Happy Endings

The desserts that are served after Thanksgiving dinner -- sometimes served long after dinner -- are nearly as traditional as the big turkey that's often on the table. However, this year you can offer something besides the almost expected pumpkin pie (not that I don't love that favorite too). This month's article is dedicated to those who love to serve pies after Thanksgiving dinner, but want to offer something with a little surprise.

I'm including three delightful pie recipes this month: Fall Fruit Pie, Melba Spice Pie, and Orchard Strudel Pie. You'll notice that I haven't included a recipe for the pie crust. I suggest you use your favorite recipe or, if you're in a rush, use premade crusts. I suggest covering the edges of the pie pan with foil to keep them from burning. Also, you might want to place the pie pans on a preheated cookie sheet to save the bottom of your oven -- these pies are heaping with great ingredients that you probably don't want to see dripping onto the bottom of your oven!

One final note: All of these pies are terrific with vanilla ice cream (hint-hint). Enjoy your sweets and Happy Thanksgiving!

Fall Fruit Pie

This pie features a traditional Thanksgiving favorite: cranberries. Be warned, it is a heavier pie. If you want room for several different desserts, this one might not be for you!
  • Dough for pie crust
  • 1 c. frozen cranberries
  • 1 c. raisins
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/3 c. orange juice
  • 2 tsp. grated orange peel
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. saltine crackers, finely crushed
  • 1 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Roll out enough dough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Press into prepared pan.

Combine cranberries, raisins and water in a large saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture boils. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer until cranberries burst open. Add orange juice, orange peel, sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, egg and cracker crumbs; beat well. Pour into prepared pan.

Roll out enough dough to cover the top of the pie. Place over the cranberry mixture and seal the edges. Cut in the top of the crust to allow heat and moisture to escape during baking. Brush the crust with butter.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

  • Yields: 1 - 9" pie
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Melba Spice Pie

Serving a pie made with peaches and raspberries just might make your guests smile and remember those not-so-long-ago days of summer. What a gift! Use a double batch of pie crust and make a regular or lattice top -- you decide.
  • Dough for pie crust (double batch)
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 16 oz. pkg. frozen sliced peaches
  • 10 oz. pkg. frozen raspberries
  • 1 T. lemon juice

Thaw and drain peaches and raspberries. Reserve juices for another use.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Roll out enough dough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Press into prepared pan.

Combine dry ingredients. Add fruit and lemon juice; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.

Roll out enough dough to cover the top of the pie. Place over the fruit mixture and seal the edges. Cut in the top of the crust to allow heat and moisture to escape during baking. Or, cut lattice strips from prepared crust. Carefully arrange in a lattice pattern over fruit mixture. Brush the edges of the crust with butter.

Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.

  • Yields: 1 - 9" pie
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Orchard Strudel Pie

Apples are starring in this sweet treat. My favorites for this recipe are Macintosh. However, a nice Golden Delicious can do wonders too. The crispy strudel topping is absolutely wonderful when you serve it warm with a dollop of whipped cream!
  • Dough for crust
  • 4 medium apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 4 T. raisins
  • 4 T. chopped pecans
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. margarine

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Roll out enough dough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan.

Combine apples, sugar, raisins, pecans, cinnamon, lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Pour into prepared pan.

Combine remaining ingredients. Mix with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle over the pie.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

  • Yields: 1 - 9" pie
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

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