willownt


                      this one?

                      Martha Stewart's Caramel-Walnut Tart with Chocolate Glaze
                      * Crust
                      1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
                      2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
                      1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
                      1/2 teaspoon salt
                      1/3 cup powdered sugar
                      1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
                      1 large egg Crust
                      1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
                      2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
                      1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
                      1/2 teaspoon salt
                      1/3 cup powdered sugar
                      1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
                      1 large egg


                      1. For crust:
                      2. Blend flour, almonds, walnuts, and salt in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add powdered sugar and combine using on/off turns. Add butter; using on/off turns, cut in until coarse meal forms. With machine running, slowly add egg. Blend until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill 30 minutes.

                      3. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 14-inch round. Transfer dough to 10-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim excess dough flush with top edge of pan. Pierce bottom of dough all over with fork. Chill 30 minutes.

                      4. Preheat oven to 325°F. Bake crust until golden, about 35 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)

                      5. For filling:
                      6. Place sugar, 1/2 cup water, and corn syrup in heavy large saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter and cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). When bubbling subsides, whisk in crème fraîche. Cool caramel until beginning to thicken. Stir in walnuts. Pour caramel into prepared crust. Let stand 15 minutes to spread.

                      7. For chocolate glaze:
                      8. Bring cream to boil in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Cool 5 minutes. Pour enough glaze over caramel to cover and fill tart to just below edge of crust (reserve remaining glaze for another use). Let stand until set, about 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Well, the name is exactly right, but it didn't have almonds or creme fraiche in it, so I'm not sure what's going on here. Hmm. It seems this recipe is from Bon Appetit from 2002? Not sure why it is attributed to Martha.

                        The one I've made is double-crusted and has just walnuts, no other nuts, and no cream. Somewhat like this one without the ganache (MS's has just a dribble on top):

                    2. I make Triple Chocolate Pudding pie. You can find the recipe on Epicurious.com. It's very rich and thick and topped with coffee whipped cream. I made it once and my family insists on it every year now.

                      1. Banoffee pie - digestive biscuit crust, caramel made from condensed milk, slices of banana topped with whipped cream & chocolate shavings.

                        1. It's interesting to see how attached everyone is to their pumpkin pie recipe. I am attached to mine too, and I wouldn't consider making it any other way, even though I am always fiddling with other recipes. Our recipe is from an old version of the Settlement Cookbook. Our guests always ask for the recipe and it is our family's favorite dessert, the one everyone asks us to have in lieu of a birthday cake.

                          1. I'm making the bourbon pecan pie from Cookwise. We LOVE pecan pie...



                            1. Sweetest Sweet Potato Pie


                              1/2 C. softened butter
                              1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar
                              1 C. Mashed, cooked sweet potatoes
                              3 lightly beaten eggs
                              1/3 C. corn syrup
                              1/3 C. milk
                              1/2 tsp. salt
                              1 tsp. vanilla extract
                              1 pie shell, unbaked


                              Cream butter and brown sugar in bowl until light and fluffy. Blend in sweet potato and eggs. Add next 4 ingredients; mix well. Pour into pie shell. Bake in a 425-degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake 35 to 45 minutes longer or until well set.

                              1. We did an early Thanksgiving this year and I made a fabulous pumpkin pie, and bruleed the top right before serving. The best idea, ever.

                                For the day of, we're having nontraditional meal (not my idea, at the mercy of relatives) and I'm making mincemeat pie.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Amuse Bouches

                                  Yum, sounds like a great idea- do you have to adjust your recipe at all to include more sugar or anything?

                                  1. re: yamalam

                                    I used about 2/3-3/4 c. brown sugar in the filling, then sprinkled white sugar on top to brulee.

                                2. I envy all you pecan pie eaters out there. It's one of my absolute favorites, but the S.O. is allergic to pecans, and so I can't really justify making it anymore (We don't have a big Thanksgiving to-do here in the UK).

                                  But I wanted to mention the cranberry polenta tart from last week's NYTimes. That looked incredible, and I may try it. You can find the recipe here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/14/din.... It doesn't look very difficult, either.

                                  1. I usually make a cranberry raisin tart from a Gourmet magazine several years ago. Easy and delicious; the recipe's on Epicurious:


                                    1. This is my favorite Thanksgiving pie. It is pecan, but slightly different than traditional: the pecans are all the way through the pie, not just on top, and it uses dark corn syrup and lots of spices to make a really wonderful, rich pie. If you like pecans, this is the best. (It is also very easy.)

                                      WORLD’S GREATEST PECAN PIE

                                      1/2 cup sugar
                                      1 cup DARK Karo syrup
                                      3 eggs, lightly beaten
                                      1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
                                      4 T butter
                                      1 t. vanilla
                                      1/2 t each cloves and allspice
                                      1 t. cinnamon
                                      1 unbaked pie shell
                                      pecan halves

                                      Preheat to 350.

                                      Bring sugar and syrup to a boil. Allow to cool. Add next seven ingredients and mix well.

                                      Pour into pie shell.

                                      Decorate with pecan halves and bake for 35 minutes.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Tom P

                                        That Pecan Pie sounds really yummy- Im just debating if I want to throw a chocolate twist in the mix or leave it traditional!

                                        1. re: gastronomy

                                          You know, I love it so much the way in the recipe, I've never tried anything else...BUT...if you did a layer of chocolate on the bottom, that might be pretty awesome!

                                          1. re: Tom P

                                            Mrs. Sippi's sister took a chocolate coconut pecan pie and a caramel pecan pie and combined the two recipes for one of tomorrow's deserts.
                                            I'm on pumpkin pie duty. As there are some elders with health concerns, I'm making one from the ADA and one the good old fashioned "Heavy cream" way.


                                      2. You can never have too much pie at the gatherings. They are good for breakfast the next day. I love mincemeat pie but my in-laws are not that crazy about it. So I usually make pumpkin and apple. (yawn). I would love to mix it up but my family feels so strongly about the dinner being the same every year! Acck! Does this drive anyone else crazy? Or is it just me?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: cookiehound

                                          I'd love to fatten my pie resume but everytime there's a family gathering (My family anyway) I'm told "Lemon Meringue." Let you sister worry about the ______ pie.


                                        2. I have made this cranberry apple harvest pie for years:
                                          Although not credited in that link, it is a Bon Appetit recipe, probably from the early 90s. It's nice and flavorful and a little tart, gorgeous as it is one crust and the apples and cranberries are so pretty-then you make caramel sauce and pour it all over. Fabulous!

                                          1. We've got four pies for 5-7 people, but what is Thanksgiving without leftover pie??? We'll have two apple and two pumpkin, simple and delicious. Boyfriend is making the pumpkin ones from a pumpkin he bought.

                                            One year I went the adventurous route with my apple pie and added to the crust: ground almonds, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Added to the filling: thinly sliced dried apricots, ginger, cranberries, extra cinnamon, and orange zest. It was delicious, but I'm sticking with my simple apples-butter-cinnamon-sugar-lemon approach.


                                            1. Just in case someone needs one more pie for the table and happens to have a cup of pumpkin still unspoken for, here's the recipe for a frozen pumpkin pie using vanilla ice cream. I made the crust with gingersnaps: 25 cookies (about 5 ounces) turned into a cup of fine crumbs in the blender, mix with 4 Tb. melted butter, press into 9" pan and bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees. Let cool and then fill and freeze.
                                              I also added a bit of allspice, and used a mix of brown sugar and honey instead of all brown sugar.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                Thanks for that recipe. I live in FL now where it is going to be 84 degrees today on Thanksgiving. I find I am less inclined to bake, but still have cravings for traditional seasonal flavors This will be perfect!

                                              2. My sister in laws sister in law made a raspberry lemonade pie that was excellent. It was a diet friendly one too. Who knew??


                                                1. Too late for this year, but cranberry-pecan seems to be a reliable combination (we've had two different versions over the years), sharp with rich for balance. Pumpkin is a requirement, so long as there's something else for my brother--this year we tried the pumpkin tart with damson jam from the November Gourmet, and I have to say it's the best pumpkin pie I've ever had: the custard is as good as any, and the complex note of the damson really makes it sing. Crust was excellent too.

                                                  1. Anyone have good pie results? I made the most beautiful apple pie I've ever made, and it tasted just as good as it looked. I decorated it with pieces of dough shaped as leaves. I'd picked up Rhode Island Greening apples at the farmers' market in NYC when I was there - the best pie apples ever.

                                                    Pictures and recipe are on the food blog of my website below.


                                                    1. Here is the Martha Caramel Nut Tart:

                                                      From Nov 98 MSL mag.

                                                      1. I attempted to recreate one of my favorite pies from a local restaurant - they call it a holiday lush pie. It has a regular pie crust, a layer of chopped nuts on the bottom of the crust, a cream cheese pie filling on top of that, and on top, a slightly jelled thin fruit layer consisting of chopped cranberries, apples and nuts. For the cream cheese layer, I used a recipe I had used before which uses cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and vanilla. For the top layer, I make a cranberry relish of finely chopped fresh cranberries oranges, apples, sugar and cinnamon. I used some of that relish and made up a bit of raspberry jello with less that the emount of water called for, mixed in the relish, and let it sit in the fridge until thickened. Then I spread a layer of that on top of the cream cheese layer. It worked pretty well, except I think the fruit layer was too thick - it needs to be on the thinner side. All in all, for an experiment, it turned out pretty well!

                                                        1. I made Pumpkin Custard Tarts with a honey graham cracker crust. I used agave syrup instead of sugar -- they came out fabulous.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Jill Brazil

                                                            I made my pumpkin pie (i posted the recipe above) and really yummy mini pecan and fudge pecan pies- no pictures but they were fabulous!