If you have ever driven across the U.S., or even half of the U.S., or even just driven across Kansas you know how it feels when you are on the home stretch. You’ve come so far, yet you’re still not there. You’re tired and your legs and arms are sore and jelly-like.
That was how I felt after making and eating Thanksgiving dinner, preparing to eat dessert. I knew I had come many, many miles but would not be done with the journey until I had eaten at least one serving of one of the desserts I had made. I was tired and my legs and arms were sore and jelly-like. Add on to that the fullness of the belly, and the task seemed almost daunting. However, I just knew that I had to do it, because I had made desserts. In fact, there were four desserts to choose from.
Let’s start with the one that I did nothing to prepare. I had ordered it from a friend as a fundraiser for one of the sports her daughter plays in. It was a chocolate mousse pie. Done!
Next, was an apple pie. I used a store-bought roll-out crust for this one. Making pie crust is not my forte. My grandmother made excellent pie crusts. My mother did not. After years of psycho-analyzing my mother and her pie crust issues (which she passed down to me) I firmly believe that she had a self-limiting fear of making pie crusts, because her mother was so masterful at it. I could be wrong. Making pie crust is an art. I usually buy the pie crusts in the red box that you unroll. Fabulous! I had a bag of pre-made apple pie filling that my mother had frozen during apple season. She had an over-flow of apples and her standard is to go ahead and mix up some apple pie filling and freeze. So, I took one of these. Her standard pie filling is apples, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and flour. After they thawed, I turned it into more of a caramel apple pie, by adding butter, brown sugar and heavy cream before putting it in the crust.
My third dessert was a pumpkin pie. The Hubs and D1 are huge pumpkin pie fans. It’s really not my favorite, but had to be done. It’s a tradition! So, I took a deep breath, and made up a recipe for pie crust dough. The Hubs had discovered this recipe a few years ago and has had much success with it. I figured, if he could do it, I could, too. Oh, and since it wasn’t my Grandmother’s recipe the old ghosts of pie crusts past would be exorcised!
Sour Cream Pie Crust
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup sour cream
- 5 oz. butter, room temp
Combine ingredients to form dough. Separate in half and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Roll out into 2 9-inch pie shells. You may add ½ teaspoon vanilla for fruit pies.
My pie crusts were a success inasmuch as I did not cry and I was able to get 2 9-inch shells. One, I used for the pumpkin pie and the other I baked for a pudding pie.
I used the pumpkin pie recipe on the Libby’s can, and it turned out beautifully. I added a few pie crust leaves to the top of the pie, which everyone seemed to think was very fancy. (Thank you, Williams-Sonoma for your cute little cutters!)
The last dessert of our Thanksgiving feast was a Raisin Sour Cream Pie. I had never even heard of this kind of pie until I married The Hubs. At the first Thanksgiving I spent with his family, his step-father talked about the pie that he used to just love, Raisin Sour Cream. I made it my mission to come up with a recipe for this odd-sounding pie. I found one in a “Kansas” cookbook, but have since lost it. I came up with this recipe later and I make it every Thanksgiving in his memory. It has become a family favorite and we all think fondly of him when we eat it.
Raisin Sour Cream Pie
- 1 cup raisins
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups sour cream
- 3 eggs yolks, beaten
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 egg whites
- 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
In a small covered sauce pan, cook the raisins with the ½ cup water until boiling, and the liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
Combine sugar and flour in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Add beaten egg yolks, sour cream, and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened. Add in raisins. Cool slightly and pour into baked pie shell.
In a large glass or metal bowl free of oils (I use my K.A.) beat egg whites, gradually adding sugar until they form stiff peaks, but are not dry.
Spread meringue gently over raising filling. Bake at 350 degrees until meringue is lightly golden, about 12 minutes.
Store uneaten pie in the refrigerator.
I chose the Raisin Sour Cream as my dessert, the end to my journey. It was a sweet and delicious ending to an amazing feast.
One of the great things about nearly any journey is not the end. Sometimes the end is bitter-sweet. It is the journey that makes the memories along the way…
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
In this case, it began with a lot of flour, cream and butter with a few vegetables and a turkey thrown in. Of course, I made fabulous new memories along the way during the making and eating of Thanksgiving 2012. Just think, Christmas is just around the corner. Many more miles to go!