November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Pies!

"Do All the Good You Can, In All the Ways You Can
As Long as Ever You Can, By All the Means You Can,
In All the Places You Can."
John Wesley

"If you were to be shot at sunrise," I said to my dinner companions in an Atlanta restaurant, "what would you have for your last meal?" Barbara Bush, our witty and beloved former First Lady replied. "I would have five desserts, maybe six! Otherwise, I would have a Big Mac!" John McDonnough, professor of the marvelous voice that enlivens many of the Mitford audio books stated, "I would request enough food so that my executioners could enjoy a hearty post-mortem feast, themselves. This would include a real lemon pie, the kind that makes you kick off your shoes, followed by a fitful sleep!" Albert Ernest, lumber man, banker, sportsman and poet dreamed of pecan pie and a cigar of distinction. Liz Darhansoff, a literary agent, stated, "a Maine wild blueberry pie with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream!"...You get the picture!!!!.....Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon flour, plus more for tossing chocolate chips
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup 100 percent pure cane syrup (recommended: Steen's)
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line the pie crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Place in the oven and bake until the top edges are lightly golden and the bottom of the crust is set and no longer looks doughy, usually about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove paper and weights and set aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Spread the pecan pieces along the bottom of the par-baked crust. Toss the chocolate chips in a little flour just to coat, then spread them evenly among the pecan pieces.
Combine the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, cane syrup, corn syrup, vanilla, salt, butter, and remaining tablespoon of flour in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Pour the mixture over the pecans and chocolate chips.
Bake until the filling sets and pastry is nicely browned, usually about 1 hour.
Transfer to a cooling rack and allow pie to cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The Harvest Pie
1 large butternut squash, halved and seeded (about 2 1/4 pounds)
Cooking spray
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
10 tablespoon fat-free whipped topping (optional)

Position oven rack to lowest setting. Preheat oven to 400°. Place squash, cut sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° 30 minutes or until squash is tender. Cool slightly, and peel. Mash pulp to measure 2 1/2 cups. Combine the pulp and milk in a food processor; process until smooth. Add granulated sugar and next 5 ingredients (through cloves); process until smooth.
Increase oven temperature to 425°
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl; cut in butter using two knives or a pastry blender. Add pecans; toss to combine.

Roll dough into a 13-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute. Pour squash mixture into prepared crust. Place pie plate on bottom rack; bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Remove pie from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over filling; shield edges of piecrust with foil. Return pie plate to bottom rack; bake an additional 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool on a wire rack. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon whipped topping, if desired.

Thanksgiving Blessings from The Maine House

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