Several years ago I passed on the job of preparing Thanksgiving desserts (meaning pie) to my daughter and her sons. She told me that this year they are making a traditional pumpkin pie, sour cream apple pie, and my younger grandson is making some kind of chocolate pie (chocolate cream?)
When my mother was with us for Thanksgiving, we had to have jello. Her reasoning was that everyone was too full after dinner to have pie, but there was enough room for jello. She prepared it in some really pretty amber-colored sherbet glasses, and topped them with whipped cream. I’m afraid that the jello has gone by the wayside in my house!
Here are a couple of pie recipes – one new one that I haven’t tried, and one that I used to make all of the time. The one I haven’t tried is a pumpkin chiffon pie. I like pumpkin, and this one is a bit different. For one thing, it has a graham cracker crust. The recipe is from Bon Appetit.
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
12 graham crackers
2 Tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. kosher salt
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled
Filling and Assembly
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2½ tsp.)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¾ (scant) cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
3 large egg yolks
¾ cup whole milk
1¼ cups unsweetened pumpkin purée (from one 15-oz. can)
3 large egg whites
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 325°. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until broken down into fine crumbs (you should have about 2 cups). Set aside 2 Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs for serving. Add sugar and salt and pulse just to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
Transfer to a 9½”-diameter deep pie dish. Using a measuring cup, press crumbs firmly onto bottom and up sides of dish. Bake crust until fragrant and edges just start to take on color, 20–25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
Filling and Assembly
Stir gelatin, cinnamon, nutmeg, a scant ½ cup sugar, and ½ tsp. salt in a small saucepan. Whisk egg yolks and milk in a small bowl to combine, then whisk into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon (but do not let it boil), about 5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin purée and remove from heat. Transfer to a large bowl and chill until cool, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. With the motor running, gradually add a scant ¼ cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, 5–7 minutes.
Mix one-third of egg white mixture into chilled pumpkin mixture until smooth. Gently fold remaining egg white mixture into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions until incorporated, but don’t overmix.
Pour filling into graham cracker crust; smooth top. Cover and chill overnight.
Vigorously whisk cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Fold in sour cream and remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar and ¼ tsp. salt just to combine. Using a large spoon, dollop a generous amount of whipped cream in the center of pie. Sprinkle with reserved graham cracker crumbs. Slice and serve with any remaining whipped cream alongside.
This recipe is one I have made for years. I first tasted it at a restaurant where my boss and some of our employees would go for lunch for a special occasion, or when we were entertaining customers. The restaurant was called The Farm House, and they had the BEST homemade food, especially desserts! Sadly, they went out of business some years ago.
Sour Cream Apple Pie
1 cup sour cream
3⁄4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1⁄2 cups apples, peeled and thinly sliced or finely chopped
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
1/2 cup brown sugar
1⁄4 cup butter
1⁄3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Beat sour cream and egg together.
Add flour, sugar, salt and vanilla.
Mix until smooth.
Stir in apples.
Pour into the pie shell, and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
Mix the crumb topping ingredients until crumbly.
Remove pie from oven and spread with crumb topping.
Bake 20 more minutes.
What desserts will you be serving on Thanksgiving Day this year?