Thanksgiving pies

[The only thing wrong with this picture is the red apples in the background. For apple pie I never even think about using anything but Granny Smith.]

Thanksgiving is one week away! So I’ve been thinking about food (of course). This year, as we have for the past 2 years, Ben and I will be spending Thanksgiving at a beach house with his family. That’s their Thanksgiving tradition, and as strange as it still feels to me to spend Thanksgiving at the beach, it’s pretty awesome. Growing up, Thanksgiving Day was usually pretty cold and sometimes there was snow — a lot of snow — on the ground. Now, celebrating Thanksgiving while being surrounded by warm sun, sand and ocean just confuses my brain. :-P It’s a lot of fun though! I’m looking forward to it, brain confusion and all. :-)

Last year we were SO busy with work that I didn’t get to do much Thanksgiving cooking/baking at all. I think I made some twice-baked potatoes — whoop de doo. For a long time now I’ve been baking the pies for my family at Thanksgiving, so it felt really weird to not do any baking. This year, even though we are still very very busy, we will get off work a little earlier the day before Thanksgiving. So I’ve been elected to make the pies once again. Yay!

I always make one apple pie and one pumpkin pie. Usually I make the pastry myself but this year I think I’m going to buy pie crusts. SHHH. DON’T TELL ANYONE. Do you think the internet can hear us? Yeah, I’m a little embarrassed about using ready-made pie crusts. Okay, not a little embarrassed, I’m deeply ashamed. HAUNTED.

It’s a little hard for me to talk about this … can we move on?

For the pumpkin pie I always just make the recipe off the can of Libby’s Pumpkin. It’s a classic.  Last year Ben and I bought a pumpkin cheesecake from a great little bakery in town, and it was yummy, but I missed regular ol’ pumpkin pie. It’s just hard to improve on it. I can never decide if I want it with whipped cream or ice cream, but I was thinking of getting some real whipping cream and whipping it on Thanksgiving Day so it’s really really fresh, because sometimes Reddi Whip just doesn’t do it for me.

For the apple pie I have a special recipe which makes the best apple pie you and your grandmother can handle. Seriously. It’s soooooo good. And I’m going to post the recipe, so you can do a happy dance now!!!

Apple Pie Like Whoa

6-7 large tart apples  (Granny Smith)
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed   <–secret ingredient!!
A little butter and milk
Pastry for 2-crust pie

Peel and slice apples and place in a large bowl. Add sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange juice concentrate and stir to combine. Line pie plate with one pastry crust. Fill with apple filling and dot with butter. Top with the other crust; seal onto bottom crust. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar (this will give it a beautiful brown crust). Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes; then turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 35-40 more minutes. (The filling will run all over the oven, so put a pan underneath it or line the bottom of the oven with foil before baking.)

So …. it’s your turn now. What are you making for Thanksgiving?? I wanna know!

[Photos: (1) Food Network, (2) Libby’s Pumpkin]

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One comment

  1. Jesse

    Bethany,
    Thanks for the recipe, I just made a Dutch apple pie last night and it looks like a charred apple turd.
    I will have to try that one :)

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