Looking for something to serve that doesn’t involve the traditional pie at Thanksgiving? Here are a few ideas from the Food Network for the dessert buffet table that includes pie with a twist on the presentation.
For the Cake:
3 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature, plus more for the pan
3 cups cake flour, sifted, plus more for the pan
1 12 ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed if frozen
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons whole milk
4 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Syrup and Glaze:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Prepare the cake: Butter and flour a 10-cup fluted Bundt pan.
- Heat the cranberries in a pot until they start to release their juices. Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and cook over medium heat until until juicy and the mixture reduces to 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
- Whisk the milk, whole eggs and yolks, and vanilla in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Whisk the 3 cups flour, the remaining 1 3/4 cups sugar, the lemon zest, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the 3 1/4 sticks butter and beat with a mixer on low speed until moistened. Add half of the milk mixture, increase the speed to medium and beat 1 minute. Add the remaining milk mixture in two batches, beating between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again, about 30 seconds.
- Transfer 2/3 of the batter to the pan. Spoon the cranberry mixture in a ring around the middle of the batter (do not let it touch the pan). Top with the remaining batter and smooth evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the syrup: Dissolve the 1/4 cup granulated sugar in 1/2 cup lemon juice in a saucepan over low heat. Remove the cake from the oven, poke the surface all over with a skewer and pour the syrup on top. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully invert the cake onto a parchment-lined rack to cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let sit overnight.
- When ready to serve, whisk the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice until smooth. Spoon over the cake.
For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (14 crackers)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 extra-large egg yolks
1 package (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 ripe banana, finely mashed
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
For the decoration:
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Orange zest, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter in a bowl and mix well. Pour into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press evenly into the sides and then the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes and then cool to room temperature.
- For the filling, heat the half-and-half, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until hot, about 5 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks in another bowl, stir some of the hot pumpkin into the egg yolks to heat them, then pour the egg-pumpkin mixture back into the double boiler and stir well. Heat the mixture over the simmering water for another 4 to 5 minutes, until it begins to thicken, stirring constantly. You don’t want the eggs to scramble. Remove from the heat.
- Dissolve the gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Add the dissolved gelatin, banana, and orange zest to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Set aside to cool.
- Whip the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until you have firm peaks. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture and pour it into the cooled tart shell. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
- For the decoration, whip the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk until you have firm peaks. Pipe or spoon the whipped cream decoratively on the tart and sprinkle, if desired, with orange zest. Serve chilled.
- Watch how the recipe is made.
Four-Flavor Sheet Pan Pie
16 to 18 servings
Two 14.1-ounce boxes refrigerated rolled pie crust (4 crusts total)
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- For the crusts: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Unroll 3 of the pie crusts on a lightly floured work surface. Stack them on top of each other. Roll out the thick, layered dough to a 15-by-21-inch rectangle. Press into a rimmed baking sheet so that the crust comes up the sides and hangs over slightly. This will be the bottom crust. Chill until ready to use, at least 30 minutes.
- Use the remaining crust for the top of the pie. Unroll it on a lightly floured work surface and roll it to a 14-by-18-inch rectangle. Cut the dough in half so you have two 7-by-9-inch pieces. One half will be the top crust for the apple portion of the pie. Cut the other half into 1-inch diagonal strips to use for the lattice on the cherry pie. Place the rectangle and strips on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill until ready to use.
2 pounds mixed apples (such as Granny Smith, Gala and McIntosh), peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- For the apple pie: Toss the apples in a medium bowl with the sugar and lemon juice. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and cook until thickened, about 1 minute more. Cool completely.
Sour Cherry Pie:
2 cups drained jarred sour cherries, plus 3/4 cup juice from the jar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated sugar
- For the sour cherry pie: Place the cherries in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/4 cup cherry juice with the cornstarch in a small saucepan until completely smooth. Add the remaining cherry juice and sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until thick and glossy, about 30 seconds. Pour the sauce over the cherries and gently fold to combine. Cool completely.
1 1/3 cups canned pure pumpkin puree
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 large egg
For the pumpkin pie: Whisk together the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and the egg and in a medium bowl until smooth. Set aside.
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- For the pecan pie: Whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, eggs and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fold in the pecans and set aside.
Combining the four pies
- Once all fillings are made, begin assembling the pie. Remove both baking sheets with dough from the refrigerator.
- Visualize the sheet pan is divided in half lengthwise and then crosswise so you have 4 equal quadrants. Each quadrant will hold a different pie filling. Prick the bottom crust all over with a fork.
- Add the pie fillings in this order: Add the apple pie filling to the upper left quadrant of the crust; spread it to cover a 7-by-9-inch rectangle. Moving counter clockwise, pour the pumpkin filling right under the apple pie filling and spread it the same size as the apple filling. Spread out the cherry filling next to the pumpkin filling. Fill the top right empty space with the pecan filling.
- Cover the apple pie quadrant with the reserved rectangle of dough. Lay the pie strips out diagonally over the cherry pie quadrant. Press any remaining strips of dough around the edge of the pie to thicken the rim. Crimp the edge of the pie, making sure to incorporate and crimp together the dough from the apple quadrant. Brush the edges and the dough on top of the pie with egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Cut decorative slits in the apple pie crust.
- Bake until all pies are set and the crust on the apple pie and cherry pie is golden brown and crisp, 55 minutes to 1 hour 5 minute
- Watch how the recipe is made.
- Place the chocolate chips in a medium stainless steel or glass bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
- For each turkey, push 5 candy corn candies, tip-side down, into the cream filling of a chocolate sandwich cookie to make the feathers for the turkey. Lay the cookie on a work surface.
- Dip the flat, larger end of a peanut butter cup in the melted chocolate allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Place the peanut butter cup, chocolate-dipped end down, onto the sandwich cookie.
- Dip a malt ball into the melted chocolate allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Place the malt ball above the peanut butter cup to make the head of the turkey.
- Dip the flat end of the white candy corn tip in the chocolate. Place on the malt ball, to make the turkey beak. Refrigerate until the chocolate has set, about 10 minutes.
- Place the Red Frosting in a piping bag. Using scissors, cut a small opening in the end of the piping bag. Pipe a small piece of frosting under the malt ball to make the turkey’s beard.
- Place a cookie (with top half removed) on a platter. Stand the turkey upright into the cream filling. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Red Frosting Directions:
In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Beat on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is smooth. Color the frosting by mixing in 1 drop of red food coloring at a time until the desired color is reached.
Watch how the recipe is made.