Thanksgiving Pies

I often volunteer myself for desserts for holiday gatherings and this year was no different. I had opted for a Chocolate Maple Pecan pie (trying to prove that I could do it and we didn’t need to purchase one from a local bakery). I then quickly realized that I didn’t want to waste the second pie shell I’d have the dough for so I turned to a standard Pumpkin Pie. I use the same dough recipe for each pie as well as the same coconut whipped cream (directions found here)

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Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie

A couple of notes: I love that this uses maple syrup, dark chocolate and instant coffee to richen and goo-ify things without processed corn syrup.

Toasted pecans make a big difference. It makes them nuttier and also helps protect them from absorbing too much liquid and ending up soggy. Nobody likes a soggy pecan.

I always use this dough recipe, turns out beautifully in our dry climate. Note: Earth Balance Sticks perform better than what you would assume is the same product in a tub.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • Pie dough of your choice (this one is my favorite but we can keep store bought our own little secret)

For the filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (watch out for dairy here if that’s a concern)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (real stuff, not Aunt Jemima’s colored corn syrup)
  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 a stick) Earth Balance Baking Stick, melted
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp instant coffee, mixed with 1 Tbsp water to make a thick paste
  • 6 oz pecans, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Once the dough has chilled (whether store-bought or homemade), remove it from the fridge and lay it out on a floured surface – I get really generous with the flour on the counter. Using a rolling pin, roll it out in a rough circle until it is about 10-12 inches in diameter than gently pick it up and drape it in the pie dish. Roll any excess under and then crimp the edges with your fingers or the tines of a fork. If you won’t be using pie weights, poke the bottom of the crust all over with the tines of the fork.
  3. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and put them in the oven to toast while it’s heating up – I’d  recommend setting a timer for 5 minutes, then 2 minute increments as needed, to ensure that you don’t end up burning them. Once they’re browned, take them out and set them aside to cool.
  4. While the pecans are cooling, blind-bake the crust for about 10 minutes to ensure that it does not get soggy. Pull from the oven to cool.
  5. Turn the oven down to 350F
  6. Combine the melted Earth Balance, salt, sugar, maple syrup, coffee paste, and eggs then whisk to combine. Lay the toasted pecans and chopped chocolate in the bottom of the pie crust then pour the filling over it and top with a few whole, raw pecans. Bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes. The outer edges should be firm while the center should be a little bit jiggly. Take it out and let it cool fully before serving. This will allow the center to finish cooking completely and set fully. Serve on its own or with coconut whipped cream.
  7. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie

This was the lightest, fluffiest, most favorite pumpkin pie I’ve ever made.

I always use this dough recipe, turns out beautifully in our dry climate. Note: Earth Balance Sticks perform better than what you would assume is the same product in a tub.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • Pie dough of your choice (this one is my favorite but we can keep store bought our own little secret)

For the filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 (1.75) pumpkin puree (homemade is great but takes more time. (I love this stuff this stuff that comes in a carton, but canned would do too)
  • 1 cup dairy free milk (I prefer almond)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F
  2. Whip eggs until frothy, like, really frothy
  3. Beat in sugar, then spices and salt.
  4. Add pumpkin and milk and beat until well blended and smooth
  5. Pour mixture into pie shell
  6. Bake at 450F for 10 minutes
  7. Reduce heat to 350F and bake for 45-50 more minutes.
  8. Pull from oven and allow to cool
  9. Top with whipped cream
  10. Enjoy!
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2 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Pies

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