Pie Party Preparations

Seemingly everyone else today is prepping for Thanksgiving dinner. They’re thawing turkeys, cubing bread for stuffing and baking squash. They’re setting tables with an elaborate array of dishes. I’m not. But, I have gone grocery shopping and I have been at work on my own tradition – my Sunday After Thanksgiving Pie Party.

Cranberry Cherry Peek-A-Boo Pie

I love Thanksgiving, but, years ago, when it became clear that, for various reasons, I wasn’t going to be able to fill my dining room on Thanksgiving day with family, I was quite sad, until I decided to come up with my own tradition. Now, every year, three days after Thanksgiving, we fill the house with friends. And PIE.

Each person eats about a half a pie each. Yes. Really. I’ve kept track. That’s partly due to the fact that I make a lot of different pies, and so everyone wants to taste them. A sliver of this, and a sliver of that, adds up when there are a dozen (or sometimes more) pies to choose from. I used to make just sweet pies, but I had requests for savory. People were staying so long that they need substantial pie for the main course. They didn’t eat less of the sweet pies, they ate more of everything.

I make every one of the pies. My guests don’t bring anything but themselves (although a bottle of wine is appreciated.) I make all of the pies from scratch. It takes some planning. I collect recipes all year. I keep a notebook with my favorites from years past. I make a list of tried and true pies to keep on the menu and new ones to try. This year, I have 20 crusts to make, of three different types (not including the butternut squash topping to the Shepherd’s Pie.) Those I do in advance and freeze. I have lists of what I prep and when. Some pies need chilling, some need warming, and some need to have their meringue tops scorched with my blow torch right before serving.

Here is this year’s list (subject to last-minute tweaks):

Lemon Pie
Chocolate Tart
Cranberry Nut Tart
Pumpkin Apple Pie
Toll House Pie With Chocolate Chips
Toll House Pie with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips
Pear Butterscotch Pie
Cream Tart With Oranges, Honey & A Toasted Almond Crust
Chocolate Walnut Pie
Ginger Custard Pie
Squash And Sausage Shepherd’s Pie
Onion Tart
Feta and Leek Quiche

What pie will be on your table?


(PS I’m sorry that recipes that have previously been up on my website have been taken down. The contract with my cookbook publisher prevents me from sharing recipes that will be in the upcoming book. I tried, unsuccessfully, to get out of that clause.)


  1. I’m trying a pear slice pie this year. I had access to lots of pears and so I sliced them, put them in a solution of water, lemon juice and ground Vitamin C (acerola) tablets. Then I freeze them in quart containers. I am curious as to how well they do this way. (I’ve had excellent success with this and freezing peach halves.)

    I’m not sure what I’ll use for spices. I’d made pear sauce with cinnamon sticks and vanilla and that was superb. So maybe something along that line. The crust will be ground pecans, as I’m not doing grains.

    I’m also doing a pumpkin pie, with pecan crust. Both served with whipped cram made w/o sweetening, just lots of vanilla.

    • I’m partial to ginger with pears, but you can’t go wrong with cinnamon and vanilla. And I agree to the whipped cream without sugar.

  2. I want to start a tradition like yours! It sounds SO nice even though it’s alot of work. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  3. I will be making an eggplant parm, last night i made the sauce, today i will fry the eggplant and assemble it and bake it, tomorrow I will re heat it, it always taset better the second day, so its best to serve it on the second day

  4. Trying to make my friend’s recipe for Chocolate-Peanut Butter pie since we were blessed to celebrate together for 10 years but, unfortunately, not this year…a year of changes and starting “new traditions”. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Pie Party!

  5. My Thanksgiving table will have a Mrs. Smith’s blackberry cobbler. I love blackberries. That could be why in my getting older years I have suddenly taken on the shape of a fat bear. :-)

  6. Punkin. While making enough Boston Baked beans and a monster 18 bean vegetable soup yesterday, decided to pie up the last of last years pumpkin mash. Earlier in week I made a sweet potato pie. The SP I used condensed milk. It was rich and caramel-y. Thew punkin was evaporated milk and it was as Heidi said ” really light” Your pie fest sounds so divine!!!!! Right up our alley. Heidi and I are always referring to pie or Pah when we need a mantra during the day…..

  7. I remember your pie party from last year with the photo of all the amazing pies laid out on the table and I think to myself, hey, that can’t be a year ago already! Where did that go? I remember it like it was yesterday and believe me there is so much I forget these days. How come I can’t remember the end of the film I watched last night yet can remember all your pies from last year and all your lovely chicken themed decorations. Happy pie party. I will still look forward to seeing this years pies. Go Terry! Happy thanksgiving.

  8. Ooohhh I kick myself for not copying your pie crust recipe when it was still online! To this date I have yet to make a pie crust. Your explanation made me brave enough to try, but I did not have the time. Well, I do make those popovers often!

  9. Blackberries didn’t take?!! I can’t believe it. Seems like I was always trying to get rid of them but of course the tips of the canes would root right in whenever they touched the ground.
    I was planning to make Chess Tarts – at least a couple since it’s just me – but when putting bread cubes in to dry for some dressing, the oven handle broke. I’ll cook the turkey breast on the grill as planned but my ‘feast’ is going to have to wait for a repairman.
    The recipe for Chess Tarts appears in an old (early 50’s) edition of ‘The Joy ….’ and is very similar to something my mother made that I remember fondly. It’s sort of like a pecan pie filling with raisins and pecans that was made in a muffin tin with larger normal cups. Mom’s recipe vanished after a couple of moves and down-sizing.

  10. They all sound wonderful. I’d come over to sample them but I know you’ll have a full house. I’m getting the book (as a gift) so I can review all the fine recipes. I remember the celebration from last year and they all looked delicious. I recall you had no leftovers. Happy Thanksgiving. I’ll be checking in again tomorrow to see the animals.

  11. I am salivating just reading the list. Sounds even better than last year and I did not think that possible. Enjoy!

  12. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Terry. Hope the year ahead is filled with health and happiness for your family and all your animals on the farm. Your site really brings a lot of joy to so many people – around the world.

  13. My Grandmother’s specialty was pork pie. It was delicious with a slice of sharp cheddar melted on top! Her tradition around the holidays was to bake pies just about every day and place them in her breezeway which was chilly, but not freezing. Having raised eight children, there were always people stopping by, and everyone would go home with a pie. Even if you stopped by and Nan wasn’t home, you knew there would be a pie waiting to take home. I’m thankful that she has passed her recipe to me!
    Happy Thanksgiving Terry, family, and furred and feathered friends!

  14. Oh my gosh!!! I’m coming over to your house for desert!! :-))))) But in reality…too bad I’ll be at work later today! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  15. What a wonderful tradition you have started! The pies sound luscious and I’m sure your friends and family really enjoy being with you at this festive time. Do the chickens or Candy call for scraps?!!

  16. I love this idea! I actually don’t like turkey very well, and most years manage to finagle an invitation to someone else’s house for the big day itself. I can eat one piece of dark meat, lap up potatoes and gravy and be happy for another year. But I do love pie. And I am married to a most excellent pie maker. With last summer’s birthday gift of an automatic ice cream/gelato maker, we now have the makings of both pie and a la mode in our family’s grasp. I am thinking about Post-Thanksgiving Pie Sunday for next year. I might even make a turkey pie. ;) Thanks for the inspiration!