All-Pie Thanksgiving: An Entire Thanksgiving Dinner in 3 Pies

allpiethanksgiving

Three fabulous pies. An entire Thanksgiving dinner inside. All thanks to a conversation with my friend and fellow weirdo, Rachael. We were discussing our ideal Thanksgiving: pajamas, marathoning something on TV, and lots of pie. Not bothering with any of the rest of the dinner, just the pie. While this is a perfect idea and we are totally going to do it, the overachieving side of my mind saw this as a challenge: make the entire dinner in pie form. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

One of the things that makes the traditional Thanksgiving dinner so great is that the flavors of each dish are so complimentary. I thought about a lot of different promising combinations (sweet potato, apple, and cranberry pie!) but ultimately I realized that I could do the whole thing in just three stunning pies.

Without further ado, the PIES.

Turkey, Green Bean, and Mashed Potato Pie

All Pie Thanksgiving: Turkey, Green Bean, and Mashed Potato Pie

Turkey meets green bean casserole, in a simple mushroom gravy. All topped with a mashed potato “meringue”. Possibly the new king of comfort food. (Recipe at the bottom of the page)

Sweet Potato and Cranberry Apple Stuffing Pie

All Pie Thanksgiving: Sweet Potato and Cranberry Stuffing Pie

Thin slices of sweet potato, soaked in cream and layered au gratin-style. Topped with a ciabatta, cranberry, apple and leek stuffing, baked until browned and a little crispy (my mom taught me that’s the best part). This is the biggest departure of all the dishes, as it seems most people turn their Thanksgiving sweet potatoes into a very sweet dish. But don’t let that deter you. I am in love with this pie.

Stuffing (dressing?) is also a very regional or personal choice- any favorite stuffing combo can easily be substituted here. (Recipe at the bottom of the page)

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Pie

All Pie Thanksgiving: Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Pie

A layer of pumpkin, and a layer of caramel-y pecan pie spiked with chocolate chips. Oh. My. The chocolate is not necessarily a traditional Thanksgiving flavor, but adding it really helped tie the pecan pie and pumpkin pie flavors together in spectacular fashion. And “well, chocolate IS what we’re thankful for”, says my wise friend Rebecca. (Recipe at the bottom of the page)

 

All Pie Thanksgiving: An Entire Thanksgiving Dinner in 3 Pies

I did find someone elsewhere on the web who shared my dream of an All-Pie Thanksgiving, but the approach is very different- one pie per dish. I totally approve but really was looking to combine flavors and find the minimum number of pies necessary.

All Pie Thanksgiving: An Entire Thanksgiving Dinner in 3 Pies

In producing these pies I realized how practical it actually is- make the sweet pie in advance, and then the other two pies can be mostly made ahead and then both fit in the oven at the same time to finish baking right before dinner.  Or they could be a post-Thanksgiving leftovers remix.

All-Pie Thanksgiving: Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Pie

As for prep time, I did all three pies in about 3 or 4 hours, including baking time. Of course this is a big time commitment, but not compared to a normal Thanksgiving. I was aided by many ready-made ingredients (like cooked turkey breast and even a good quality turkey gravy), that I probably wouldn’t have used in a full-blown Thanksgiving dinner, but work so well here. This could be taken much, much further with still excellent results- ready made pie crust, frozen mashed potatoes, etc.

 

Turkey, Green Bean, and Mashed Potato Pie

  • dough for 1 pie crust
  • 1/2 lb or about 2 cups trimmed green beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 10 oz mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup turkey gravy
  • 1/2 cup condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup canned fried onions (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded or cubed cooked turkey
  • 4 cups prepared mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg

Heat oven to 450.

Roll out pie crust and press into pie plate. Crimp edges. Set aside.

Steam or microwave green beans until almost tender, but with a little crunch left. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add garlic and mushrooms, cook while stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are soft and browning, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Toss with green beans, gravy, cream of mushroom, fried onions, and turkey, Pour into pie crust. Cover exposed edges of pie crust with foil to prevent over-browning.

Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine mashed potatoes with 1 egg.

Remove from oven and reduce heat to 375. Top pie with mashed potatoes, using the back of a spoon to create peaks, like a meringue. Return to oven and bake another 25 minutes, or until peaks are browned.

 

Sweet Potato and Cranberry Apple Stuffing Pie

Feel free to substitute the bread through the cranberries with 4-5 cups of your favorite stuffing, combined with 1 egg.

  • dough for 1 pie crust
  • 3/4 lb sweet potatoes (1-2 depending on size)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 teaspoons rosemary (divided)
  • 4 teaspoons chopped sage (divided)
  • 4 cups cubed ciabatta bread
  • 1 leek, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg

Heat oven to 450.

Roll out pie crust and press into pie plate. Crimp edges. Set aside.

Peel sweet potatoes and slice very thin (I used a mandoline). Layer in pie crust. Combine cream, salt, pepper, 2 teaspoons rosemary, and 2 teaspoons chopped sage, and pour over sweet potatoes. Tilt the pie plate around a bit so the mixture is distributed.

Cover exposed edges of pie crust with foil to prevent over-browning. Place in the oven and bake 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare stuffing layer. Place bread cubes on a cookie sheet and put in heated oven for about 5 minutes, or until toasted and crisped. Set aside.

In a large frying pan, heat butter until melted over medium heat. Add leeks and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occaisionally. Add apples, cook a few minutes more. Add remaining sage and rosemary. Remove from heat and add bread cubes, cranberries, and broth. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then add egg until well combined.

Remove pie from oven and reduce heat to 375. Top with stuffing mixture and return to oven for an additional 30 minutes, or until stuffing is browned and crisped on top.

 

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Pie

  • dough for 1 pie crust (or 2 pie crusts for a decorative top crust)
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 eggs (divided)
  • 1/4 cup half & half or cream
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used mini)

Heat oven to 450.

Roll out pie crust and press into pie plate. Crimp edges. Set aside.

Combine pumpkin, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, pumpkin pie spice, and half and half or cream. Stir until smooth. Pour into pie plate and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter, and salt. Stir until smooth and add in pecans and chocolate chips. Carefully spoon into pie plate over pumpkin (mine ended up a bit swirled which worked well in the end). Cover exposed edges of pie crust with foil to prevent over-browning.

If desired, roll out a second crust for decorations. I used small leaf cutters to apply about halfway through baking.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, until mostly set (the center will set as it cools). Cool completely and serve at room temperature.

 

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