For many of us, the best part of Thanksgiving dinner is the dessert; empty dinner plates are cleared from the table and, even though you swore you couldn't eat another bite, the sight and smell of cinnamon-infused, golden-brown crusted apple pies and a whipped cream-topped pumpkin custard pie or two start to give you second thoughts. That is, unless you're not a "pie person." With apples and pears in season and a variety of fragrant holiday spices at your disposal, why should pie be the only dessert to make it to the Thanksgiving table?pie, there's no denying that it can be a pain to make. Scratch-made pie crust requires some attention to detail; you have to keep the ingredients and the mixed dough chilled for best results, you have to cut the butter into the flour and make sure that small clumps of butter remain intact (this is the key to a flaky crust), and you have to add just the right amount of water; too much and your dough will be sticky and hard to work with, too little and the dough will be dry and crumbly. Oh, and did we mention you can’t over mix or over-roll the dough because it over-develops the gluten, causing your crust to shrink?
Sure, you could opt for a premade store-bought pie crust, but you'll still have to pay attention to details like temperature. Plus, you'll likely find that many brands fall short in terms of taste and texture. So, how do we solve the holiday pie problem? By making desserts that aren’t pies, of course!
Even if you're still planning to serve pie at Thanksgiving dinner, save yourself a bit of work by incorporating a few of these festive and easy-to-make non-pie desserts as well. They're so good that you might just start a new holiday tradition.
This simple baked fruit dessert is not only delicious and fragrant, but it's also easy to customize. Someone in your family doesn't like nuts? Leave them out. Don’t have sunflower seeds on hand? Try pine nuts instead. Click here for our recipe.
If you're worried that you'll miss pumpkin pie, try making crustless pumpkin custard. Making mousse from scratch may sound intimidating, but this recipe uses pudding mix to make it easier. Click here for our recipe.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.