Ask A Detroit Expert: Your Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipe

Ask A Detroit Expert: Your Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipe
Thanksgiving is around the corner – who’s bringing the pie to dinner? Be the toast of Thanksgiving with these pie recipes from expert Emily Davis of The Root.
(credit: therootrestaurant.com)

(credit: therootrestaurant.com)

Emily Davis
The Root Restaurant and Bar
340 Town Center Blvd.
White Lake, MI 48386
(248) 698-2400
www.therootrestaurant.com

Pastry Chef Emily Davis graduated from Schoolcraft College, after studying food science at Michigan State University. Emily, a Michigan native, began experimenting with pastries at a young age, and at 14, started working in the restaurant industry. She has always been interested in math, science and art, and found that creating pastries is a delicious combination of all of these elements.

After culinary school, at the age of 23, Emily secured the Executive Pastry Chef position at Gastronomy, a Modern American Bistro, in Southfield, MI, where she was recognized for her ingredient-centric and innovative style, creating nuanced desserts by layering delicate flavors. She has been seen performing cooking demonstrations on Fox 2 News in Detroit, and won the Presenting Sponsor’s Award at the annual Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan Cookie Gala for her creative use of Girl Scout cookies. Emily enjoys creating desserts with contemporary flavors and presentation, while using classic techniques, and has brought that philosophy to The Root with items like her tiramisù and vegan brownie sundae.

Pecan Pie

Yield: 1, 9” pie

Ingredients:

  • Pie dough, recipe follows, or 1 store-bought pie crust.
  • 2 oz (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups pecan pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Roll out pie crust on a well-floured surface to a circle slightly larger than pie tin. Transfer into pie tin.
  3. Trim dough so that there is about 1 inch of overhang. Fold the edge under and crimp. Using a fork, dock the crust all over.
  4. Line crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the edges start to golden. Remove pie weights and parchment, and continue to bake for another 5-10 minutes.
  6. Set aside while making pie filling.

For the filling:

  1. Combine melted butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and salt. 
  2. Add eggs, whisking until combined. 
  3. Fold in pecan pieces. 
  4. Pour into the baked crust, and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are set, but the center is still slightly loose.
Pie Dough:

Yield: dough for 1 pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, diced
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Instructions:

  1. Stir together flour, sugar and salt.
  2. Add the butter, and work into the flour mixture using your fingers, until it resembles a coarse cornmeal.
  3. Add the egg, and knead until dough comes together and is slightly sticky.
  4. If mixture is too dry, add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Related: Best Apple Pie in Detroit

Bruléed Bourbon Pumpkin Pie with Maple Whipped Cream

Yield: one 9” pie

Ingredients:

  • Pie dough (or use store-bought pie crust)
  • 1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F. Roll out pie crust on a well-floured surface to a circle slightly larger than pie tin. Transfer into pie tin.
  2. Trim dough so that there is about 1 inch of overhang. Fold edge under and crimp.
  3. Line crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges start to golden.
  5. Remove pie weights and parchment, and continue to bake for another 5 minutes.
  6. Set aside and allow to cool completely while making pie filling.

For the filling:

  1. Whisk together all ingredients and pour into prepared crust. 
  2. Bake until the edge of the filling is set, but the center still jiggles slightly. 
  3. Cool completely. (Can be made a day ahead.)

Maple Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, grade B

Instructions:

  1. Beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. 
  2. Add maple syrup and continue to whip until firm. 

To serve pie, sprinkle an even layer of sugar over the top of the pie. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar until melted and dark brown. Once sugar has cooled, cut and serve pie with maple whipped cream.

Related:  Best Autumn Desserts in the Detroit Area

Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her work can be found at Examiner.com and yesnofilms.com.