Thursday, December 09, 2010

Potomac Thanksgiving Pies

"soup and grace in the library?"

I spent this Thanksgiving with my friend Jamie's family (as well as Jamie himself, Anna, Bob, Monique, and more pals) in Potomac, Maryland. I arrived to a bustling house of dough rolling, sweet potato blending, and dog show watching. As dinner approached, we were given "task cards" to help prepare for the feast. I joined John on the "water team," whose task, I must say, was rather delayed, waiting for the "ice team" to finish theirs! Michael was put on "device box," which was meant to collect everyone's cell phones and lock them away during dinner (how NELPy), but I don't think that really happened. Bob, pictured above, was on "soup serving", which meant serving little espresso cups full of sweet potato soup on a silver tray, for the soup toast in the library. He was quite the perfect butler.

Dinner was SO delicious and plentiful--highlights for me were the spicy mac and cheese, mashed rutabaga (sorry Leslie), green beans, and sweet potato casserole but I'm sure I am forgetting something because everything was amazing. Now let's get on to the pies.

In addition to various Thanksgiving cookies, there was a delicious apple cranberry pie, two pumpkin pies, and I made a bittersweet chocolate pecan pie. I adapted the recipe from Gourmet. It is as follows:

Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan Pie


1 4-oz, 70%-cacao bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped
2 cups pecan halves, toasted and cooled
3 large eggs
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup agave-maple syrup blend

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt chocolate in a metal bowl over simmering water. Stir. Remove from heat when melted.

2. Roll out chilled dough and place in a greased and floured pie pan, fluting the crust.

3. Spread chocolate in the bottom of pie shell and let set a bit, then cover with pecans. Whisk eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and agave-maple blend in a bowl. Pour over pecans.

4. Bake pie until filling is puffed and crust is golden brown, 40-50 minutes. Serve with bourbon whipped cream and enjoy!

I am pretty into this combination. Usually I think that pecan pie is too sweet, so using maple-agave blend (you could also just use maple syrup or brown rice syrup) instead of corn syrup helps with that, as does the bittersweet chocolate. When I made this a second time, for the WXYC Sinterklaas Party, I sprinkled some sea salt crystals on top. Yum.

We topped ours off with Bourbon whipped cream, as Michael is demonstrating here.

Many thanks to Leslie and James for hosting and welcoming me to a delicious and lovely Thanksgiving feast.

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