What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than with pie? Find a new favorite among BoB’s best Thanksgiving pies!
The BEST Thanksgiving Pies
When I think of Thanksgiving, my mind instantly goes to pies. There’s something incredibly satisfying about ending the Thanksgiving feast with a stunning array of pies. While there are numerous desserts that scream Thanksgiving, today, let’s zero in on the star of the show – pies!
Diving into my archives, I’ve compiled an irresistible collection of over 40 pies, tarts, mini pies, and more, each with a unique twist that makes them ideal for your Thanksgiving table.
Expect classic flavors like pecan, chess, and apple, but also get ready to be tempted by less traditional but equally tantalizing options featuring pears, cranberries, caramel, and chocolate. And for those feeling a bit pumpkin-ed out, you’ll be thrilled to know this collection is a pumpkin-free zone!
Whether you’re looking for that one perfect pie or a range to impress, these recipes are sure to make your Thanksgiving not just special, but memorably delicious!
How Many Pies Do I Need for Thanksgiving?
The pie question of the hour: how many do you need? A standard pie typically serves 8 to 12, so I usually plan for about 10 slices per pie. A good rule of thumb: aim for 1 to 2 servings per guest. This accounts for the samplers who love a bit of everything and those who prefer just a modest slice post-feast. And if you’re hosting the same group as previous years, you probably have a good sense of their pie preferences – not to mention, leftover pie is never a bad thing!
Expert Tips for Perfect Thanksgiving Pies
Every pie is a unique baking adventure, but here are some universal tips to ensure pie perfection:
- Recipe Review: Familiarize yourself thoroughly with the recipe to avoid any surprises.
- Ingredient Check: Gather everything beforehand. This step is crucial to avoid last-minute ingredient shortages.
- Trial Run: If you’re trying a new recipe, give it a test bake well before Thanksgiving. This helps iron out any kinks specific to your kitchen environment and equipment.
- Choose the Right Pan: The type of pan you use (metal, glass, ceramic) significantly affects the outcome. My go-to is usually a light-colored metal pan. For more pie baking essentials, check out my recommendations on my Amazon Storefront!
- Advance Baking: Prepare as much as you can in advance. Many pies store well, and even if you can’t make the whole pie ahead, pre-making and storing your dough can be a real time-saver.
Don’t forget the final flourish – toppings! There are plenty of simple things you can do to make your pies as beautiful as they are delicious.
- Ice Cream: When in doubt, a scoop of ice cream is the perfect addition to most any pie. Go with classic vanilla ice cream, or try something different with butter pecan or dulce de leche varieties.
- Whipped cream: I love a little dollop of sweetened whipped cream on a slice of pie. For something a little fancier, pipe whipped cream on the top of pies in decorative patterns. You could use a star tip for a classic look or get creative with different shapes.
- Powdered Sugar: For pies with a flat top (like chess or chocolate pies), a light dusting of powdered sugar can add a sweet, elegant finish. Use stencils for patterns for a fun look.
- Sauces: For pies with simpler tops, a drizzle of caramel, chocolate, or fruit sauce can add both flavor and visual appeal. You could use a spoon for a more rustic look or a squeeze bottle for precision.
- Themed Pie Crust Cutters: For double-crust pies, use Thanksgiving-themed pie crust cutters for the top crust. Shapes like autumn leaves, acorns, or pumpkins can add a festive touch.
How to Get the Perfect Slice
Cutting a pie perfectly can be a bit of a challenge, but with the right techniques, you can ensure neat, appetizing slices. When you cut your Thanksgiving pies with confidence, each slice looks as good as it tastes!
- Use a Sharp, Thin Knife: A sharp, thin-bladed knife works best for cutting pies. It makes clean cuts without dragging the filling.
- Dip the Knife in Hot Water: Before cutting, dip your knife in hot water and wipe it dry. This helps the knife glide through the pie more smoothly, especially for pies with a denser filling.
- Make the First Cut a Large Piece: The first slice is always the trickiest to remove. Cut a larger-than-normal piece for the first slice to make it easier to lift out of the pie dish.
- Use a Pie Server: After cutting, use a pie server (a triangular-shaped spatula) to carefully lift out the slices. This tool provides better support to the pie slice than a regular knife or spatula.
- Clean the Knife Between Cuts: Wipe your knife clean between cuts. This prevents the filling from building up on the knife, ensuring cleaner slices.
- Cutting Guides: For a large pie, you can gently score the top to create a guide for even slices. This is especially helpful if you’re serving many guests and want uniform pieces.
- Let the Pie Cool: Make sure the pie has cooled down enough before cutting. A pie that’s too hot can fall apart or have a runny filling. (I’m looking at you, pecan pie!) The ideal cooling time varies depending on the type of pie.
- Consider the Pie Type: Different pies may require different techniques. For example, very flaky crusts might need a serrated knife, while creamy pies like cheesecakes might need a knife dipped in hot water for each cut.
- Practice Patience: Don’t rush the cutting process. Take your time to make deliberate, thoughtful cuts for the best presentation.
Storing Your Thanksgiving Pies
How you store your pies is as important as how you make them. Pies requiring refrigeration, like those made with dairy, need to be covered as per the recipe. Others can be stored at room temperature with appropriate covering. Check each recipe for specific storage instructions. And for guests who wish to take a slice home, have some containers ready for easy packing.
Bake or Break’s Favorite Thanksgiving Pies
I hope these Thanksgiving pie recipes will inspire you to get baking this holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!
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