I don’t know about you, but when it comes to Thanksgiving in my house, it’s all about the pie (or galette — pie’s more rustic, free-form cousin). Yes, I am partially biased having worked at a pie shop and recently collaborated on the “Sister Pie Cookbook,” but what can I say? It’s a perfect dessert. While I do have a soft spot for an unfussy classic like pumpkin or pecan, this is the area of the Thanksgiving meal that I like to shake up every year. If you find yourself in a similar boat and are in need of some pie-spiration, check out these eight new takes on old favorites that will bring the “wow” to your Thanksgiving table.
Many of you probably know miso as a savory Asian seasoning, but its deep umami flavor can lend balance and depth to sweet dishes as well. Cloudy Kitchen puts miso at the forefront of their elevated apple pie recipe by incorporating it into a salted caramel sauce that gets poured over a basic sliced apple filling. Encased in a flaky all-butter crust, you’ve got a stunning grown-up pie that hits all the right notes. Get the recipe on Cloudy Kitchen.
I have a declaration to make. Cranberries deserve more airtime at the Thanksgiving meal outside of just the sauce. With their signature tart flavor and deep red hue, they are the epitome of a holiday pie/galette flavor. Salt and Lavender makes cranberries the star of the show in this rustic galette. The preparation couldn’t be simpler with cranberries getting a light toss in some brown sugar and vanilla before being piled high atop another all-butter crust. The beauty of galettes lies in their rustic appearance so feel free to shape, crimp, and style it to your liking. A quick egg wash and sprinkling of sugar gives the edges that signature golden hue and sparkle. Get the recipe on Salt and Lavender.
For those of you with an over-the-top sweet tooth, this Butterscotch Pecan Pie from Something Swanky will be right up your alley. This basic pecan pie filling of eggs, loads of chopped pecans, and sugar gets an extra hit of sweet from butterscotch chips, adding that characteristic warm, buttery flavor. Get the recipe on Something Swanky.
If you’re an avid “Great British Baking Show” viewer, you’ve probably heard the term “frangipane” thrown around a time or two. Don’t be put off by the fancy sounding name; all it is is a nut paste made by combining toasted nuts with sugar and often a bit of butter or flour to bind the whole mixture together. Call Me Cupcake features a hazelnut version of this magical ingredient as the base of her apple and pear galette recipe. After spreading a generous schmear of frangipane on the bottom of the dough (you guessed it, all-butter!), she piles on a sliced apple and pear filling spiked with loads of citrus and spice. A true showstopper and only you will know how simple it was to prepare. Get the recipe on Call Me Cupcake.
When I get done with Thanksgiving dinner, I immediately crave a bracing, citrus dessert — something to cut through all of the fat, starch, and meat I just consumed. This Creamy Lemon Pie from Sally’s Baking Addiction is my prime pie candidate this year and couldn’t be easier to make. The base is a graham cracker crumb crust studded with bits of chopped salted almonds for extra texture and toasty flavor. The three-ingredient filling is reminiscent of a key lime pie using egg yolks, condensed milk, and lemon juice to deliver that powerhouse tart flavor. A 20-minute bake in the oven leads to that blissfully creamy texture and, best news of all, it can hold in the fridge for up to a week before serving! Get the recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Cinnamon and apples go together like peanut butter and jelly, like Simon and Garfunkel, like Calvin and Hobbes, like… OK, you get the idea. My Baking Addiction takes this timeless pairing and bakes it into a hardy galette. The real kicker of this recipe, though, comes in the salted maple glaze that gets poured over the top before serving. A simple combination of butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt gives it a magazine-worthy gloss and helps bring the filling to life. Top with a hearty scoop of vanilla ice cream for the win. Get the recipe on My Baking Addiction.
I’m sure I’m going to get a bit of flack for saying this, but I am not the biggest pumpkin pie fan. My gripe isn’t necessarily with the dish itself but how it tends to come out — soggy crust, bland filling, and lack of textural contrast. Fortunately, Brown Sugar Mama has remedied my woes with her streusel pumpkin pie recipe. This fairly traditional filling spiked with spice is brought to life by a crumbly, buttery streusel topping, adding crunch to every bite. Bake in your favorite crust and let the rave reviews roll in. Get the recipe on Brown Sugar Mama.
If you love pumpkin pie but want to mix it up this year, sweet potato makes an excellent pie alternative with its earthy, rich sweetness. Completely Delicious’ Sweet Potato Pie recipe is taken to the next level with a hearty layer of fluffy, cloud-like meringue on top, giving it that sweet potato casserole with broiled marshmallow vibe. Get the recipe on Completely Delicious.
More from Make It Better:
- 7 Creative Ways to Shake Up Your Thanksgiving Turkey
- 11 Festive Restaurants for Holiday Dining Around Chicago
- 7 Delicious Vegetable Side Dishes to Lighten Up Your Thanksgiving Feast
Maddie Mays is a Chicago-born personal chef, caterer, and writer. Her love of gastronomy began with an introduction to the Food Network as a teenager and has since blossomed into a deep-rooted passion. She spent her early career in the food world working at the famed Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan, before moving on to other notable spots including Detroit’s Sister Pie bakery, and Floriole Bakery, Read It and Eat bookstore, and The Social Table in Chicago. In her spare time, she can be found practicing yoga, hosting dinner parties for friends, and sifting through her ever-growing cookbook collection. Maddie is also a supporter of PAWS Chicago. Since adopting her two cats from the shelter, she has served as a volunteer and donated her cooking services as an auction item at fundraisers. Get in touch with Maddie at madonfood.com