Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Pies (you have to have more than one....)

Pies. One of my favorite things. My mother makes the best pies in the world. Her secret? Her homemade crust. She takes flour, shortening, and water and turns it into a magnificent taste sensation.

I've tried her recipe; I can't replicate her touch. Instead, I rely on Pillsbury pre-made piecrust dough in the rectangular red boxes. In the refrigerator section. People who eat my pies (and didn't grow up eating pies made by my mother) love them.

Our Thanksgiving traditions include a lot of pies: pumpkin or squash (sometimes both), pecan, apple, mince; and the old New England standby, Indian pudding with vanilla ice cream. This year I'm baking pecan and trying out making pumpkin tarts instead of a pie; I'll let you know how they turn out.

On to the pie recipes: pecan and pumpkin:

Pecan Pie

Serves 8
Preheat oven to 350º

1 cup Karo syrup
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) shelled pecans
1 unbaked 9” pie crust

Stir the first 5 ingredients thoroughly using a large spoon. Mix in pecans.
Pour into prepared pie crust.
Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes. Cool for 2 hours. Store pie in refrigerator.

Tips: Pie is done when center reaches 200º F. Tap center surface of pie lightly; it should spring back when done. For easy cleanup, spray pie pan with cooking spray. If pie crust is over-browning, cover edges with tin foil.

Recipe from the Karo container.

New England Pumpkin Pie

1 15 ounce can ONE-PIE pumpkin
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt (scant)
1 ½ teaspoon butter (melted)
1 ½ cups milk or 1-12 ounce can of evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1/8 cup molasses
2 eggs (beaten)
1 unbaked 9” pie crust

Preheat oven to 450ºF.

Sift sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg together. Mix this with contents of one can pumpkin. Add eggs, beaten, melted butter, molasses, and milk. Add a dash of lemon juice if desired.

Line a 9” pie plate with pie crust, pour in mixture. Bake at 450º for 15 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 350º and continue to bake for 50 minutes.

Cool on wire rack.

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