My holiday memories consist of baking with my mom, gathering with loved ones around the table and a decadent turkey dinner with all the trimmings. But what I always looked forward to the most (and still do!) was dessert…specifically pie. Nothing beats the smell of a freshly baked pie, except, of course, the taste of a freshly baked pie.
Now that the holidays are upon us, I wanted to share some favorite seasonal recipes so that you too can incorporate an enticing dessert into your holiday menu. Choose one of these unique variations of traditional pecan or pumpkin pies or opt for something a little more unexpected.
If you’re thinking that baking a pie is too hard, rest assured because I chose easy-to-make recipes including a simple Best Ever Pie Crust recipe. If you don’t feel up to the task of making your own crust, I recommend the Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust.
Best Ever Pie Crust
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shortening
- ½ cup water
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half, and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight
- Roll out dough on a floured surface with rolling pin. Roll out into a circle that is one inch larger than pie dish, but don’t over work it. Use as directed in recipe.
- 1 9-inch deep-dish pie shell, unbaked (see Best Ever Pie Crust recipe)
- 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 (15-ounce) can Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
- 1 (12-ounce) can Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Combine walnuts and brown sugar in small bowl. Place 3/4 cup nut/sugar mixture on bottom of pie shell. Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, granulated sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl; mix well. Pour into pie shell.
- Bake 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F; bake 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
- Combine butter and remaining nut/sugar mixture; stir until moistened. Sprinkle over cooled pie. Broil about 5 inches from heat 2-3 minutes or until bubbly. Cool before serving.
Irresistible Pecan Pie: “This is the most amazing pecan pie. Once you start eating it, you can’t stop.”
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ cup pecans, finely crushed
- 1 cup pecans, quartered
- 1 cup pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare pie crust and refrigerate until pie filling is complete. (See Best Ever Pie Crust recipe)
- To make pie filling: in a medium bowl, mix together eggs, light and dark corn syrups, brown sugar, butter, salt and finely crushed pecans. Spread quartered pecans over bottom of refrigerated pie crust. Pour syrup mixture over top of pecans, then arrange pecan halves on top of pie.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for one hour or until firm; let cool for one hour before serving.
Coconut Cream Pie: Always a crowd pleaser, so delicious you might find it hard to share.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
- 3 cups milk
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup flaked coconut
- 1 baked 9-inch pastry shell
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup flaked coconut, toasted
- Combine first 3 ingredients in a heavy saucepan; stir well. Combine egg yolks and milk; gradually stir into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in butter, vanilla, and 3/4 cup coconut.
- Immediately pour filling into pastry shell. (See best ever pie crust recipe)
- Apply plastic wrap directly to surface of filling to keep a skin from forming. Cool 30 minutes; then chill until firm. (Remove wrap before adding whipped topping)
- Beat whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream over filling; sprinkle with 1/3 cup toasted coconut. Chill.
Grasshopper Pie: Creme de menthe colors this cool pie green. It’s a unique and festive addition to any special occasion dinner.
- 30 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, divided
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
- 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream
- 1/4 cup green creme de menthe
- 3 drops of green food coloring (optional)
- 1 ½ cups whipping cream
- Finely crush 24 cookies. Combine cookie crumbs and butter; stir well. Firmly press mixture in bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pieplate. Set aside.
- Combine marshmallow cream, creme de menthe, and food coloring, if desired, in a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed with and electric mixer until smooth. Beat whipping cream at medium speed until firm peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into marshmallow cream mixture; pour into prepared crust.
- Coarsely chop remaining 6 cookies; sprinkle on top of pie. Cover and freeze 8 hours or until firm. Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before serving.
Rest assured, these scrumptious pie recipes will have you wishing there was more time to celebrate!