Thanksgiving Pie 101

A holiday table would not be the same without at least one scrumptious pie for dessert. Whenever I smell warm spices associated with fall, my mind goes back to my grandmother’s kitchen and her tasty pies fresh from the oven. Our family did not always have the traditional pumpkin pie for dessert. Often, Grandma surprised us with delectable varieties like walnut, Dutch apple, and gooseberry pies.

Now is the time for you to consider pies for your family’s Thanksgiving feast. Here are some of my tried & true tips for making easy homemade pies, like a classic pumpkin. Let me show you how simple it is to create a lovely pie from oven to table in no time. Most of the ingredients are things you already keep in your pantry and the steps are not difficult.

Classic Apple Pie

Find an awesome pie recipe

The first step is to find a recipe that appeals to your family’s taste. You don’t need a complicated recipe to make a beautiful pie. Choose a recipe that is easy to follow with common seasonal ingredients that are easy to buy. My recipes are tailored to the busy home cook who is limited on time and grocery budget. Each of the selected RecipeSavants recipes are easy to duplicate in your kitchen, whether you are a newbie or a seasoned cook. Whether your family prefers luscious fruit pies, creamy custard or elegant cream pies, I will show you how to make them with culinary confidence!

Tackle the crust

Have you been hesitant to try homemade pie crust because it sounded too intimidating? Once I share the easy secrets to making pie crust, you will wonder why you waited so long to try! Follow these steps to create a perfect pastry shell every time. Plus, you can make your pie dough ahead and freeze it to save time in the kitchen.

  • Keep all your ingredients—especially butter—very cold. If you are using a pre-made dough that has been frozen and thawed, it will be perfectly chilled. Using cold dough results in a tender, flaky crust. Refrigerate your dough between uses and handle it only when necessary.

  • Limit the flour you use when rolling and kneading your dough. Excess flour makes the dough tough and rubbery, leading to a less-than-perfect pie crust.

  • Save precious time by mixing the pie crust ingredients in advance. Once you cut the butter into the dough and make a coarse mixture, it will freeze for up to two months. Consider doubling or tripling the recipe to make enough dough for several pies at once. Seal each batch in plastic wrap and thaw them in the refrigerator the night before you need them.

  • Remember, there is no shame in using frozen pie shells. I have often used them to save time and still had delicious results.


Prepare Thanksgiving pie ahead of time

While pie is usually the final course you enjoy at Thanksgiving, it should be the first dish you prepare. Most fruit pies need about 5 hours to cool before you cut and serve them. Custard pies need about 2 hours. If you freeze a cream pie, it will take at least 1 hour to though at room temperature, or 2 hours in the refrigerator. Did you know that you can freeze a whole pie? I often prepare my fruit pies a couple months ahead, wrap them in plastic and freeze them for up to 3 months. When I need them, I take them out of the freezer, cut vent holes in the top and put them in the oven. If you have a double-crust pie, let it set 1 hour at room temperature before baking. You can also bake fruit pies, cool them completely, wrap them in plastic and freeze up to 4 months. Homemade cream & custard pies do not freeze well.

After you sample my recipes, feel free to post your homemade creations on social media using the tags #ICookedThis #RecipeSavants and #HomemadeThanksgiving.

Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Homemade butter crust

This easy recipe only requires three everyday ingredients to create a light & flaky pie crust in 10 minutes! It is a perfect foundation for any of your favorite pie fillings. Double the batch and put some in the freezer for another meal.

Perfect Graham Cracker Crust

This perfect graham crack crust recipe is perfect for when you want to switch up your traditional pie crust. This recipe is made with only graham crack crust, sugar, butter and cinnamon. This pie crust will be ready in less than 20 minutes! You can also use this same recipe with almost any cookie you wish – it works great with chocolate cookies for a decadent chocolate torte.

Dutch Apple Pie

What could be more patriotic than a classic apple pie? My Dutch version is loaded with tender apples and warm spices like nutmeg, cinnamon & brown sugar. You will have a beautiful pie baked in a little less than an hour.

Classic Pecan Pie

This Southern treasure has enjoyed a dedicated following for generations! My elevated recipe has the iconic blend of crispy pecans in a warm, gooey molasses-based filling. Pecan pie is an ideal holiday dessert or for anytime you want to surprise your family with an easy, scrumptious treat.

Mixed Berry Gallette

Instead of the classic round & composed pie, galletes are a French-style pie with a rustic crust. They are simple to make and are a delicious way to feature seasonal fruit. Try my recipe that uses a medley of your favorite berries. Top your gallette with fresh whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.

Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Celebrate the bounty of harvest time with my tasty pumpkin pie recipe! It is a cinch to make with a store-bought pie shell, pumpkin puree and classic seasonal spices. Your pumpkin pie will be the highlight of your Thanksgiving feast.

Raspberry Chocolate Tart

Cure your chocolate craving with my luscious raspberry/chocolate tart! The quick & easy tart crust is kissed with butter and the chocolate filling is a sweet lover’s dream! Topped with plump raspberries, this tart is as attractive as it is yummy!

Lemon Tart

If you want a lovely, delicious dessert that is easy to make, then this tart recipe is for you. Imagine a buttery crust topped with a creamy, lemon-infused filling! The sweet & tangy flavors are perfectly balanced for a dessert that is sure to please your family and guests.

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About Chef Bear

Robert Felkins

My food philosophy is simple; food should be a feast of all five senses. Meals should be based on simple, tasty and smart recipes that are easy to follow. Instead of serving processed junk, I prefer to use fresh & seasonal ingredients. I gravitate towards all cuisines that are BIG on flavor. By cooking at home, we can all eat healthier and save money.

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