Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009: The Pies Have It

It's a good thing that I'm still working on the Thanksgiving posts because I'm not cooking Christmas dinner this year. I'll be tackling hobby number two, sewing. I will certainly be in the kitchen New Year's Day, maybe New Year's Eve. Anyhoo. I tried to complete this post earlier this week, only to realize that I'd uploaded the pictures to the other blog's library. Grrr.

So here it is:

Again my sister-in-law's sweet potato pie ain't no joke. It really is the best sweet potato pie you'll ever taste (even without my secret ingredient). I've blogged about this before, but I'm holding to my promise to blog about everything I made for this year's meal.

Here are the sweet potatoes. These are hot from the oven. Yes, oven. Repeat with me, "Roasting intensifies flavors and brings out the natural sugars." Remember that the next time you are getting ready to boil a vegetable ...

Beat these with the paddle attachment. Add your butter a tablespoon at a time.

Add the sweetened condensed milk and sugar. Yes, this pie uses both!

Hook it up with spices and flavoring.

I add the eggs last. As usual, I lightly beat the eggs first.

Pre-made crusts this year :-( Not at all what I planned, but I found myself taking many a nap when I should have been cooking.

No shots of the finished pie. Know that it was delicious!

Pie number two was Cook's Illustrated's Apple-Cranberry Pie. I first made this in 2007. This year's was not as good as that one, but it was still good enough for me to compulsively eat pie for breakfast. That's really sad, I know. Santa is bringing me a new workout game for my Wii as punishment.

Start with cranberries, cinnamon, sugar and orange juice.

Heat it until it's the proper consistency. I didn't let mine cook long enough.

Next up? Apples!

Peel, core and slice. I sliced these a tad too thin. Toss with cornstarch, sugar and cinnamon and microwave. Yep, you microwave these before putting them into the pie. It keeps you from getting that big gap between the top crust and the filling when the pie is done.

Here's my little helper, Livvy.

Let's assemble, shall we?

Now for the apples.

Now for the top crust. There are a few steps here. First, how are you going to vent the pie? I let Livvy go to town with my pie crust cutters. The design below is her artistic brilliance. After you get the crust on, brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

See all the leftover cutouts? We put those on foil and put them in the oven for a snack. I forgot they were in there. By the time the timer went off to rotate the pie, they looked like chocolate cookies!

Here's the pie:

Tools of the trade:

-Maybe I'll have this filled in by the end of January!

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