Pumpkin pie is about as Thanksgiving as that holiday gets. But there’s a whole world of pie out there to explore. We asked local pastry chefs and a baking booster for favorite Thanksgiving pie recipes. They replied with pie recipes featuring cranberries, booze-glazed fruit and crunchy peanut butter ganache.
Don’t worry. Just in case you’re not one to mess with tradition, one pastry chef offered a recipe for pumpkin pie (with a twist).
Jessica Duggan, owner and pastry chef of the newly opened Tattered Apron Bakery in Puyallup, can’t settle for ordinary anything inside her flaky pie crust. “I like to see what works with different flavor profiles,” she said. She was playing around with the idea of a peach pie with a fall flavor treatment. “I felt like regular peach pie was boring,” she said.
So she added two flavor tweaks. She made a whiskey glaze to deepen the flavor of the peaches and pecans for a nutty finish. “It’s our number one selling pie this year, by far,” she said.
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Erin Powell, pastry chef at Tacoma’s Dirty Oscar’s Annex, put together two classic flavors: chocolate and peanut butter and added a textural twist — a crunchy molasses cookie broken up and incorporated into one of the layers in the pie. She said the pie recipe she’s offered does come with several steps, but she employed a frazzled cook’s favorite tool — a microwave — for cutting down the cooking time on the two ganache layers.
Odette D’Aniello, owner of Tacoma’s Celebrity Cake Studio, offered a recipe for an unusually sweetened ginger pumpkin pie.
In recent years, D’Aniello has developed a secondary specialty for her bakery known for its elaborate celebration cakes. She’s created lines of gluten free, dairy free and naturally sweetened desserts. In her fruit sweetened desserts, she uses FruitSweet, a product she enjoyed so much, she bought the recipe and brand from Wax Orchards, a Vashon farm that has operated for close to 100 years.
Mary Beth Ricks, a founding member of the Olympia Pie Guild, knows her way around pies. She’s one of the organizers of Pie Fest (held next year on Feb 25th at the Olympia Community Center).
You’ll like her pie moxie. On her Thanksgiving table, there always is a choice of at least three pies. “We consistently have maple syrup pecan, a recipe from my friend, Marg; layered pumpkin pie with ginger snap crust, from Aunt Barbara, and a cream cheese ‘something’ pie. I made a cream cheese pecan pie one year and got excited about the cream cheese layer. I have since rotated the cream cheese pecan with cream cheese apple, blueberry, cherry or cranberry apple crumb. You can make any favorite pie and just throw the cream cheese filling underneath, if you think it would enhance the flavor. It is a fun surprise.”
Fruit Sweetened Ginger Pumpkin Pie
Source: Odette D’aniello, co-owner Celebrity Cake Studio.
1 9-inch pastry crust, unbaked
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup FruitSweet®
1 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cup whole milk
3 whole eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
Heat oven to 350 degrees.Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and use paddle attachment to beat on slow for 2 minutes. Pour mixture into crust and bake for 40 minutes. Wiggle the pan to see if the pie has set. If it has, remove from oven and cool before serving.
Yield: 1 pie, serves 8
Whiskey Glazed Pecan Peach Pie
Source: Jessica Duggan, owner of Tattered Apron Bakery.
FOR THE PIE CRUST:
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
6-7 tablespoons ice water
FOR THE PEACH FILLING:
6 cups peaches, (frozen is fine)
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons tapioca (use minute tapioca, not tapioca flour).
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
For the pecan topping:
1 cup pecan pieces
¼ cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
FOR THE WHISKEY GLAZE:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon whiskey (I use Jack Daniels)
1-2 tablespoons water
For the pie crust: In a medium sized mixing bowl, add flour. Cut butter into small cubes, and cut into flour with pastry cutter. Do this until the butter gets to pea sized pieces. To this, add egg yolk that has been mixed with one tablespoon of ice water. Mix water into flour mixture one tablespoon at a time until a dough forms.
For the peach filling: Place peaches in a bowl, and squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon over the fruit. Add all dry ingredients and toss the peaches until they are covered in the dry ingredients.
For the pecan topping: Mix topping ingredients together in a bowl.
For assembly: Roll out the pie crust, and place it in a pie dish to form the bottom crust. There should be enough hangover that you can fold over a bit, and crimp the sides. Make an egg wash, and brush the bottom crust with it. That helps to keep the crust from getting soggy during cooking. To the crust in the pie dish, add all of the fruit, including the powdery leftovers from the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle the pecan mixture over the pie.
To bake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pie for 1 1/2 hours. Cover the pie with foil for the last 30 minutes, loosely, so that the pecans don’t burn.
For the glaze: Combine all ingredients and reserve until pie is finished baking. Spoon over top of pie while still hot.
Yield: 1 pie, serves 8
Peanut Butter Crunch Bar Pie
Source: Erin Powell, pastry chef at Dirty Oscar’s Annex.
FOR THE CRUST:
18 full (2 graham squares) graham crackers
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ½ ounces unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE CRUNCH:
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 large egg whites
FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER GANACHE FILLING:
11 ounces white chocolate
11 ounces creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Reserved crunch, about 1 cup
For the milk chocolate ganache:
6 ounces milk chocolate (chips or chopped from a bar)
1 ½ ounces half and half
1/3 cup chopped peanuts (optional)
For the graham cracker crust: Line a 9 inch round pan (with at least 2 inch high sides) with a parchment paper round. Spray with pan spray. In a food processor, grind graham crackers to a fine crumb. Add sugar and salt, mix until combined.
Add melted butter, pulse until combined. Press firmly into the pan and 1 ½ inches up the sides.
Bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool once done.
For the crunch: Heat oven to 275 degrees, Line a sheet pan with a silicone mat.
In a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar, molasses and salt until smooth. Add in flour, mix until combined. Add egg whites, mix until smooth.
Spread the batter in a thin layer from edge to edge on the silicone mat. Bake for 10 to 20 minutes, until browned and firm to the touch. The baked cookie will crisp up once you pull it from the oven.
Pull from the oven and let cool. Once cool, crumble the cookie with your hands into small pieces, the largest being the size of a dime. Set aside.
For the peanut butter ganache filling: Combine white chocolate, peanut butter, and salt together in a microwave safe container. These do not need to be mixed together, just set the peanut butter on top of the white chocolate.
Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after every interval. This generally takes 1 minute to 1 minute and 30 seconds. After the second 30 second cook time, stir well, this may be enough time. You do not want to burn the mixture.
Once the mixture is melted, stir in the crunch until incorporated. Pour into the prepared graham cracker crust. Chill the pie in the fridge until set.
Once the peanut butter filling has set, prepare the milk chocolate ganache.
For the milk chocolate ganache: In a microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate and half and half in 30 second increments. Stir after every interval. This should take 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds. Once melted, pour over the peanut filling. Spread to the edges of the pie. Garnish with chopped peanuts, if desired. Chill in the fridge until chocolate has set.
To serve: The pie can be served directly from the fridge, but is most delicious at room temperature. Served with ice cream, fresh whipped cream, or by itself.
Notes: Golden Grahams or Rice Krispies can be substituted in place of the crunch. Always use the best quality chocolate you can find. I am partial to the Theo, Valrhona and Cacao Barry. A pre-made graham crust can also be used, but the ratio of filling might be off slightly.
Yield: 1-9 inch round
Cranberry Apple Cream Cheese Crumb Pie
Source: Mary Beth Ricks, founding member Olympia Bakers Guild.
FOR THE PIE CRUST:
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar (apple cider vinegar is ok too)
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
8 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
FOR THE PIE FILLING:
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
4 medium apples, cored, peeled and chopped
2 cups cranberries
Zest of one orange
FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/2 cup cold butter
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
For the crust: Cut butter into flour, using a pastry blender. Add salt. Break egg into a one cup measuring cup. Add water to equal 1/2 cup. Add vinegar to water and egg and mix with a fork. Pour water mixture into flour and mix it into a dough ball. (Alternately, this can also be quickly prepared in a food processor. Put the flour and salt in first, then the cold butter. Add the liquid ingredients and process into dough).
Divide dough into two balls. Wrap and chill for about 20-30 minutes. This can really be rolled out right away, but it is a bit easier to handle chilled. Reserve one of the balls for later use, or freeze. Roll out the other ball and press the crust into a pie pan and set aside.
For the crumb topping: Cut cold butter into dry ingredients, set aside.
For the cream cheese filling: Combine ingredients together and then spread cream cheese mixture in bottom of pastry shell.
For the fruit pie filling: In large bowl, combine dry ingredients, add chopped apples, cranberries and zest. Spread fruit later on top of cream cheese layer.
For baking: Top pie with crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes.