This Thanksgiving, Wow Them with Pie!

This Thanksgiving, Wow Them with Pie!
NOV 11 2022

This Thanksgiving, Wow Them with Pie!


If you’re like us, thinking of Thanksgiving starts you thinking about food. Turkey and stuffing, sure, but also the real star of the day: pie.

There are pies we serve as a sweet side dish with a savory dinner, such as a sweet potato or cranberry pie, and many more that appear as dessert. Whatever the particulars, they are a key part of almost every Thanksgiving tradition.

Whether you’re the host or the guest, pie is a holiday cornerstone.  Hosts understand that guests are never too full for dessert, especially when it comes to pie. Guests that show up with a luscious homemade pie, meanwhile, are likely to become the toast of the day.

Pie is also great way to celebrate the flavors of fall, whether it’s a classic, a new variety, or perhaps a flavor that evokes the cozy winter days ahead.


So whether you’re gathering in the dining room or enjoying the meal al fresco on your highwood® dining table, it’s time for your stretchy pants, because here comes a few mouthwatering recipes to make the holiday delicious:


 1. Sugared Cranberry and Pear Pie – Since Thanksgiving is the traditional start to the holiday season, use the occasion to welcome the most wonderful time of the year with an evocative wintry flavor!




 The Crust

1 tbsp butter

5 cups all-purpose flour, (plus more for dusting)

2 tsp granulated sugar

2 tsp salt

2 cups shortening

2/3 cup water (plus 2 tbsp ice water)


The Filling

1 tbsp butter

3 pears, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices (can use canned pears if preferred, but fresh provide a stronger taste)

1-½ cups sugar (divided)

3 whole cloves

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp light corn syrup

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp fresh orange zest

1 bag (24 ounces) fresh cranberries

 1 cup granulated sugar (for garnish)




- For the crust, grease the pie tin with butter. Clear and clean off a flat surface, and lightly flour.

- Combine the 5 cups of flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Work the shortening in with your fingers until the mixture is almost smooth. Add the ice water and continue to mix with your fingers.

- Place the dough on your floured surface and cut it in half. Place the second half aside. Roll out the first half using a rolling pin, and press into the bottom and sides of the tin. Place the tin in the fridge to set.

- For the top of the pie, roll out the second half of the dough. Place on a baking sheet or tray and refrigerate.

- For the filling, heat the butter in a medium pan. Add pears and sauté until tender (about 2 to 3 minutes). Add ½ cup sugar and the three cloves. Toss and remove from heat to cool in a bowl.

- Combine the remaining 1 cup sugar, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of corn syrup, corn starch, cranberries and orange zest and mix. Toss the mixture to make sure the fruit is coated.

- Transfer the cranberry mixture into a pot and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until the cranberries soften slightly.

- Combine both the pear and cranberry mixtures together in a bowl and refrigerate.

- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

- Pour the filling into the pie tin. Roll the remaining half of the dough onto the top of the pie and use a pastry cutter or small knife to cut an opening in the center of the top (or a seasonal design if you are feeling festive!)

- Place the pie in the center of the oven to cook for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 375 degrees F and cook for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature again to 325 to cook for the final 10 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven to cool.

- When cooled, sprinkle granulated sugar over the top and enjoy!



2. Pumpkin Pie – a classic with an added twist!




The Graham Cracker Crust:

1-½  cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs

6 tbsp butter, melted and slightly warm

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ tsp ground cinnamon


The Filling

2 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp melted unsalted butter

1-½ cups pumpkin puree

1-½ cups heavy cream

1-¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp salt



The Graham Cracker Crust

- For the pie crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add all ingredients for the crust to a food processor and pulse until combined.

- Spread the mixture evenly into your pan. Firmly press the mixture over the bottom and sides of the pan.

- Put the pan in the middle oven rack and bake until the crust is golden brown and firm to the touch, (about 10 to 15 minutes). Remove from the oven to cool. (If you don't want to bake the crust, you can also place it to set in the fridge for an hour!)

The Filling

- For the filling, preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, and sugars. Add the butter, pumpkin, cream, spices, and salt, and whisk to combine. 

- Strain the mixture into your pie crust and bake for an hour and a half. Remove and cool to room temperature. If you like your pumpkin pie cold, refrigerate after it is cooled down from the oven! 

- Enjoy!

Optional Twist: Boozy Maple Whipped Cream (P.s. This is sure to put you in the Holiday 'spirit'!) 


1-¼ cups heavy cream

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 to 2 tbsp bourbon (to your taste; add more if you'd like!)

½ vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped and reserved



- Combine the cream, vanilla seeds, syrup, and bourbon in a large, chilled bowl and whip until soft!

- Enjoy!



3. Tangy Sweet Potato Pie  – A Thanksgiving classic, with a tangy kick from the added crunchy topping!



The Crust

1-¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 tbsp sugar

1 pinch of salt

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks

2 tbsp ice water, plus more if needed

1 egg white (beaten)


The Filling

1 1/2 cups sweet potato puree

3 eggs

½ cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1 tbsp orange zest

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg


The Topping

½ cup pecans (or nut of your choice!)

1 8-ounce package frozen cranberries

1 (2.3-ounce, 12 cookies) package cookies of your choice (we recommend  shortbread or amaretti cookies)



- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

- For the crust, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add butter and mix with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in ice water and bind the dough until it holds together without being too sticky (if it is still crumbly, add a little more water.) Form the dough into a ball, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

- Sprinkle a flat surface lightly with flour. Roll the dough out and carefully place it in the pie tin. Press the dough firmly into the bottom and sides so it fits tightly. Place a piece of parchment paper over the crust and bake the crust until it sets, (about 20 minutes). Remove the pie from the oven and brush the bottom of the pie with the beaten egg white and set aside.

- In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until the sugar has melted. Add eggs and sweet potatoes together and whisk well. Add the cream, orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg, and stir well. Pour mixture into the pie tin. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake (40 minutes). Remove and allow to cool.

- While the pie is cooking, put the pecans on a baking sheet and bake them with the pie for about 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool. Thaw the cranberries in a strainer. Put the cookies, pecans and cranberries into a food processor and pulse them a few times until chopped. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cooled pie or place on the side for guests to sprinkle on themselves!

- Enjoy!



4. Caramel Apple Crumb Pie – The perfect fall treat! Crisp and decadent.




The Spiced Crust:

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1-½ sticks (12 tbsp) salted butter, cut into pieces

¾ cup vegetable shortening

1 tbsp distilled white vinegar

1 egg, beaten

Note: This recipe will produce 2 dough balls, although only 1 is needed!


The Filling:

6-7 cups peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples

½ lemon, juiced

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ tsp salt


Crumb Topping:

1-½ sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup oats

¼ tsp salt

½ jar (or more) caramel topping



- For the crust, mix the flour, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl. Add butter and vegetable shortening. Work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. Add white vinegar, egg and 5 tablespoons cold water and stir until combined.

- Form two dough balls and place each in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.

- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove 1 dough ball from the freezer and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough. When fully rolled out, lift the pie crust into a pie tin. Gently press the dough against the corners of the tin. 

- For the pie filling, mix apples, lemon juice, granulated sugar, flour and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

- For the topping, mix the butter into the flour, then add in brown sugar, oats, and salt.

- Add the apples to the pie shell and top with crumb topping. Bake for 1 hour. 

- Remove the pie from the oven and pour half of the jar of caramel topping over the top. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

- Enjoy!



Whichever you choose, there is no disputing the old saying: you can never have your fill of pie!  Have a safe and meaningful holiday everyone—to you and yours from highwood®.


What is your favorite pie? We want to hear about it in the comments below!

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