|Brenda Rawson is proud of her pecan pie.|
At Thanksgiving, who doesn't look forward to those wonderful pies? Pumpkin, pecan, apple, chocolate cream, lemon, blueberry, the possibilities are as endless as are the variations. There is always a good family argument about what pies we should finish off our feast with, and we could fill an entire newspaper with the pros and cons of various family favorites. Our focus today will be on pumpkin and pecan.
While doing research for this article we have learned of pumpkin pies 'doctored' up with rum, Jack Daniels, Kailua, eggnog, Sprite and Bailey's Cream. We have heard the arguments about pumpkin vs. sweet potato, and fresh pumpkin vs. canned. Pumpkin pies can be cream pies; chiffon pies, upside down pies, squares and combined with pecans. Literally there are thousands of pumpkin pie recipes out there. Pecan pie bakers, on the other hand seem to stay truer to their pie roots, each family guarding their recipe, with fewer variations, but each as good as the last.
Regardless of whether your family will eat pumpkin or pecan, or something entirely different, Thanksgiving pie seems to come to one common point; tradition. Each family carries on its own traditions, and when families combine, whether blended or newlywed; they will keep some of the old traditions and make a few new. May each of you be blessed with the gift of tradition.
Some of our readers have agreed to share their traditional thanksgiving pie recipes, and the stories behind them.
From Sun Advocate reader Erica Kardelis of Helper:
I like to have pumpkin pie for my birthday instead of cake. This is not usually a problem until the year I moved to Price. My birthday is Oct. 24 and when I went to City Market to get a can of pumpkin, I was told it was 'seasonal' and wouldn't be stocked until closer to Thanksgiving. I learned my lesson and my pantry always has a few cans of pumpkin in it.
1 can pumpkin
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbs. molasses
1 Tbs. butter, soft
3/4 cup. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 can. evaporated milk
1 pie crust
I buy the frozen pie crusts. I can't make a pie crust to save my life.
This is for one pie. If you need two, double everything or buy the big can of pumpkin.
Mix the butter into the sugar and then add everything else. Press the pie crust into the deepest pie pan you have.
Pour the mix into the crust, it will fill the pan and you may have extra left over.
Cover the crusts of your pie with strips of tinfoil or use crust covers if you have them. The pie cooks so hot and so long that the crust will burn if not covered.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350 and let the pie bake for another 45 minute or until a sharp knife poked into the center comes out clean.
Don't even think about cutting until it is totally cool. Refrigerate if you actually have any leftovers.
From Sun Advocate reader Nancy Boswell of Price:
This is my mother's recipe for pumpkin chiffon pie. This family favorite is fluffy because the whipped cream is in the pie - but of course more can be added on top when serving. I doubt this is a family secret as my mom probably got the recipe off the can of pumpkin. My sister and I have determined that we will eat "regular" pumpkin pie but this recipe is our favorite.
2-2/3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
6 Tbs of water
Makes two pie crusts. Bake without filling at 425 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
2 cups pumpkin
2 Tbs gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp salt
Beat egg yolks, add 1 cup sugar, pumpkin, milk, salt and spices.
Cook until thick; add gelatin soaked in cold water. Mix and cool.
When thick fold in stiffly beaten egg whites to which remaining sugar has been added.
Pour into 9 inch baked pie shells. Makes 2 pies.
From Sun Advocate reader Cathy Wilson of Carbonville:
Here is a pumpkin pie recipe from my ardent vegetarian days. The tofu adds protein without changing the texture. It's a nice variation on pumpkin pie, rich tasting but healthy. I'm not vegetarian anymore, but I still like to use this recipe.
1 lb. silken tofu, drained
16 oz. can pumpkin puree
1-3/4 cups fresh puree
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil (not olive)
1 tsp. ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350. Combine all filling ingredients except pie shell and ginger. Mix in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Add the ginger, then blend again. Pour filling into unbaked 9-inch deep dish pie shell.
Bake 1 hour. Let cool before serving.