Give Thanks for Pie

By Jenny Harper

It’s true — the kitchen is the heart of the home. Ever notice how people always gather there? Whether baking treats, fixing dinner or spending time with family and friends, the kitchen is my favorite place to be. Since my day job is Senior Culinary Specialist for the Nestlé Test Kitchens, you can bet I love to stir things up. This space lets me pass along to you some of my best recipes, tips and baking secrets.

My Thanksgiving memories are made of baking together, gathering loved ones around the table, a moist turkey dinner with all the trimmings. But nothing beats dessert. Specifically pie.

When the leftovers are safely tucked away in the frig and I present the dessert choices, I never hear groans of “I can’t eat another bite” around my Thanksgiving table. For enticing desserts, look no further than pumpkin pie: It’s the all-American, must-have holiday dessert.

In fact, in many homes, it’s not Thanksgiving without the traditional delicious pumpkin pie: Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie, the one everyone loves. Perfectly spiced and seasoned creamy pumpkin is nestled in a flaky pie crust. It’s the pie whose aroma announces, unequivocally, “Thanksgiving.” The recipe for Famous Pumpkin Pie is included on the label of the can of pumpkin, where I look for it every time I bake this pie throughout the holiday season.

On occasion, I do like to add my own signature touch to pumpkin pie, and this Walnut Crunch Pumpkin Pie makes a spectacular appearance at the table. Before it disappears, that is! A classic, deep-dish pumpkin pie that is crowned with a broiled walnut-brown sugar topping makes a pie that’s almost — almost! — too pretty to eat.

Kick off the holiday season in great Thanksgiving style by using the advice and checklist to Get Ready for Thanksgiving , which reminds hosts to:

• Get organized early: plan your menu, detailed shopping list and guest list a few weeks ahead.

• Make your home festive, and get kids involved in dressing up the table.

• Organize on the big day: Begin baking early; plan multiple uses of your oven; enlist help for setting the table or setting up a casual buffet.

For extra-special touches to your holiday pies, view the video on making the perfect pumpkin pie  (click on the “Advice” tab, then on “Baking 101 Video Learning”). You’ll also find tasty tips to make all your holiday baking spectacular.


(Makes 8 servings)

1 9-inch deep-dish pie shell, unbaked

1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 (9-inch) deep-dish pie shell, unbaked

1 (15-ounce) can Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin

1 (12-ounce) can Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter, melted

PREHEAT oven to 425° F.

COMBINE walnuts and brown sugar in small bowl. Place 3/4 cup nut-sugar mixture on bottom of pie shell. Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, granulated sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl; mix well. Pour into pie shell.

BAKE 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F.; bake 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

COMBINE butter and remaining nut-sugar mixture; stir until moistened. Sprinkle over cooled pie. Broil about 5 inches from heat 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbly. Cool before serving.

Nutrition Information per serving: 500 calories; 240 calories from fat; 27g total fat; 7g saturated fat; 80mg cholesterol; 300mg sodium; 59g carbohydrate; 4g fiber; 47g sugars; 9g protein

Jenny Harper is Senior Culinary Specialist for the Nestlé Test Kitchens .

Courtesy of Family Features

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