It’s the day before Thanksgiving and of course you are doing what every good host is, worrying about the meal for the next day. And what is the most important dish for this festive holiday (well for every non-vegitarian household)
(if you didn’t guess from the giant picture that I have at the top of this, and well common knowledge of Thanksgiving foods)
Now it is common knowledge that all you really have to do is pop it in the oven until that little red thing pops up. But No! This is misinformation that must be stopped. If the turkey is still frozen on the inside, then the outside will crisp up, the little done thing pops up and you think you have a finished bird. Instead please
Defrost that bird the night before
Use a meat thermometer
If you’ve stuffed the bird then it should get to an internal temperature of at leat 165 degrees F
Anyways, now that my turkey safety rant is over with (once you have turkey where people are guessing if it is done you have a pretty strong opinion on food safety). Now on with the food talk.
The second most common food for this holiday is the all important pumpkin pie. What probably is my favorite dish has become so underappreciated that you can buy the filling in a can, dump it in a pre-made pie crust, pop it in the oven and call it home-made.
It is such a simple, wonderful recipe that can have so much done with it. Now I always go the extra mile and use a pie pumpkin, but those who are intimidated by that can keep on using the canned pumpkin (which in a pinch is pretty good stuff and I still can’t convince my mother to use anything else). But there are many variations that can keep your pumpkin pie from sitting with only a few small slivers taken by the few who try to stick to tradition.
The first and my most recent favorite I must admit I got from the wonderful Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbum. I have tried many of her recipes but this addition that I was a bit hesitant about added a whole new level to the pie.
Take about 1/2 cups pecans and around 4 gingersnap cookies and grind them up in a food processor (they need to be totally processes, no big chunks)
Add more to this mixture depending on how much that makes (this is all from memory right now so bear with me)
Put this on top of your pie crust (before you put the mixture in) and press in an even layer on the bottom and halfway up the sides of the crust.
Pour in filling and bake 🙂
It is quite easy and adds some spice to the crust. I went further and roasted some cinnamon spiced pecans and added them to the top of the pie after it had finished baking. It has been a huge hit so far.
pst recipe here 😉
But as for changing things up, I tried something I haven’t before with the leftover filling. Everyone who has made a pumpkin pie knows that even though you may measure it out exactly, there is always quite a bit that just won’t fit in the pie shell. What to do with that?
Just going on whim I grabbed a some small individual glass dishes (that are oven safe) and melting some butter, pressed some of the remaining pecan-gingersnap mixture into a crust on the bottom of the bowls. Next was the remaining pumpkin pie mixture, and I topped each with a pecan (gently dropped on top so it wouldn’t sink in). Take a cake pan, place the dishes in it and fill around them with water until it reaches over halfway up sides of the dishes. Now place this in the oven at the usual 350 degrees F, but cook for about half the time you usually would a pie, so around 30 minutes but I would check on them occasionally. Of course figure out if it is done or not by sticking a toothpick in the middle and if it comes out clean then they are done. Let cool if you want, but I found I enjoy this one still a little warm.