Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

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Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe Recipe

Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe

11.19.10 by Jackie

We recently hosted a dinner party and I wanted to bring a little flair of the Fall season. With Thanksgiving coming, I decided to make a pumpkin crème brûlée. I would consider myself an expert when it comes to make these cute French desserts. I've made crèmes brûlées so many times (lavender, banana, cherry, masala chai, green tea, lemon, chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch), I could make them with my eyes closed, except the brûlée part . That would end badly, I’m sure.

The result was predictably delicious. Crème brûlée flavored with just about anything tastes great, but that doesn’t give you license to make a turkey-flavored version. If it was made savory though, it might be interesting. Something to think about. At any rate, pumpkin crème brûlée is a familiar, yet fresh take on Thanksgiving dessert that deserves a place at your dinner table.


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Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Crumb Topping Recipe

Sweet potato pie is a classic American dessert that is not overly sweet. The texture is similar to a pumpkin pie, but firmer. I jazzed mine up with a little anise extract, other flavorings and a crown of pecan crumb topping. It's a great pie for Thanksgiving, but really, you can enjoy it any time of the year.

I made this for a reader named Bill who e-mailed me a request for a sweet potato pie recipe. If you're reading Bill, I hope you like it!


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Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Crisp Recipe

Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Crisp

11.30.09 by Jackie

This recipe is a riff on a classic apple crisp. If you've been reading my posts lately, you'll know that I've been on a bit of a quest to find creative ways to utilize our Thanksgiving leftovers. A cranberry apple crisp seemed like the perfect destiny for the leftover cranberries the fridge.

It's an incredibly easy recipe to make. If you have cranberry sauce, then all you really need to do is to add a sweetener, prepare the topping and bake the individual servings in the oven. They are great for intimate holiday parties.


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Cranberry Bars with Chestnut Spread and Crushed Pecans Recipe

As Thanksgiving approaches, I've been giving more thought to new dessert recipes to go with the traditional pecan and pumpkin pies that we make each year. I recently had an absolutely delicious lemon bar, and it occurred to me that a modified cranberry sauce would be a good substitute for the lemon curd.

I used shortbread as the cookie layer. Shortbread is very easy to make, and the buttery and crumbly texture is a nice foil to the sweet and tart flavor of the cranberries. Once the shortbread had baked, I spread a thin layer of chestnut spread over it. The chestnut spread balances the tartness of the jellied cranberries.

To make the cranberry jelly, I added guava in place of the usual orange juice to give the jelly sweetness as well as a more complex flavor. (It also reminds me of our recent anniversary trip to Cancun). Guava is not really in keeping with the season, so if you prefer, apple juice would be fine, but I think the guava has more depth. The goal is to limit the sourness of the jelly because after all, we're making a dessert.

After applying a generous layer of the cranberry spread to the bars, I finished them with a sprinkling of chopped pecans.


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Homemade Pecan Pie with Nutella Recipe

Homemade Pecan Pie with Nutella

11.14.09 by Jackie

We always prefer to make pecan pies from scratch. Pecans are fairly expensive, and I've found that the pies sold at stores really skimp on the namesake nut to cut costs. They tend to be very egg-y, almost like a lemon curd, with only a layer of pecans on the top. This recipe, by contrast, is richer and absolutely loaded with pecans.

Molasses, dark corn syrup and brown sugar combine to form the base of the pie filling. To this, I whisk in eggs and chopped pecans. I also add a touch of anise extract to the filling. The licorice flavor really accentuates the molasses. When it's fully baked, it has a wonderfully dense and gooey texture.

Even the crust is flavored with pecans. To the flour, butter and sugar I added some pecan mill.  I first baked just the crust and then smeared it with a thin layer of Nutella. Nutella has hazelnuts in it, but I think it provides a nice flavor contrast to the pecans. And seriously, what does Nutella not go with?

If you make just one homemade pie for Thanksgiving this year, make a pecan pie. It will cost about the same as a store-bought version, but there's no comparison.

Pecan Pie Recipe


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