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A few recipes that you might like for thanksgiving!

A few recipes that you might like for thanksgiving!

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: I FREAKING love Turkey Day! Oh whatta day! A day devoted entirely to cooking, setting pretty tables, drinking wine and hanging with good friends. Good golly, Ms. Molly!

Here are three things that I have already made on the blog that you might want to consider adding to your Thanksgiving table:

Rustic Pear Tart. Make this. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. My boyfriend’s favorite dessert, and probably one of mine (choosing a favorite dessert is like choosing your favorite child – or at least what I imagine choosing a child would be like, if, you know, I had kids).

 

Pumpkin Streusel Swirled Cream Cheese Pound Cake.

This thing was WAY more than a pound. It was probably closer to 4 lbs of delicious cake.

 This thing is so amazingly yummy. Fairly easy to make and very impressive.

 

Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Nom nom nom nom!

Rachel

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Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

I love pumpkin. I love chocolate. I love infinity three kinds of chocolate. So of course, I love triple chocolate pumpkin pie. And you will too. I wanted to blog about this pie so badly that I put down my schoolwork (reading a book on cyberwar – actually pretty interesting) to share this with my faithful readers. Some of those faithful readers may need a serious chocolate fix right now!

This pie is SUPER rich and incredibly good. To be honest, it’s a little hard to handle after a full turkey dinner. But, by breakfast time, it hits the spot. (Don’t judge me: You know you have pie for breakfast on the Friday after Thanksgiving.) The pumpkin/chocolate custard is almost more akin to chocolate mousse than your standard pumpkin pie filling. Plus, the super chocolately crust (especially if made with Trader Joe’s Chocolate Cat Cookies as suggested) is incredible. I could eat a bowl of the uncooked crust mix all by itself (granted, its just crumbed cookies, butter and a little sugar – what’s not to love?).

Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart. Her pie is pretty good, but I think mine may be better.

  • For the Crust

    • 2 cups finely ground chocolate animal cookies (I use Trader Joe’s Chocolate Cat Cookies, which are AMAZING)
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3 ounces dark chocolate (with high cacao content), finely chopped
  • For the Filling

    • 6 more ounces dark or semisweet chocolate (either with same, or slightly lower cacao), chopped
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
    • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
    • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • Ground cloves

    For the Topping

    • 1 ounce milk chocolate, melted

1. Make the crust. Preheat over to 350F. Combine all crust ingredients EXCEPT THE CHOCOLATE together into bowl. Then press into the bottom of 9.5 inch pie pan. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes.

2. While crust is still warm from oven, sprinkle the 3 oz of dark chocolate over the crust, and place in oven for another 1 minute.

Chopping chocolate.

Then sprinkle the chocolate over the warm chocolately crust:

Creating a chocolate shell to hold our delicious chocolately filling.

3. Once the chocolate has sat in the shell in the oven for 1 minute, smooth the melted chocolate over the crust with a spoon. Set aside.

Should look like this:

Chocolate shell spread over chocolate crust. Are you drooling yet?

4. Reduce over temp to 325F. Make the filling – melt together the 6 oz chocolate and butter in a double boiler with a large bowl, or in the microwave. If using the microwave, heat in 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds. Otherwise, you may burn the chocolate. Set aside for a bit.

5. Mix pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves in a medium bowl. Whisk about 1/3 of this mixture into the chocolate mixture until completely mixed. Then mix in the rest. Stir until completely incorporated.

6. Place pie dish on rimmed baking sheet. Pour the filling into the pie. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Until the center is set, but still wobbles a little. Let cool.

7. Before serving, drizzle with the 1 oz milk chocolate. You can melt this in a double boiler, or in the microwave, stirring after 30 second time intervals. The drizzles in the picture below are a little wider than I would have liked, but I waited to melt and drizzle until after T-day dinner, so I had very little patience. If I had warmed the chocolate a little more, the drizzles would be finer and more lovely. At that point, I just needed some chocolate to counter-act the turkey. Time was of the essence. There was serious risk of starving. Seriously. For serial.

Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie... MMMMMMMMM

Enjoy!

Languidly lounging in a chocolate coma,

Rachel

Happy Thanksgiving! (And briefly, how to slow roast a turkey).

Happy Thanksgiving! (And briefly, how to slow roast a turkey).

Yes, I realize I am a few days late. But I was so busy making Thanksgiving food, and then even busier eating Thanksgiving food, that it took me a day or two to get my act together to share about this Thanksgiving. And what a lovely holiday it was!? A delightful combination of wine, dessert and friends. I think this photo sums up Thanksgiving perfectly:

The essence of Thanksgiving: dessert and friends... (Clockwise from bottom: pumpkin pie, apple-cran pie, triple chocolate pumpkin pie and super gingery gingerbread. All with whipped cream).

This year, I spent Thanksgiving in Baltimore with my bestie, Amelia. Amelia and I went to middle school and high school together, so when we hang out it’s like we revert to being 16 years old and it’s SUPER fun. Amelia and I were in charge of cooking for the four of us.

The menu:

Nosching plate of cheese, prosciutto and dried figs.

Slow roasted Turkey

Mashed Potatoes

Moose sausage stuffing (OMG soooo good!) (cornbread stuffing with sauted onions/celery, garlic, fresh herbs, dried cranberries soaked in chicken broth, pecans, and moose sausage flown in all the way from Alaska. This stuff was crazy good.)

Roasted brussel sprouts and carrots

Gravy

Cranberry-Pomegranate Relish (fresh cranberries, whole orange, ground ginger and sugar blended in food processor, then add chopped pecans and pomegranate seeds. Let sit over night if possible).

Canned Cranberry (of course)

Dessert: Classic pumpkin pie, triple chocolate pumpkin pie, apple-cran pie with streusel topping and super gingery gingerbread. Yes, I realize there are as many desserts as people for dinner, but that was planned. How else would you do it? A post on desserts will happen in the future (hopefully).

Amelia and I spent the day in the kitchen on Thursday (after staying up late on Wednesday making multiple pies). Here is a photo journal of what we did that day:

1. Remove turkey from basting bag. Turkey had been sitting in brine with pepper corns, tons of salt, fresh herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme), onions and bay leaves. Rub turkey down with butter/salt/pepper mixture, stick 1 quartered onion into cavity, insert fresh herbs into turkey breast (make incision into breast and insert herbs), also insert herbs under the skin, directly onto the meat. Put into 220F degree oven breast-side down. Baste every hour or so. When bird is about 140F or 145F, flip right-side up. Remove once breast temperature reaches 155F – you may want to cook for last hour at 300F to get the skin a little darker, because the skin doesn’t crisp up at 220F. Let sit for 20 minutes before carving.

Slow roasting the turkey. A 16 pound bird took about 6.5 hours.

2. Take dog for a run. Dog chases and barks at squirrels.

Chloe, dreaming big.

3. Maturely talk about our Thanksgiving dish preferences.

Debate about whether stuffing gets roasted inside the bird or outside. Outside the bird won.

4. Indulge a little while cooking.

Simple math: Case of wine + friends + cheese = wonderful Turkey day.

5. Indulge a little more. Four types of cheese (a triple cream, cambozola, something soaked in wine whose name escapes me right now, and a mushroom brie) served with prosciutto and dried figs.

To nosch while cooking.

6. Maturely discuss whether we like our mashed potatoes lumpy or smooth.

Settling another debate...with brussel sprout stalk.

6. Baste the turkey a few times.

You want me to do what with this?

7. Check the turkey for doneness. Bird should be 155F. You can also make the gravy once the bird is out (which is what is happening in the background of the picture below). Most people check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Amelia chose to use the old-fashioned way, the face thermometer.

Wait, Amelia! Can't eat the turkey until there's gravy!

7. Torment the dog.

Chloe wants dark meat!

8. Admire your handiwork. You can see the slit in the breast where I stuffed the bird with rosemary, thyme and sage.

Turkey!

9. Carve the turkey.

Light or dark meat?

10. Admire your spread.

Dinner time!

11. Do whatever dorky/endearing traditions that your family requires. We all had to have first bites that included a little bit of everything, and we went around the table and said what we were thankful for. I am thankful for cranberry sauce! And you know… friends, family… etc…

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Gobble gobble,

Rachel