The perfect pie is equal parts science and art, and there are few things more intimidating in the American culinary repertoire than pie crust. How many of you have slaved away at a crust only to have it crumble upon rolling? How many of you have pulled a beautiful pie out of the oven only to realize upon slicing into it that the perfectly golden brown crust is leathery or tough? Or that your apple pie filling has turned mushy in the oven? Here are the most essential tips and techniques that will guarantee a perfect pie for your Thanksgiving table.
'Thanksgiving traditional pies' on Serious Eats
When you're on a mission to improve something that's already pretty great, small modifications can make a big difference. In this case, I set out to tweak a recipe for pumpkin pie to make a filling that's creamier in texture, slightly more complex in flavor, and less "weepy" in general (since I'm not a fan of soggy bottom crust). It took me three tries to get it just right, but for you, it will only take one.
An extra-smooth and creamy pumpkin pie. The secret ingredient is cream cheese, which gives it a smooth, rich texture, and a mild tang.
I've always enjoyed mixing it up when it comes to holiday baking, throwing a pumpkin cheesecake or frozen mousse into the Thanksgiving mix to keep things fresh and interesting. And yet, in spite of my adventurous nature, there is one standard dessert that must be on the table for the final course; a classic, unadulterated pecan pie. It's a non-negotiable that may as well have been included in my wedding vows, "In sickness, or in health, I will bake thee a pecan pie on Thanksgiving". But in the sea of holiday stress and fuss, a pecan pie is akin to a baking vacation.