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Crust to crust: Readers share favorite Thanksgiving pies

Published November 23, 2010 5:20 pm

Holiday recipes • We're confident you've got the turkey covered, so let's talk about dessert.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. But, really, everyone's favorite part of the holiday meal is the pie that's served for dessert.

We asked Salt Lake Tribune readers to send in their favorite holiday pie recipes. We received responses ranging from a Southern Chess Pie to a Midwestern Green Tomato Pie — which tastes surprisingly like apples. The submissions included the usual pumpkin and apple ­pies, and even one that combined those two holiday favorites.

For all the pie recipes, click on the "Can you ever have too many pie recipes?" link at left.

Junesa's Apple Crumb Pie • "There's nothing better than this apple pie. It is balanced, not super sweet and just perfect, just like my cute little mom, June Harris. She has been making it for Thanksgiving for over 50 years."

Mia Harris

Chess Pie • "My grandmother's Chess Pie is the crème de la crème of all Southern pies. This rich smooth pie is mysteriously good. Some people may call it Butter Chess Pie or Buttermilk Pie, but when people are increasingly trying to make healthy choices those titles don't help its reputation. So,we just call it Chess Pie. This is soul food; don't analyze the calories."

Rebekah Rosenthal, author of the Vintage Mixer blog at www.thevintagemixer.com

Pecan Pie • "My family recipe, passed down through generations, has converted many a non-pecan pie person. I have never tasted a pecan pie that I like — except this one. The secret is the light brown sugar and light Karo syrup. It also uses chopped-up pecans, instead of whole, and pure vanilla extract."

Michelle Kramer, Taylorsville

Dazzleberry Pie • "This is my mom's favorite fruit pie. Chock full of sweet raspberries and blackberries, with just the perfect balance of sweet and tart. It has become a family favorite."

Frieda Franchina

Pear Pie • "Pear pie was literally a joke in my family. My mother has a real talent for baking, but she made a pear pie once when I was young that we all thought was terrible, and we never let her live it down. Then a friend gave me her recipe. My mother and I made it for Thanksgiving a few years and no one has joked about pear pie since. The secret is the filling."

Saysha Ryes

Thanksgiving Pie •"One tradition that my family loves is a no-bake pumpkin cheesecake pie with apple pie topping. It's the best of all worlds because you don't have to decide whether to have apple or pumpkin pie when dessert time comes around. In this pie you get both. It's easy to make, and each part can be made in stages. My brother jokes that we need to somehow add some cranberries and turkey and we'll have an entire Thanksgiving meal in one dish."

Nicole Moss

Chocolate Chantilly Pie • "This is a rich pie for those who like chocolate. The average chocolate cream pie has two ounces of chocolate in it; this pie has 16 ounces."

Tom Woodbury, author of the website cookwithtom.com

Pumpkin Mousse Pie • "This is my family's favorite pie because of the flavor and texture. It has a hint of orange flavor and the cream cheese gives it a great texture. I make this pie (many of them) during the fall and winter and my family never gets tired of it."

Gina Campbell, Murray

Green Tomato Pie •"My great grandmother and grandmother usually made this pie several times a year, especially in the fall before the frost, and when apples were not — in those days — available or affordable and green tomatoes were. This is a Midwestern, Michigan, Ohio pie. The secret was not to let first-time visitors know what kind of pie it was; they thought most of the time it was apple."

Don Shelby

Lemon Tart • "My husband and grandmother love lemon desserts and I got very tired of hearing 'please make lemon bars.' So I came up with a lemony treat that has a creaminess that makes it more special that bars."

Tiffany Spegar

Cranberry, Caramel Almond Tart • "This pie is amazing. I've only made it once, but it's a keeper and I can't wait to make it again this holiday season. It's fun, it's different, and it's delicious."

Annalise Sandberg, author of the Completely Delicious blog at www.completelydelicious.com.

Suzanne's Pumpkin Chiffon Pie •"I got this recipe about 12 years ago from Emeril Lagasse and have used it every year since."

Terry Brown, Magna

kathys@sltrib.com —

Pumpkin mousse pie

Ginger Crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


10 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin

2 tablespoons half-and-half

1 tablespoon rum

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Whipped cream, for topping

For the crust, heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Toss gently to mix. Spread mixture evenly in a 10-inch pie plate. Press onto bottom and up sides to form a firm, even crust. Bake 4 to 5 minutes or until edge is light brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack before filling.

For the filling, combine cream cheese, sugar and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed till fluffy. Add eggs all at once. Beat on low speed just till combined. Do not overbeat. Gently stir in pumpkin, half-and-half, rum, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, allspice, orange peel and lemon juice.

Slowly pour filling into prepared crust. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. (The center will be slightly soft when tested but will form as it cools.) Cool pie completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill. Top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream.

Servings • 8

Source: Gina Campbell, Murray —

Thanksgiving pie

Cream cheese filling

2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened

1 (14-ounce) can pumpkin

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 pint whipping cream

Apple pie filling

4 to 5 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, and cored

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch nutmeg


2 (9-inch) deep-dish pie shells baked and cooled

For the cream cheese filling: In a mixing bowl, cream the softened cream cheese. Add sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix well. Whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Divide filling between the two baked pie crusts. Level the top with a spatula. Refrigerate at least 8 hours.

For apple filling, chop apples into small pieces, slightly larger than candy corn. Toss with lemon juice.

Place cornstarch in a small bowl. Slowly add water, whisking constantly, until cornstarch is dissolved. Place mixture to a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, two minutes. Add apples and cover. Let apple mixture cook 5 to 6 minutes or until apples are tender and no longer taste raw. Remove from heat and cool completely. Refrigerate until use.

There are two serving options. Either spread half of the apple mixture onto each pie before cutting. Or cut the pumpkin cheesecake and pass the apples as a topping.

Servings • 2 pies, 8 slices each

Source: Nicole Moss —

Junesa's apple crumb pie


2 to 3 large Granny Smith apples

2 to 3 large Golden Delicious apples

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Crumb topping

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup butter


1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

For the filling, peel and slice apples. Toss in a bowl with 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and salt. Place the apple mixture in the unbaked pie shell.

For the topping, sift remaining 1/2 cup sugar with the flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the apples. Place the pie on a large cookie sheet (you'll be sorry if you don't).

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool before cutting and serving.

Servings • 8

Source: Mia Hyde —

Chess pie

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

2 cups of sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

3 tablespoons flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

Dash of nutmeg

1 (9-inch) pie shell

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing between each addition. Slowly add flour and salt. Stir in buttermilk until incorporated.

Pour filling into pie shell. Sprinkle the top of the pie with a dash of nutmeg. Bake about 50 minutes. After 30 minutes cover the crust edge to prevent burning. To make sure the pie is done, gently wiggle the pan. If the center is still liquid, cook a little longer.

Servings • 8

Source: Rebekah Rosenthal






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