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.
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):
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
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.)