Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Thanksgiving Feast

        I went up to my cottage last weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving with my Dad's side of the family. Thanksgiving Day arrives a bit earlier here in Canada than in the United States, which is fine by me (I'm terrible at waiting). Unsurprisingly, I ate a mountain of food. Perhaps I have mentioned this before, but nearly all of my relatives on my Dad's side--and myself, of course--are big eaters. We love food. We live to eat. It's only natural that we had a large menu planned for Thanksgiving.
        I, my friends, was in charge of the dessert. Determined to make my favorite, I knew one single pie wouldn't be enough to feed so many of us. We eventually decided on three pies. I set to work with my cousins as helpers and together we tripled my favorite pecan pie recipe.
Classic Pecan Pie
        Coming from a pecan pie fanatic, this recipe is magic. The filling is ooey-gooey and loaded with pecans, which turn such a lovely dark red shade in the oven. My cousins Lauren and Fabian had taken over decorating duty, placing the pecan halves on top for the finishing touches. They'd even competed to see who could do a better decorating job. Fabian's pie was beautiful... but in the end, Lauren's took the cake. 
        Er… the pie.  
        Another extremely important item on the menu was the turkey, of course. Instead of doing the classic oven-baked bird, we deep-fried three turkeys. You're really missing out if you've never eaten deep-fried turkey for Thanksgiving. It manages to become perfectly moist without being greasy and it's so, so delicious.
Deep-Frying the Thanksgiving Turkey

         My cottage is a beautiful place, especially during Fall. Everywhere you look the leaves on the trees are bright and colorful; the lake is calm and quiet. 
        I have many reasons for wishing Thanksgiving was every weekend. There are three reasons in particular that are especially important to me.
        To spend time with my family, to admire the natural beauty…
        …and to eat good food.
        A lot of it.

Classic Pecan Pie
Yield: 1 9-inch pie | 8 servings


Pie Crust: (adapted from Allrecipes)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ice water, or just enough to form a ball

Filling: (adapted from Allrecipes)
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup pecans, finely crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, quartered
1 cup pecan halves

For the Crust:
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in chilled butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; the butter pieces should be about the size of peas. Stir in just enough water, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap ball in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Prepare filling while it chills.
For the Filling:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, both corn syrups, brown sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, and finely crushed pecans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Remove pie dough from refrigerator when ready and, if necessary, let sit a few minutes until easier to roll out. Gently roll ball to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate and press evenly into plate's bottom and sides.
  3.  Spread quartered pecans over bottom. Pour syrup mixture over pecans, then arrange pecan halves on top of pie. Baked in preheated oven for about 1 hour or until firm. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.
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  1. Pecan pie is my favorite too!  Yours looks sooooo good!  We do a deep fried turkey every year too and I think it's the only way to have turkey for thanksgiving!

  2. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.October 13, 2011 at 7:04 AM

    I love a good pecan pie and yours look just fabulous!! I'm sure your family loved it too!

  3. These photos made me wish I was celebrating Thanksgiving with you! I had deep fried turkey for the first time last Thanksgiving, I don't think I could go back to oven baked anymore. The view from your cottage is lovely. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe and the photos. Have a great day =] 

  4. Hi Nicole, your pecan pie looks awesome! And the deep-fried turkey looks great! That's definitely a Thanksgiving feast! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  5. Fellow Canuck. I am so wishing I had been at your place instead of here on Thanksgiving. Your scenery is prettier and it looks like you ate way better than we did. Great pie.

  6. I looooooooooove pecan pie, its one of my favourite desserts ever.  Unfortunately my stupid partner is allergic to nuts so I can't make it at home and have to be extra careful if I eat it out!  Its times like these, when I see posts this beautiful on puddings this awesome that I end up feeling very sorry for myself!

  7. Aw, how I miss Canadian Thanksgiving.  To me, this end of November thing down here in the US is just too late!  Too close to Christmas.  I adore pecan pie, it's always been one of my faves.  Never tried deep frying the bird, though.

  8. Beautiful looking pie !!

    I love pecan-pie and can eat it anytime and anywhere :)

  9. What a beautiful pie! Gorgeous and looks so tasty!

  10. You had me at "pecan pie"!  Mmmm...I too happen to be a pecan pie fanatic and can never get enough.  Yours are so beautiful!  I may give this recipe a shot at our Thanksgiving.  Can't wait to read more!

  11. I completely agree!  Ever since we had deep fried turkey 4-5 years ago, we've been only eating deep fried (with cajun spice).  You are right, people who have never tried deep fried turkey is missing it out!

    I love pecan pies and your photos look so good that I miss eating it again.  I really love your photos...and I just read your profile today and you are only 15?? Really?????????  I'm shocked!  I can't wait to see you in 30s... you will be next Martha Stewart for sure. ;-)

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