Pies and Breads For Thanksgiving

by

Thanksgiving!

It's a time for being thankful for what we have, who we are and, mostly, to be in a country with freedoms we sometimes take for granted.

I can think back to my favorite holidays, and they all seem to be centered at my Mom's dinner table. With my Dad at the head of the table, Mom next to him (in the chair closest to the kitchen), my two sisters across from Mom, and me opposite Dad, we laughed and told stories, catching up on our lives. This is the main reason I became a Chef - the hope of sharing just a moment of the happiness and laughter we had. While I am not living near my folks now, I still treasure the times I spend with them.

These recipes that I share with you here are from Thanksgivings past and, with my Mom's permission, I am able to share with you her most decadent of pies -- the Chocolate Silk Pie. It is the most simple of recipes, the most chocolaty and delicious. It was passed down to her from her Great-Grandma. I hope you like it as much as my family does.

Chocolate Silk Pie

  • 1 cup Butter
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup Confectioners Sugar or 10 x
  • 8 oz. melted Chocolate, bittersweet or semi-sweet

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This can take a while, up to 10 minutes or more. The more you whip it the lighter the pie will be. Add the chocolate slowly and mix until it is completely incorporated into the sugar mixture. Then add the eggs one at a time letting each egg be totally mixed before adding another. Pour into a 9-inch pie shell and chill overnight or at least 3 hours.

You can use a pre-made pie shell or mix one by hand. The recipe below calls for "cookie crumbs." I have used Oreo cookies, chocolate or vanilla wafers, dry macaroons or any crisp cookie. You can also add any chopped nut to this mix.

Crust (for one 9-inch pie shell):

  • 2 cups Cookie crumbs
  • ¼ cup Brown or granulated sugar (whichever you prefer)
  • 6 tablespoons Unsalted butter, melted

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and spread in a 9-inch pie pan. Press with your fingertips to pack the mixture evenly on the bottom and sides of the pan. To set the crust, bake for 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool before you add the filling.

Whipped Topping:

  • 1 cup very cold (not frozen) Heavy cream (whipping cream)
  • 2 tablespoons Confectioners sugar
  • Chocolate shavings for garnish

Whip the heavy cream until frothy, then add the sugar. Whip until stiff peaked. Top pie and add chocolate shavings for garnish.

Blueberry Yogurt Pie

  • 1 8 oz. container Blueberry yogurt (I use Dannon. You can use any flavor you like; peach, cherry or strawberry banana)
  • 1 16 oz. container of Cool Whip
  • 1 cup frozen Blueberries (or any fruit you like)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and put into a 9-inch pie shell. Freeze overnight. I prefer a vanilla wafer cookie crust for this pie. And you can top this with whipped cream.

This last recipe is a great snack bread. Either as a nice part of breakfast, lunch or even topped with vanilla ice cream for a nifty dessert.

Mango Macadamia Bread

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • ½ cup Butter, softened
  • ½ cup Vegetable oil
  • 1-½ cups White sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 3 cups peeled, seeded and chopped Mango
  • ½ cup Raisins
  • ½ cup chopped Macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup shredded Coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In another large bowl, beat together the butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Blend this mixture into the flour mixture; just to combine. Fold in the mango, raisins, walnuts and coconut; mixing just enough to evenly combine. Pour batter into two loaf pans.

Let stand for 20 minutes, then bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dorothy Sibole is a pastry chef living in Austin, TX. If you have questions about this article or the recipes, contact us at moc.gnikoocsaxet@nibrof_solkim

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