Monday, November 14, 2016

Top 5 Thanksgiving Pies

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Now I must say that the rolls and stuffing (carbs of course, hah) are some of my favorites, but NOTHING beats the pies. I practically go to Thanksgiving dinner because of the pies, I mean, aside from the that fact that I love spending time with my family, of course ;) But come on, let's be honest here, the pie is the most important part for sure!

So here I am, presenting you with so far probably the best post on this blog, my family's Top 5 Thanksgiving Pies. Notice how I italicized "my family's"? Well, while I was preparing for this post, I asked a good friend about her family's pie traditions. This is the question I asked her, "What are your family's top 5 Thanksgiving pies?" She stared at me with her mouth open, obviously appalled. "Five?!" she said, "FIVE?! YOUR FAMILY HAS 5 PIES AT THANKSGIVING DINNER?! My family only has pumpkin...maybe." And that my friends, is when I realized my family is a pie-eating people. And I also realized that I would not be asking anyone else about pies because this is my family's list of Thanksgiving pies. And no one else even knows what they are talking about when it comes to pies at Thanksgiving...hah! 

I know many people will totally disagree with this list, but for my family, these pies are everything. Why? Because they are SO dang good! Don't believe me? Well looks like you're going to have to try them all yourself (but don't do it all in one day, trust me on this one, it'll give you quite the upset stomach, I would know ;)). 

I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving. May you have a beautiful holiday full of gratitude, loved ones, and some dang good pie, 'cause you deserve it! 


Click on the title of each pie to be directed to the post






Did I not include your favorite Thanksgiving pie? Sorry about that... These are my families favorites. But to make you feel better (and possibly get out your rage ;)), comment below and tell me what your favorite Thanksgiving pies are! I'd love to know!

The Easiest Turkey Dinner: Fall Apart Crock-pot Turkey with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

A couple weeks ago, my lovely friend Emily, who works for the BYU Daily Universe asked me to help her write an article about simplifying Thanksgiving dinner for college students! I got right to work! And because I'm a student at BYU, I feel like I really do know what everyone is capable of doing, so this recipe is right around a college students league. 

So, after MUCH contemplation about what three recipes we should use, we decided that Turkey, Potatoes and Gravy and Pumpkin Pie, were the three most important and essential Thanksgiving foods. So that's what I went with! I decided that a crock-pot turkey would be super easy for anyone, and you'll be surprised about how easy the potatoes and gravy come together! Overall this entire meal is a cinch and practically guaranteed to be a success. 

Feeling a little scared? You shouldn't be! Just tie on your apron and wash your hands, this turkey dinner recipe has been written especially for you, and trust me, YOU CAN DO IT!

-Buy an average-sized turkey breast, usually an abnormally small or large turkey will be dry and/or tough. 
-I learned from my lovely blogger friend Mel, that if you overcook your turkey you can pour a little warmed chicken broth over it and it will be wonderful, and no one will know! 
-Cutting potatoes into smaller sizes will help them cook faster, so if you are crunched on time, cut them small.
-Most crock-pots have a keep-warm setting after they finish cooking, if this is the case for you, leave your turkey in it until you are ready to make the gravy. 
-Start potatoes cooking about 30 minutes before you want to eat, and prepare gravy right before you mash the potatoes, this will help with your timing!

The Easiest Turkey Dinner: Fall Apart Crock-pot Turkey with Mashed Potatoes and Homemade Gravy
Serves 6-8
1 Fresh Turkey Breast, bone-in
Around 2 Tablespoons olive oil (to coat turkey)
Around 3 Tablespoons poultry seasoning (or an equal mixture of thyme, rosemary, basil, and/or sage)
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pepper

Drippings from turkey (this is the liquid in the crock-pot when you take out the turkey, you should have around 2 cups, if you don't then use some chicken broth)
4 Tablespoons flour
Salt and Pepper to taste

7 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed 
4 Tablespoons butter
Dash of milk (or until desired consistency is met)
2 teaspoons parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

1) TURKEY: Place turkey breast in crock-pot and coat with oil. Sprinkle all seasonings on top of turkey breast until generously coated (you should barely see the turkey skin on top). Set crock-pot on low for 6 hours.
2) POTATOES: Place cut potatoes, in a large pot filled with water (the potatoes should be be covered with about 1/2 inch water). Cook until potatoes are tender. Drain water and add butter, milk and parsley. Mash to desired consistency and salt and pepper to taste. 
3) GRAVY: Pour turkey drippings through a fine Sieve (to get all the chunks out) into a small sauce pan. Remove about 1/2 cup of drippings into a small bowl and with a whisk, combine with flour and mix until it becomes a smooth paste. Heat sauce pan drippings and pour flour mixture into sauce pan, whisking continuously. Bring gravy to a boil and stir until thick. 


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Easy Homemade Chocolate Pie

This is the easiest and best homemade chocolate pie ever! It is deliciously rich and creamy, and let me tell you, in our family it doesn't last very long! 

Someone ^^^ is waiting patiently for her piece of pie... Sorry dear but it's not gonna happen ;) Also say hello to our garage, because yes that is where I take most of these food pictures #lightingiseverything.

Chocolate Pie is a staple in our family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And it is soon to be a favorite in your family too after you taste this! Enjoy! 

Easy Homemade Chocolate Pie
2 cups milk, heated
4 egg yolks
4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 Tablespoons flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1, 9 inch baked Pie Shell

1) In a medium-sized sauce pan on medium heat, add heated milk (I do this in a glass measuring cup in the microwave, it should be hot to the touch). Add egg yolks and using a whisk, stir constantly.
2) Add cocoa powder, flour, and sugar, whisking constantly. Cook until thick (about 10 minutes).
3) Add butter and vanilla and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Cool slightly and then pour into prepared pie shell.
4) Refrigerate for about 3 hours until firm (optional).

Friday, November 11, 2016

Classic Pie Crust

What type of pie are you making today? Whatever it is... make it a good one! 

Pie Crust
Makes 2, 9 inch crusts (if your pie only has a bottom crust, half this recipe)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup shortening
6-8 Tablespoons cold water

1) Put shortening in bowl and cut in flour, salt, and sugar with pastry blender. Then using a fork, gently mix in water forming a crumbly dough.
2) Form two balls in the bowl and transfer one to a Silpat Baking Mat.  Lay plastic wrap over it ball, and starting for the center of ball, roll out dough to form a circle about an inch bigger than your pie dish (your dough should be between the Silpat mat and the plastic wrap).
3) Take off plastic wrap, turn over mat and peel off pastry into pie dish. Shape edges. Repeat step 2 for next dough ball.
*Empty Shells bake at 450 for 10 to 12 minutes*

Here are some of our favorites pies:





Old Fashioned Pecan Pie

Are you more of a pumpkin pie or pecan pie fan? I would most often say pumpkin for myself, but guess what! I think this Old Fashioned Pecan Pie just changed my mind! Like no joke, I went back for way more pecan pie than pumpkin this time around.  

This pecan pie is SO delicious. It has the perfect balance of sweet to nutty, and don't forget that glorious crunchy crust that I could eat all day. 

I told my mom I was going to do a Top 5 Pies for Thanksgiving blog post and she cringed when she heard that I had to make pecan pie (like come on it's a thanksgiving tradition)! She told me she has always hated those gummy pecan pies. But after I made this, I'm pretty sure she ate more of this pie than everyone else (well besides me). It really is SO good (and not gummy hah)! I promise it won't disappoint! 

Old Fashioned Pecan Pie
4 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups shelled pecans, chopped (add 1/3 cup for rim design if desired)
1, 9 inch, unbaked piecrust

1) Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Line a 9 inch pie pan with piecrust.
2) Beat eggs well in a large bowl. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, melted butter and vanilla to the eggs and mix thoroughly.
3) Sprinkle chopped pecans in prepared pie crust. Pour egg mixture oven pecans. Arrange pecan halves around edge of filing next to crust for decoration (optional).
4) Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325° Fahrenheit and bake for another 25-30 minutes, until set.
5) Remove from oven and let cool before serving. Enjoy!

Want this glorious Pumpkin Pie recipe? Find it HERE.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

All-American Apple Pie

This All-American Apple Pie makes me feel nostalgic and I'm only 20 years old, hah! Want to know the funniest thing? Ever since I was a little girl I've dreamed of making this apple pie in my very own kitchen. Someday that is bound to happen. Maybe it will be like this:

There I will be in my very own kitchen, it will probably be a little bit messy, with dished in the sink and one of those old fashioned (yes I will still have one of those) apple corer/slicers screwed to my kitchen counter. And there I will be with my blue apron on and my hair tied back. I will probably have some flour on my face or some left over cookie batter in my hair, but there I will be... Making this All-American Apple Pie. 

For some reason, this All-American Apple Pie is ALWAYS in this scene with me. It is the pinnacle of the american housewife. And someday (hopefully) that may just be me ;) But it's more likely to be me trying my best to get this thing in the oven and keep the little children from screaming hah! I'll all be worth it no matter what. 

So, whether it's a dreamy (or not so dreamy) scene, this apple pie will always be there. Why? Because it is so dang good, that's why!  If there is anything better than this hot apple pie with a scoop vanilla ice cream melting down the top then let me know, but I don't think it's likely!

All-American Apple Pie
2, 9 inch unbaked pie crusts
7 large tart apples (should be about 6 cups when they are peeled and sliced)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons butter
1 egg, for egg wash (optional)

1) Peel and slice apples and place them in a large mixing bowl filled with some cold water and lemon juice (this keeps the apples from browning).
2) Drain all liquid from apples and add sugar, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and flour. Mix well to coat all apples evenly.
3) Pour all apples into a prepared pie crust and push down firmly (this helps apples settle as they cook). Dot with small butter pieces (see picture above). Cover with top pie crust and make a couple slices to let out steam while cooking. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and brush on top (we use this awesome Pastry Brush). 
4) Bake at 425° Fahrenheit for 20 minutes and then lower oven temperature to 375° Fahrenheit and bake for another 50-60 minutes or until apples are tender (insert a knife into one of the slits to check).  
5) Serve hot, topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional). Enjoy! 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Best Coconut Cream Pie

Say hello to our delicious Coconut Cream Pie. This pie is a family favorite and has made it's way into our list of must-have's for Thanksgiving (and Christmas) dinner! I think my family quite enjoyed the fact that I wanted to post this recipe before the holidays, which means they get to eat it twice. I'm not complaining either!

This coconut cream pie is so SO good! Sorry to shout but it's true! I'm seriously obsessed with it! One of the things (of the many) that I love about this pie is that yes, it has a pudding texture, but the flakes of coconut give it the perfect little crunch! Topping this pie with a dollop of whipped cream and a little dash of toasted coconut makes it a 10/10.

Want to add some toasted coconut to your pie? It's so easy! Just get about 1/4 a cup of coconut and spread it out on a baking sheet evenly. Toss it in the oven (we actually use our Breville Toaster Oven that we love) at 350° Fahrenheit. Every couple of minutes stir it with a spatula until it is golden brown (watch that it doesn't burn, it happens pretty fast). Ta da, that's it! Told ya it was easy! I hope you enjoy this pie as much as we do, I'm pretty dang sure you will!

The Best Coconut Cream Pie
3 cups milk, scaled (hot to the touch, tiny bubbles on the side)
8 Tablespoons flour
2/3 cup milk
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups shredded coconut
1, 9 inch baked pie shell

1) Scald 3 cups of milk (I do this in the microwave in a glass measuring cup, but you can do it on the stove too), pour scalded milk into a medium sized sauce pan.
2) In a small bowl, mix flour and 2/3 cup milk into a smooth paste and stir into scaled milk. Stir constantly on medium heat until thickened (it should boil a teeny bit, keep stirring until it's thick).
3) Turn off burner (leave your pot there), cover and let cook about 10 minutes.
4) In a small bowl, mix egg yolks with sugar and salt; add to hot milk mixture and cook 2 more minutes.
5) Add butter, vanilla and coconut. Remove from heat and cool.
6) Pour into a baked 9 inch pie shell. Place in fridge to cool and set (about 3 hours or longer, if you can wait that long hah, good luck). Top with toasted coconut (optional-see paragraph above to learn how to make this). Enjoy!

P.S. If you have extra filling... EAT IT! YUM. Kloveyoubye.