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La Belle Cuisine - More Favorite Recipes

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Thanksgiving Pies with a Twist



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"Of course you can buy a ready-made pie shell,
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~ Julia Child, in "Julia's Kitchen Wisdom"

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Pumpkin Patch Store, Pownal, Vermont
Pumpkin Patch Store,
Pownal, Vermont
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Elk III, John
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"Thanksgiving Day Blues" Saturday Evening Post Cover, November 28,1942
"Thanksgiving Day...
Norman Rockwell
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Fresh Figs in a China Bowl on a Cloth, Knife
Fresh Figs in a
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Smith, Peter...
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Home To Thanksgiving, 1867
Home to Thanksgiving, 1867
Currier & Ives
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La Belle Cuisine


Thanksgiving Recipe Index


Thanksgiving Pies with a Twist

Okay. I know what you're thinking. How many Thanksgiving pie recipes
do we need?!?!? Oh. That's not what you're thinking? Hmmmm. Well,
then, that must be what I am thinking! Really. How much is too much?
Our archives are full to overflowing. Lots of variations on pumpkin pie,
apple pie, all kinds of cream pies, tarts of all varieties. Still, it is very
difficult to resist a combination of two all-time-favorite American pies:
pumpkin and pecan. And after all, the Thanksgiving feast is virtually
synonymous with pie baking, is it not? Plus which I absolutely refuse
to pass up an opportunity to offer you any recipe by the late, great
Chef Jamie Shannon I am fortunate enough to discover!
So. There you have it. Happy baking, happy gorging.
And Happy Thanksgiving!

Recipe Source:

1996 Food and Wine: An Entire Year's
Recipes from America's Favorite Food Magazine
Editor in Chief: Judith Hill, 1996, American Express Publishing Corporation


Pumpkin Pecan Tart

Makes one 10-inch tart

Shortbread Pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 stick cold unsalted butter (1/2 pound),
cut into pieces

Pumpkin Filling:
3 large eggs
1/3 cup light brown sugar
One 15-ounce can pumpkin purée 1 2/3 cups
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Pecan Topping:
3 large eggs
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups pecan halves (about 6 1/2 ounces)

1. Make the shortbread pastry:  In a food processor, pulse the flour and sugar. Add the butter; pulse until the dough can be gathered in a ball. Roll
into a 9-inch log on a lightly floured work surface. Divide into a 5-inch log
for the sides of the shell and a 4-inch piece for the base. Pat the base into
a 6-inch disk; wrap in plastic. Wrap the log separately and refrigerate both
until chilled, 1 hour or overnight.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the disk evenly into a 10-inch round.
Press into the base of a 10-inch springform pan. Divide the log in half
crosswise and roll into two 13-inch ropes. Fit them into the pan around
the base and join the ends to make one continuous rope. Evenly press
the dough 2 inches up the sides of the pan to form a seamless shell;
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set a large heavy baking sheet on
the lowest shelf of the oven to preheat.
4. Make the pumpkin filling:  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, brown
sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
5. Make the pecan topping:  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs,
brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, flour and salt.
6. Stir the filling, pour into the shell and arrange the nuts on top. Stir the
topping; pour over the nuts. Bake on the preheated sheet for 1 hour
and 10 minutes. Cover loosely with foil; bake about 15 minutes
longer, or until the filling in the center looks set when you lift a
pecan. Cool on a rack.

Make Ahead:  The tart can be refrigerated up to 1 day.
- Sherry Fahey


Sweet-Potato Chocolate Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter (6 ounces),
cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/3 cup cold vegetable shortening
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

2 3/4 pounds sweet potatoes
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 ounces semisweet chocolate at room
temperature, cut into 1-inch-long matchsticks

Whipped Cream:
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Make the pastry:  In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt
to blend. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture
resembles coarse meal. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons of the ice water and
pulse just until the dough can be gathered into a ball; if necessary,
gradually add the remaining water. Turn the dough out onto a lightly
floured surface and form it into a 9-inch log. Cut off a 4-inch section
of the log and pat it into a 6-inch disk for the bottom crust. Wrap the
disk in wax paper. Cut the remaining dough in half and wrap each
piece separately in wax paper. Refrigerate all of the dough until
chilled, at least 1 hour, or overnight.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the disk into a 9-inch round. Fit it
into the base of a 9-by-2 1/2-inch springform pan. With your hands,
roll each of the remaining dough pieces into a 13-inch rope. Fit them
around the base of the pan and join the ends to make one continuous
rope. Using your fingers, evenly press the dough 2 inches up the sides
of the pan to form a seamless shell. Refrigerate.
3. Make the filling:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet for about 1 hour, or until soft when pierced.
Let cool; remove the skins. Purée the potatoes in a food processor.
(Make Ahead: the shell and potatoes can be refrigerated for 1 day.)
4. In a medium bowl, combine the sugars with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Whisk in 3 cups of the sweet potatoes, then the sugar mixture. Spoon half the custard in the pie shell;
top with half the chocolate; Cover with the rest of the custard. Arrange
the remaining chocolate decoratively on top.
5. Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour, or until almost set in
the middle. Turn the oven off; leave the pie inside until cool.
6. Make the whipped cream:  Beat the ingredients until stiff. Serve the
pie at room temperature; pass the cream separately.
- Jamie Shannon [the late chef of Commander’s Palace, New Orleans]


Fig Tart

“Fans of Fig Newtons will love this fig ‘linzer torte”. Serve cups
of espresso with small slices of this intensely flavored tart.”

Makes one 9-inch tart

2/3 cup shelled pecans
3/4 cup sugar
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups fig jam (about 27 ounces; see Note)
1 teaspoon milk
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

1. In a food processor, grind the pecans and the sugar until the nuts are
very fine. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. In a
medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the ground
nuts until light and fluffy. Add two of the eggs and the vanilla and beat
until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the dry ingredients in three
batches, mixing just until the flour is incorporated; the dough will
be sticky.
2. Divide the dough in half. Pat one half into a 6-inch disk for the tart
base and wrap it in wax paper. Roll the remaining dough into a log and
cut it in half crosswise. Pat one of the pieces into a 5-inch disk for the
lattice top and wrap it in wax paper. Cut the remaining dough log in half
again and wrap each piece separately for the pan sides. Refrigerate until
all of the dough is chilled, about 2 hours, or overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-by-2 1/2-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the 6-inch disk into a 9-inch round and fit it into the bottom
of the pan. Using your hands, roll each small piece of the dough log into
a 13-inch-long rope. Fit the ropes into the pan around the base and join
the ends to make one continuous rope. Evenly press the dough 1 1/2
inches up the sides of the pan, forming a seamless shell. On a sheet of
wax paper, roll the remaining disk into a 9-inch round, then transfer it
to a rimless baking sheet and refrigerate.
4. Spoon the fig jam into the tart shell. The filling should come almost to
the top of the pastry. Cut the chilled round of dough into 1/2-inch-wide
strips and lay the strips, lattice-fashion, on top of the jam, anchoring
them on the dough rim. Lightly beat the remaining egg with the milk
and brush on the lattice. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for
about 50 minutes, or until the lattice is golden. Let cool on a rack
before removing the sides of the pan. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Note:  This tart can be made with thick, sweet Kadota fig preserves.
- Jamie Shannon [the late chef of Commander’s Palace, New Orleans]

Featured Archive Recipes:
Amish Apple-Pecan Crumb Pie
Pumpkin Praline Pie
Nancy Silverton's Deep Dish Apple Pie
Brandied Pear, Prune and Fig Pie
Southern Pecan Pie
Two Essential Thanksgiving Pie Recipes!

Index - Favorite Recipe Archives
Index - Pie & Tart Recipe Archives
Basic Pie Crust Recipes
Thanksgiving Recipe Index
Holiday Central!
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