better late

I know Thanksgiving was a couple of weeks ago now, but I still wanted to share a bit of our awesome day… mostly the awesome food we got to eat.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m the pie maker.

One of my super generous co-workers brought me some pumpkin from her garden to use for my pies. I didn’t know how much I needed yet, so she just brought me some in a bag. After I got it all nice and smooth {after using 4 different appliances to try to puree it– the submersion blender was the victor} I had exactly 3 cups. It was the perfect amount for a pumpkin pie {which needed 2 cups} and pumpkin cheesecake {which needed 1 cup}!

Clearly it was meant to be.

Nice and smooth!

I also made a delicious apple pie. I think this was the first time I used all Granny Smith apples so the pie had a wonderful tart bite to it. {Perfect for pairing with some vanilla ice cream!} I also added a bit more flour to the apple mixture than was called for, so the filling was nice and firm instead of falling out of the crust when cut. Speaking of the crust… it didn’t turn out as nicely as I had hoped. I added a bit too much water but by the time I realized it I was too tired to start all over. At least it tasted great!

I used my mom’s classic Betty Crocker cookbook for the apple pie and pumpkin pie recipes.

The pumpkin cheesecake was a new adventure for me. I used the recipe adapted by Kalyn’s Kitchen almost exactly as she had written with a pecan crust as described by one of the commenters on the post.

For the crust I ground up a bunch of unsalted pecans until I had about 2 cups. Then I added a packet of Splenda, a bit of pumpkin pie spice, and 3- 4 tablespoons of melted butter. I mixed it until combined and then pressed it into my pie dish. I baked it for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, then let it cool while I prepared the filling.

You can find the filling recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen here. The only change I made was that I used 1/2 C of the Splenda baking blend instead of 1C granular Splenda, and cinnamon and nutmeg instead of apple pie spice. {I don’t remember the exact amounts, but I based it on the amounts called for in the pumpkin pie recipe.} Oh, and of course the fresh pumpkin puree instead of canned.

There was too much filling for my pecan crust so I put the extra in a store-bought shortbread crust my mom had in the pantry.

Clockwise: Pumpkin Cheesecake with pecan crust, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie {I sloshed it in the oven… oops}, and Pumpkin Cheesecake with shortbread crust

All of the pies were a hit with my family but the apple pie and the pumpkin cheesecake with pecan crust were the biggest hit by far. Everyone was a bit surprised at how yummy the pumpkin cheesecake was. You could barely tell that it wasn’t made with straight sugar and the pecan crust added an intriguing texture that kept them going back for more.

Definitely one to make again.

Dessert was great {clearly} but the rest of the meal was also fabulous.

We did a casual salad bar for a first course.

The shining star was the fresh crab meat. My dad has been going crabbing every chance he gets so there was plenty of crab to go around– and pre-shelled! Mmm mm mm.

The turkey meat was pretty good, too.

But the crab… well, it just can’t be beat.

Unless you don’t like seafood.

Other than the food… we spent the afternoon/evening visiting, watching Dogs 101 on Animal Planet {but muted so we could have our own commentary}, and other randomness.

It was a good Thanksgiving indeed.