I’m sure you already know this but…Thanksgiving is upon us! It is time to get all your menus for the big day finalized and you just might want to start cooking! But before you make that final shopping run, I wanted to share a great dessert recipe with you. I call it “Thanksgiving Pie”. Now I’m sure there are a lot of folks out there who consider Pumpkin Pie or even Sweet Potato Pie to be their “Thanksgiving Pie”. I get that. But they haven’t tasted this Thanksgiving Pie. In fact, I’d wager that with one little forkful, this pie would be able to wrest that title away from any other contender. You see my Thanksgiving Pie is actually a Toffee Blonde Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust, and a Pumpkin Ganache topping. And as if that wasn’t enough, I serve it with a garnish of Boozy Cranberry Sauce drizzled over the top. You see….that title is ridiculously long winded. Hence, Thanksgiving Pie. Or maybe you could call it “Special Thanksgiving Pie”.
It has got all of those iconic Thanksgiving flavors going on, the pumpkin, the cinnamon, the cranberry. Yum, yum yum! I got the idea for this amazing pie from Chef Christina Tosi in her Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook. If you look, you won’t see a recipe for this actual pie there. I cobbled it together from various recipes listed there. The cookbook is designed around “mother recipes” and then lists variations you can take to build on that recipe. There are definitely some tried and true Momufuku Milk Bar favorites listed there, but you can also get creative with the flavor profiles and come up with your own favorites.
Now keep in mind, there are a few steps involved here in making this masterpiece. You definitely must plan ahead because I know things tend to get really hectic this time of year. But there is still plenty of time, no worries whatsoever. And you can make the Blonde Pie Filling and Pumpkin Ganache ahead of time and then just make the crust and assemble when you are ready. It can all be done the day before the big day and just be chilling somewhere.
Once folks are just starting to slip into their Turkey Comas but still want a little dessert before completely losing consciousness, voila! You will be ready with the Thanksgiving Pie of their dreams!
Thanksgiving Pie - Toffee Blonde Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust, Pumpkin Ganache & Boozy Cranberry Sauce
recipe cobbled together from various Christina Tosi recipes found in the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook
For the Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 cups diced crusts and end pieces from 1 loaf of packaged white bread (10 ounces of crusts)
For the Blonde Pie filling:
- 160 grams (5 1/2 oz.) white chocolate
- 55 grams (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 40 grams (3 Tablespoons) sugar
- 105 grams (1/2 cup) heavy cream
- 52 grams (1/3 cup) flour
- 1 cup toffee chips
- 4 grams (1 teaspoon) kosher salt
For the pumpkin ganache:
- 150 grams (5 1/4 oz.) white chocolate
- 25 grams (2 tablespoons) butter
- 50 grams (2 tablespoons) glucose ( no glucose? substitute 18 grams (1 Tablespoon) corn syrup
- 55 grams (1/4 cup) cold heavy cream
- 75 grams (1/3 cup) Libby’s pumpkin puree
- 4 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
- 1 gram (1/2 teaspoon) cinnamon
For the garnish:
- Fresh cranberry sauce (optional. You can use store-bought cranberry sauce or if you aren’t already spending enough time on this pie and you can’t bear to leave the kitchen yet – see Cranberry Sauce recipe below)
Make the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 325° F. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the butter is golden brown, about 8 minutes; strain into a glass measuring cup.
Pour half of the melted butter into a bowl. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon and chopped bread, and toss. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden. Let cool.
Rewarm the remaining butter. Place Cinnamon Crunch croutons in a food processor. Pour the remaining butter over the croutons. Pulse until fine crumbs form. Place the crumbs into a 10-inch pie plate. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate the crust until chilled, 15 minutes.
Make the Toffee Blonde Pie Filling:
Combine the white chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and gently melt them on medium, in 30 second increments, stirring between blasts. Once melted, whisk the mixture until smooth.
Put the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk together until smooth. Pour in the white chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the heavy cream and whisk to combine.
Stir the flour, toffee chips, and salt together in a small bowl, then carefully fold them into the filling. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Make the Pumpkin Ganache:
Combine the white chocolate and butter in a microwave safe dish and gently melt them in the microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring between blasts. The result should be barely warm to the touch and totally homogeneous.
Transfer the chocolate mixture to a container that can accommodate and immersion blender (yes, it must be an immersion blender, Chef Tosi insists!) – something tall and narrow. Warm the glucose in the microwave for 15 seconds, then immediately add to the chocolate mixture and buzz with the hand blender. After a minute, stream in the heavy cream, with the hand blender running – the mixture will come together into something silky, shiny and smooth.
Blend in the pumpkin puree, salt and cinnamon. Put the ganache in the fridge to firm up before using, at least 4 hours, or ideally, overnight. Stored in an airtight container, pumpkin ganache will keep fresh in the fridge for 1 week.
Assemble the pie:
Once your Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust has chilled, fill it with the cooled Toffee Blonde Pie filling. Use a spatula to smooth top. Place cooled Pumpkin Ganache in a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe ganache over the top of the pie. If you would rather, you can simply use a spatula to smooth the ganache over the top of the Toffee Blonde Pie filling. Serve with a side of Boozy Cranberry Sauce if you desire. (and why wouldn’t you….)
Thanksgiving Pie brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)
Boozy Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces, weight Fresh Cranberries
- 3/4 cups Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Loosely Packed Orange Zest
- 1/2 cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- 1/2 cup quality Bourbon
Pick through the cranberries, removing any stems or berries that don’t look plump and ripe. Rinse the remaining cranberries well, then place them in a heavy bottomed saucepan with the sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and cinnamon stick. Stir to combine, then place the pan over medium heat. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
After 15 minutes, the cranberries should all have burst. Remove the pan from the heat. The sauce will look very liquidy, but will thicken as it cools. After the sauce has cooled completely, stir in the bourbon. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve the cranberry sauce at room temperature or chilled.
Cranberry sauce can be made 2–3 days ahead of time.
Links to Useful Kitchen tools and Ingredients for Thanksgiving Pie:
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale
Cuisinart Pro-Classic Food Processor
Heath Bits O’Brickle Toffee Bits
Libby’s Pumpkin Puree (This link is for 6 -15 oz. cans. Way more than you need for this recipe. However, you can at least see what it looks like here and then maybe find it in your local market or heck, get all 6 and be ready anytime a pumpkin need arises)
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