Good morning from my kitchen table, where a candle is casting its soft glow through the morning gloom and I have a hot cup of coffee at my left elbow. I’m finishing up my Thanksgiving grocery list before we pop down to the store to pick up the turkey I ordered last week and finalize the last of the produce that will feature on the menu. It’s going to be a simple meal this year, although most years the meal is fairly simple! I’m hoping we’ll get out for a walk or small hike perhaps at the coast before I set to cooking. Tomorrow I’ll bake the desserts; this year I’ll do a pumpkin-chocolate cake with pumpkin buttercream and a maple pumpkin pie.
Here is our 2019 Thanksgiving meal:
Turkey with gravy
Traditional stuffing (my first time making this; I’m trying it with a loaf of sourdough)
Roasted sweet potatoes
Carrot and green bean saute
White bean and kale stir-fry (vegetarian offering)
If you are still looking for vegetarian, vegan or even some gluten-free suggestions for your Thanksgiving table, I will point you in the direction of some articles I’ve written over the years. This site also has extensive suggestions and recipes for a plant-based Thanksgiving as well as some lighter options. Search for “Thanksgiving” or click this link.
Planted-based Thanksgiving dishes, the Press Democrat: Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes that will Delight Traditionalists and Vegans, 2018
Vegetarian Thanksgiving, NPR: A Vegetarian Thanksgiving, 2008
Healthier Thanksgiving, NPR: Thanksgiving with a Lighter Touch, 2010
My gluten-free Thanksgiving e-book: Gather, Recipes for a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving, 2015
Now, to talk pie … I usually make the pumpkin pie recipe in Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Cooking. It’s good, but the tiniest bit fussy as you have to make a roux for the filling. For a friends gathering last weekend I tried a new recipe by way of Aimée Wimbush-Bourque, the author of the Simple Bites blog, that is hands-down my new favorite pie recipe and one I’ll be using for all holidays going forward. It’s simple, made with real, whole ingredients, maple syrup-sweetened and spiced with a homemade spice blend. It also calls for heavy cream rather than evaporated milk — the only way I make pumpkin pie now and it’s so, so good! I use a simple all-butter whole grain flour crust with my pies but you could use any pie crust of your choice. I’m including the recipe below with a link to her site, which has loads of other inspiration and wonderful recipes.
Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving, where-ever and how-ever you celebrate!
Note: I love this recipe! I make it exactly as written but went with the King Arthur Flour recipe’s baking temperature of 400 degrees F instead of 350 degrees F. You’ll just need to watch the crust more carefully for browning. I also recommend mixing your filling the day/night before you bake it so the flavors have a chance to deepen.
Makes one 9-inch pie
1 9-inch pie crust prepared but not pre-baked
4 medium eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree homemade if possible
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice blend
Preheat the oven to 400 F and place a rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack. Keep the pie crust chilled in the refrigerator while you mix up the pie filling.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream together until blended. Add the pumpkin puree and the maple syrup and again whisk well.
Add the vanilla, salt and spice blend to the pie filling and combine.
Remove pie shell from the fridge. Slide the rack out carefully, place the pie pa on the baking sheet and pour the filling into the pie shell. Slowly, slide the oven rack back in place, taking care not to spill the contents of the pie shell onto the bottom of the oven.
Check pie after about 30 minutes and rotate, if necessary, to ensure even browning of the pie crust. You may need to line with tin foil.
When the center of the pie has puffed up, and jiggles only slightly when the pan is moved, the pie is ready. This will take about 50 minutes to one hour.
Remove pie from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. When the pie is room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Pie will keep, covered in the fridge, for up to three days, or well-wrapped and frozen for up to 8 weeks.