Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Year of the Pie

Thanksgiving 2009:
Georgia Pecan, Pecan with Chocolate, Apple Cranberry Walnut


Grandma’s Southern Pecan Pie (half with bittersweet chocolate chunks)
Other Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie with a Cheesecake Swirl
Apricot Linzertorte with Tangy Whipped Cream
(Alternates: Apple Cranberry Walnut Pie or Pear Chocolate (# 12))
For a holiday with so many traditions, every household still celebrates Thanksgiving with different levels of formality, numbers of people, hours of football, and food. From year to year my festivities have definitely varied but right now there are a few items from years past that I want to be present. To make it interesting, my family decided that Thanksgiving 2011 would be the year of the pie.
Pecan Pie. Sometimes multiple, no matter who makes them, it has become one of those staples. I think this tradition set itself in stone the year I decided to bake the pie one day in advance. The poor dear barely lasted ten hours. The next morning I whipped up two more and crisis was averted. The recipe comes from my Grandmother, also known as Mema in Georgia, who loves sending pecans our way. There is still controversy in the household about my addition of the bittersweet chocolate so I’ll do half and half to keep the peace. After all, peace and appreciation should be present on such a day.
One of my earliest memories is trying a slice of pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream, over the river and through the woods at my Grandparent’s house in Delaware. I want to bring it back this year, with a Food Network twist. Another year was the Bon Appétit Thanksgiving, with all new recipes from the magazine’s November issue. A feature was the pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust. It turned out too rich, too delicious, and far too big. I want this year to be a perfect marriage of Grandma’s classic and my experimentation.
There is not as much of a story about the Austrian Linzertorte. This pick was inspired by a peach tart I made about two months ago with a killer hazelnut crust. I came upon the magazine clipping in my mom’s collection of recipes that never seems to cease expanding.
If you haven’t guessed, dessert is my thing, my job, drug, I dare say passion. I stumbled upon a complete pie guide on After reading I knew that the year of the pie should showcase a representative from each the category of fruit, nut, custard/cream, and tart. However we are only expecting seven to nine people for dinner, for which four pies, is a little excessive (about five pieces per capita). If the occasion arises that we need more, I have planned two extra fruit pies: Apple Cranberry Walnut (from 2009) and Pear Chocolate (the just idea makes me hungry).
I have recently admitted to my Christmas Cookie obsession, just so you know what to expect.

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