2013-11-08 / Columns

Cooking on Purpose

Time is right for baking seasonal pies
By Connie Wendell
Special contributor

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. For many of us Thanksgiving is all about pies. Each year families bake many pies for this special day and the assortment can be astounding. I have included some recipes for pies that are traditional for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Apple pie

What is more American than apple pie? I am not sure which is better, the fragrance while it is baking or the taste.

Pastryfora2crustpie;6-8largeapples;1 cup sugar; ½ cup brown sugar; ¼ teaspoon salt; 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg; 1 teaspoon cinnamon; 2 tablespoons flour; and 1 to 2 tablespoons butter.

Line pie plate with pastry, allowing one-half inch to overlap. Peel, pare and core apples and slice thin. Lay slices in pie plate piling slices very high. (This will shrink as it bakes.) Sprinkle with sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon and flour. Dot with butter.

Place the top pastry on and bring edge of lower pastry up and over the edge of the top pastry and fold. Flute and cut slits in top to allow steam to escape. Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes and then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake an additional 20 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie is an all-time favorite of so many. Perhaps you need to bake two.

1 cup sugar; 1 tablespoon cornstarch; ½ teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon cinnamon; ½ teaspoon nutmeg; ½ teaspoon ginger; one can pumpkin puree; 2 eggs, beaten; 1 tablespoon butter, melted; 1 1/2 cups milk; and 1/8 cup molasses.

Sift or whisk together the sugar, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add pumpkin and mix together well. Add eggs, melted butter, molasses and milk and stir until well blended.

Pour into a 9-inch unbaked pie shell and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 50 minutes. This is great with real whipped cream.

Pecan pie

This is wickedly rich and sinful. Good for a holiday pie once a year.

9-inch unbaked pie shell; 3 eggs; 1 cup dark or light corn syrup; ½ -cup brown sugar; 4 tablespoons butter, melted; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; and 1 ¼ cups pecan halves and/or coarsely chopped pecans.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a pie pan with the rolled out pie crust and set aside. Beat the eggs in a bowl with a fork or wire whisk until the yolks and whites are blended.

Add the corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter and vanilla and blend well. Stir in the pecans, then pour the mixture into the pie shell. Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are set and the center quivers slightly.

Don’t overbake. Let the pie cool. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy your delicious pies this year and have a wonderful day of thanksgiving. Until next time, keep Cooking on Purpose.

Connie Wendell can be reached at conniewendell27@gmail.com.

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