Some people have pie with their Thanksgiving dinner. We have Thanksgiving dinner with our pie. The kitchen island held the turkey, dad’s baked beans, and an array of sides but the “dessert table” was where the real fun was. Growing up, the dessert table took up the entire bar:
- 10-12 chocolate pies
- 1-2 pumpkin pies
- 2 deep dish pecan pies
- Whipped cream for the pie slice(s) of your choice
- Mom’s fruit salad
- A miscellaneous pie/cake/dessert (if I get lucky, this is a rockin’ mincemeat pie!)
Our Thanksgiving traditions have run like clockwork for as long as I can remember:
1. The night before is Pie Night. All pies are baked or no one goes to bed. We go to sleep to the smell of pie and wake up to the smell of turkey.
2. Dad gets up at dawn to start the turkey and dressing. One oven, 4 bakers. The idea of getting his stuff out of the way early makes him seem like the smart one… ’til the alarm goes off at 5am. After all these years, I’m still convinced that the joke is on him
3. Dad is back in bed by the time Mom gets up to make chocolate gravy, eggs, and biscuits for breakfast.
4. Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is on background TV – the entire house stops mid-task (chopping veggies, cooking, washing dishes, or running after a wayward grandchild) to watch Santa roll on through – and then someone pops in A Christmas Story. ‘Cause you always need a reminder that you will shoot your eye out. Just ask my little brother.
5. We eat.
6. Half of my family roots for our favorite team, which is always whoever is playing the ‘pokes. Tomorrow, we are Seattle Seahawks fans. The other half of the family will root for Jessica Simpson’s boyfriend – and for that shameful act, they will not be allowed to eat dessert.
7. We eat pie.
8. We put up the Christmas tree.
9. We eat more pie.
10. And somehow we still have room for even one more slice of pie.
Pumpkin pies were (and maybe still are) the most under-appreciated pie at our Thanksgiving. The only reason my mom even baked one pumpkin pie was because somehow it was my sister Angie’s favorite pie. Far more easier to make than the army of 12 chocolate pies, I’ve grown to really appreciate the dessert over the last few years.
Paired with a fantastically buttery and flaky pie crust that has never let me down, there is nothing I am looking forward to eating tomorrow more than a slice of this pie topped with a dollop of Bourbon-Whipped Cream. More than once today have I thought about the conversation that would unfold if I brought the pumpkin pie in and set it down on the cake plate tomorrow morning, one slice missing.
Pecan Pumpkin Tart with Bourbon Whipped Cream
Why decide between pumpkin and pecan pies? This tart has both!
- For the tart:
- 1 9.5-inch removable-bottom tart pan prepared with 1/2 recipe Pate Brise, unbaked*
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups Pecan Pumpkin Butter (homemade or purchased)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- For the Bourbon-Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp Bourbon
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
- Preheat oven to 450. Whisk eggs until blended. Whisk in pumpkin butter and cream until well combined. Pour into tart pan prepared with dough. Bake for 15 minutes and reduce heat to 350. Bake for an additional 35-40 minutes or until center is just set. (A knife inserted in the center should come out clean.) Serve at room temperature.
- * I've been using this pie crust for probably close to 12 years. I've experimented with other recipes but I keep coming back to good ol' Martha's Pate Brisee. Super buttery, tender, and fantastically flaky - this is exactly what pie crust is supposed to be like.
- For decoration: Using a floured leaf-shaped cookie cutter (I have a few different sizes from a Wilton fondant and gumpaste set), cut leaves out of the dough scraps. Place on greased parchment, mark with a wooden skewer or toothpick, brush with egg wash, and bake at 350 until golden brown. Place baked leaves on finished tart and serve.
- Whip the cream, vanilla, and bourbon in the bowl of a stand mixer. Once the whisk attachment starts to leave traces in the cream, add the confectioners sugar. Beat until soft peaks form and serve. You can make a couple of hours before and refrigerate before serving.
Yields: 8 servings