The ‘Other’ Thanksgiving

Every year at work my small office has its own Thanksgiving, potluck-style. We try to bring dishes that aren’t traditional to a normal Thanksgiving dinner. Wouldn’t want to get our fill before Thursday even has a chance to happen. That would be, well, unfortunate.

The only staple to our lunch is a smoked turkey that my boss orders from Texas each year, then we all fill in the odds and ends in sides and spend about two hours chatting and eating. It’s really a good time and I’m thankful to have co-workers that truly are good company.

I think the highlight of this year’s lunch was a homemade cherry pie that could very nearly knock your socks off – crust flaky and light, almost gooey under the pie filling. Real cherries instead of that odd canned cherry goo you find in most pies. The right amount of sweet, the perfect amount of tart. Delicious!

Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Pecan Pie

I read about it on her blog and I even watched her make it on TV, so when my family asked me to bring pecan pie to our Thanksgiving dinner I knew worlds had collided, the heavens were about to open, and angels would start singing – fate had called upon my humble kitchen.

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No? Too much? Okay.

Truth is, I’ve only made pecan pie once. It turned out good, but I didn’t want to just make a good pie, I wanted to make Ree’s pie. And I really, really wanted to make her whiskey maple cream sauce to go with it, but there just weren’t enough hours in the day to allot time for a run to the liquor store.

Oh well.The Pioneer Woman, I am not.

The family is going to love Thanksgiving dessert, that is if the pie lasts until 4pm today!

Pioneer Woman Pecan Pie, desserts, pies, dessert recipes, pecan pie

Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pecan Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe adapted from Ree Drummond - The Pioneer Woman
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 pie crust (I buy pre-made pie dough in the fridge isle)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup salted butter, melted
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 oz pecans, chopped
  • 4 oz pecans, halved
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the pie crust in a 9" pie plate, crimp the edges, pour the chopped pecans evenly into the bottom, and then set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, corn syrup, salt, butter and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the pecans in the pie crust, and then bake the pie until it's almost no longer jiggly - about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Put foil around the edge of the pie crust if it looks like it's browning too quickly.
  3. Allow the pie to cool before serving.

 

Unbeatable Key Lime Pie

I love pies. Specifically, I love tart, creamy, gooey pies. I was on the hunt for a good Key Lime pie, and as all my recipe searches do, this one started with Food Network.

There were easy recipes, difficult recipes, recipes with five stars, and some with none. I sorted by my favorite chefs, and then unsorted. Finally I came across the recipe. Simple without being artificial, short ingredient list (some of which I already had in my kitchen), and oddly enough – from Emeril, whom I don’t typically gravitate towards.

OK – so here’s my take on the recipe….

I kept all the ratios and cooking times the same every time I made this recipe.

There are, however, a few changes I made…none of which affected the integrity of the pie one bit. Here they are:

  1. Use store bought pie crust. I made my own graham cracker crust the first time, but every other time I used a pre-made, store bought crust. No one could tell the difference. I used graham cracker crust and I used traditional pie crust. Both delicious and both store bought! One advantage to the store bought graham cracker crust is that it comes with a plastic lid, making transport a breeze!
  2. Don’t bother squeezing 200 Key Limes for this recipe. Have you ever seen a Key Lime? They’re about half the size of a regular lime and doubly as hard to squeeze. Who wants to mess with that?! I used Key Lime juice that I found in the juice isle of my local grocery store. Delish.
  3. DO bother to squeeze two regular limes, but zest them first! The addition of freshly squeezed lime juice and a tablespoon of lime zest really enhance the pie filling. Plus, you’ll need some lime zest for the garnish.

Don’t freak out about the sour cream. I know you’re thinking, “Whipped cream would be sooo much better,” because I felt that way too. The sour cream is GOOOOD. It’s worth it. You HAVE to use it. Trust me.

Key Lime Pie

And one final note: 
My sister asked me to make her three of these pies for her last birthday. One to eat that day, and the other two to freeze. It doesn’t seem possible, but this pie might actually be better frozen. Try it and see!

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