Turkey and Stuffing and Pumpkin Pie, oh my !

I love turkey dinner. I love the busy day spent preparing all the dishes, and in our house we do the whole works. Turkey with giblet gravy, sausage stuffing with dried plums (both inside the bird and an extra baked dish), mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes with orange juice and brown sugar, brussel sprouts with pancetta, steamed carrots with dill, fresh butter rolls, homemade cranberry sauce and apple sauce. Usually there is champagne (champagne really does go with everything and in fact pairs quite nicely with turkey).

Dessert involves at least two types of pie: pumpkin and either apple or a chocolate Bourbon tart. I either make a traditional pumpkin pie or my mother’s pumpkin chiffon pie, which involves a ½ cup (yes, that’s one half cup) of Triple Sec or Cointreau. I find after the large turkey event, the lighter chiffon pie is much welcomed. Just don’t try to pass a breathalyzer test.

Perfect Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Tart

8 oz semisweet chocolate
dough for a 9” single pie crust
2 tbsp butter or margarine
3 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup light or dark corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup high quality bourbon (our house prefers Marker’s Mark)
1 ½ cup pecan halves

Roll out the pie crust into a 9” straight sided tart tin with removable bottom. Refrigerate tart shell until ready to fill.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and salt. Add corn syrup, butter, bourbon and vanilla. Whisk until well blended and frothy. Spread pecans in a layer on the bottom of the chilled tart crust. Pour in egg mixture. Bake @ 350 degrees for one hour. Serve warm with ice cream (optional – but not really!)

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

9” single pie crust, baked and cooled
1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
2/3 cup suger, divided in half
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ cup water
3 eggs, separated
½ cup Triple Sec or Cointreau (though I’ve used Brandy in a pinch)
1 ¼ cup canned pumpkin
½ cup heavy cream, whipped

In the top part of a double boiler, combine the gelatin, half of the sugar, the salt and ginger. Add water. Beat in egg yolk one at a time. Add Triple Sec / Cointreau and cook over simmering water, stirring occasionally until gelatin has dissolved and mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and still in the pumpkin. Allow to cool.
Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add the remaining sugar and continue beating until very stiff. Fold in pumpkin mixture and whipped cream. Pile into baked pie crust and chill until firm (about 3 hours). Decorate with more whipped cream and candied ginger if desired.

This pie is also wonderful with a ginger snap crumb crust instead of a traditional pastry crust. Alternatively, I use a pastry crust, but add a bit of sugar and some cinnamon to the dough to give it added flavour.

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