Monday, November 15, 2010

Thinking About Thanksgiving - Pie Recipes

First of all, you should know my $5 Sam's club flowers are still going strong. You should also know that I am really thinking about taking down the Halloween decorations today. There is an enormous black spider clinging to the house by the garage door and frankly, people in my neighborhood are already putting up Christmas lights! I usually decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. Maybe this year we will start a little bit early.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I have had several requests for pie recipes. So, here are some favorites and some I am thinking about making.

Chocolate Mousse Pie: This one is the kids hands down favorite.

  • 21 chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreos)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature

  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 3/4 cups chilled whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Chocolate shavings (optional)

For Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Finely grind cookies in processor. Add butter and process until mixture is evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan to form thin crust. Bake crust 5 minutes. Transfer crust to rack and cool completely.

For Mousse:
Combine chocolate, vanilla and salt in processor. Bring 1 cup cream to boil in heavy small saucepan. With processor running, gradually pour hot cream through feed tube and process until chocolate is melted and smooth. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Beat 2 cups cream and sugar in large bowl to stiff peaks. Fold into chocolate mixture. Pour mousse into prepared crust. Chill until set, about 6 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.)

Beat remaining 3/4 cup cream in medium bowl to firm peaks. Transfer to pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Pipe rosettes of cream around edge of cake. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

Peanut Butter Pie: I make this every year, and have made it with the vanilla wafer crust or with the chocolate crust printed above. I prefer the chocolate. I usually make a couple extra to give to friends. The recipe is simple and makes 2 pies.

  • 1 12-ounce box vanilla wafers, crushed in a food proccessor (3 cups crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 14-ounce condensed milk (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 2 cups heavy cream, more for garnish
  • Semisweet chocolate shavings, for garnish

1. Heat oven to 350 °F. Place vanilla wafer crumbs in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir to combine. Divide equally into two 9-inch pie tins. Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the 2 cups heavy cream until stiff peaks. Dump out into a large bowl. Without washing the mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, peanut butter, and condensed milk. Mix until smooth. Add confectioner’s sugar. Using a large rubber spatula fold in the whipped cream. Pour mixture into cooled pie shells. Decorate pies as desired with more whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate shavings or chopped up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours - I usually run out of room in the fridge so I just pop these pies onto the snow on the deck.

Coconut Cream Pie:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons (or more) ice water

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract

  • 2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups chilled whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract

For crust:
Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening; using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 4 tablespoons ice water over mixture. Process just until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic. Chill 1 hour.

Roll out dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to 14-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Fold overhang under. Crimp edges decoratively. Pierce bottom of crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 15 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep frozen.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line crust with aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil. Bake until golden and set, about 10 minutes. Cool. (Crust can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature.)

For filling:
Whisk 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, egg yolk, and flour in medium bowl. Bring milk and coconut to simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return to same saucepan; cook until pastry cream thickens and boils, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in vanilla and coconut extracts. Transfer pastry cream to medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface to prevent formation of skin. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Transfer filling to crust. Cover; chill overnight.

For topping:
Toast coconut in heavy small skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Cool completely.

Using electric mixer, beat cream, sugar, and coconut extract in medium bowl until peaks form. Spread whipped cream all over top of filling. Sprinkle evenly with toasted coconut. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Serve cold.

I always make two pumpkin pies (I use the Libby's recipe on the can). I only make apple pie if we are having company for dinner as i do not care for apple pie. I've made bread puddings and cheesecakes in the past, but this year I think I will stick with pies. I would like to try this recipe, and this one and maybe this one too.

What kind of pies are you making this year?


  1. I love the look of the pineapple tart; I want to try it too. Never thought about using pineapple before but it sounds delicious.
    Can't live without the chocolate pie and I love a good coconut- we will have to make these soon.

    Pie season is a blessing!!

  2. I know what I am thankful for- you posting pie recipes! I was drooling looking through them. Thank you so much for sharing!!! I have been looking for a good chocolate mousse pie.

  3. I've been looking for a chocolate recipe. Thanksgiving is at our house this year!
    ps, I catch the updates on Google Reader and whenever the text is in white, you can't see it over there.

  4. @Natali - Thank you! I will try and figure out how to fix it!

  5. Thank you for the Chocolate Mousse Pie recipe... Haley has begging me to get that from you for our Thanksgiving this year. It is her #1 favorite pie since tasting it at your house and I haven't been able to find anything like it in my books or online. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you

  6. For the chocolate, just make and refrigerate it the night before and when you arrive whip up the whipped cream for the top. If you have to travel for hours, they would need to be in a cooler.