Saturday, November 23, 2019

Perfect Thanksgiving Pie

Besides writing, cooking is probably one my favorite things to do. With the increasing popularity (and frequency) of Food Network baking and cooking competitions, I find myself venturing farther and farther outside of my classic comfort zone with cooking and being a little more adventurous, not only with flavors, but also with decorating.

Thanksgiving is the one time a year I allow myself to eat unapologetically. I figure if I am spending 4 or more hours prepping this meal, I am going to enjoy it. All of it. It's also the only time of year that I will eat pumpkin pie. I'm not adverse to pumpkin. Quite the contrary - I love a good pumpkin and sage butter ravioli or pumpkin blachinda (an old family recipe for another day), but I'm not typically a huge fan of pumpkin pie. I'm not sure if it's the texture or what, but I've experimented with several recipes over the years and landed on one that I think is delicious....once a year. I'll share the recipe below.

Thanksgiving this year for us will happen on Saturday, November 30th. We are hoping all of our kids will be able to make it, along with our 2 grandbabies. Last year, I made sweater-shaped cookies and the kids (the youngest at the time was 23) decorated them and had an impromptu ugly sweater contest. I'm thinking about buying gingerbread house kits this year. Do you have any fun activities you do with your family?

Here's a picture of the "perfect" pie I made a couple years ago. I decided to "get fancy" with this one - although simply using a bottom crust is more than adequate. If you decide to try to get fancy too, I'd recommend baking the "flowers" separately and then adding them - as you can see mine are still a little pale (they were cooked though). For the decorations on this pie I used the 2nd crust out of the box of pie crust (yes, I use Pillsbury ready to use pie crust) and cut the leaves out with a paring knife. The flowers are made by using a round cutter and then rolling the circle up and pinching it apart in the middle, forming 2 roses. As promised, here's my recipe for Perfect Thanksgiving Pie - best made the day before.


1 can (15 oz can) pumpkin puree  not pie filling)
1 1/2 cans (14 oz can) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional but lovely)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust


Preheat oven to 425°. In medium saucepan over low heat, mix the canned pumpkin and spices and heat just until thoroughly warmed. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk and then whisk in the eggs and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Pour into crust and bake for 25 minutes. Tent pie with foil (loosely cover), reduce heat to 325° and bake for one hour. Turn oven off and let pie cool in the oven for an hour (do not open oven door!) and then refrigerate overnight. Letting the pie cool in the oven helps prevent cracks and sinkholes and letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator gives the flavors a chance to blend, plus it frees up oven space for other important things - like turkey!

I hope you enjoy it and also hope that wherever you are and whomever you are with, that you have a safe, blessed Thanksgiving.

P.S. Romancing the Royal will be on sale for $0.99 November 29 - December 2!


  1. Wow! That's an amazing looking pie. I've done gingerbread houses with my granddaughters. It's fun.

  2. Laura, I am so impressed by your beautiful pie! And what fun to do gingerbread houses, Merrillee.

  3. Laura, that is too beautiful to eat!!! My kids wouldn't believe I'd made it. LOL.