Thanksgiving Crazy Part II


I am, first of all, by no means, going to be making all of these desserts. Maybe not even any at all. I may relinquish my baking duties to Shane’s brother (the chef of the family) and my own father (the self proclaimed chef). But I thought I would throw some recipes at you that I commonly use at the bakery and fit into my locavore Thanksgiving:

Basic Pie Dough (makes 2 pie crusts. You will never make another pie dough again, this stuff is the easiest to work with ever and is near impossible to make it fall apart when putting it in the dish)

  • 1 lb flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 c salt
  • 1/4 c oil
  • 1/4 c egg yolks
  • 1/4 c cold water (put ice cubes in and hold back when pouring in)

The most important part of making this pie dough is Keep Everything Cold. So what we do at the bakery is: put the flour and salt in a bowl and put in the fridge. Take butter and cut into small cubes, put back in the fridge. Measure out all other ingredients. Finally, mix flour, salt, and butter until crumbly, add egg yolks and oil, then add cold water. You may not need all the water, just pour enough in so that all ingredients stick together but the mixture is not sticky. Form into 2 balls and place in fridge until ready to use.

Sweet Potato Pie (makes 2 pies. Some of the seasonings are not local, but that is one luxury you should allow)

  • 4lbs baked and peeled sweet potatoes (you are definitely going to want to bake these all the way through so they are nice and soft, you dont want lumpy pie. Also, these may be difficult to find locally at this season, which is another advantage of rootcellaring!)
  • 3/4 c maple syrup or honey (maple syrup really adds great flavor to this pie, but may not be local in your area, honey is another great addition)
  • 2/3 c water 
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 c milk
  • 4 tsp rum (or whatever you have lying around Amaretto, Frangelico, or Brandy could be nice substitutions)
  • 2 tsp vanilla

This is the most simple pie recipe ever! Preheat the oven to 350. Mash the potatoes or whip them in a mixer until no lumps. Add honey mix. Add eggs mix well. Then add all the other ingredients and poor into pie shells. I find this recipe takes about 45 minutes to an hour to bake, but check it around 30 to make sure your dough edges aren’t getting to dark.

Pumpkin Walnut Loaf (makes 2 9x5x3, this recipe is adapted from the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf in “Baked The New Frontier” by Lewis and Poliafito)

  • 3 1/4 c flour
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 c pumpkin puree (to get pumpkin puree, cut a pie pumpkin in half, bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, scoop innards and mash or puree with immersion blender) 
  • 1/2 c melted butter
  • 2 c honey
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c chopped walnuts (or whatever nut or addition you have in your area like hazelnuts, almonds, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two baking pans. Whisk together all dry ingredients. Beat together all wet ingredients. Fold in dry ingredients, do not over mix. Fold in walnuts. Divide batter and gently knock down batter. Bake for about an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Hazelnut Cheesecake

  • 1 c ground toasted hazelnuts
  • 2 T butter
  • 32 oz cream cheese
  • 1 c honey
  • 2 T vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (or rum or amaretto or whatever sounds tastey!)
  • 5 eggs
  • 2/3 c chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 c whipping cream
  • 2 T liquer or amaretto

Preheat oven to 325. Combine first two ingredients and press into 9 inch spring form pan. Combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and beat. Stir in nuts. Pour filling over crust and bake for about 1 hours. Cool for about 4 hours before adding the whipped cream.

Here are just a few for your holiday enjoyment. Thanksgiving feast photos to come soon. Have a wonderful holiday everyone!


About Megan French

I am a dreamer. I am a hopeful soul that thinks one day we could come together to support each other in a community; support one another's services, hard-work, products, and knowledge. I hope that one day we can be global and local thinkers; supporting each other economically through local interactions and supporting the world globally by respecting other cultures and learning from them. Through local thought and community relationships we can clean up our world environments, power figures, and idea about what is most important in our lives. It all begins with knowledge and understand about how to get back to the basics: cooking, sewing, foraging, preserving, scouting... DIY for life and for the future of our society.

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