Thanksgiving: Time for Pie

With all the savory food adorning the American Thanksgiving table, it can be difficult for some to save room for dessert, but for many it is the highlight of the meal — and it is usually pie.

Pie has a storied history and is thought to have originated in Egypt around 9500 BCE. In many cultures, the grain or pastry coating was used for cooking meat and vegetables to seal in the juices and help preserve the food. Before long, the technique was also used for preserving fruits, such as apples and cherries.

Native Americans introduced European settlers to new fruits and berries, such as pumpkins and blueberries, for their pie recipes, and African Americans are believed to have created sweet potato pie.

In Colonial America, pie was served at nearly every meal, and community gatherings such as county fairs and picnics often featured pie baking contests. Along with family recipes handed down through several generations, American pies are also continually being adapted to changing conditions and ingredients. Since the advent of refrigeration in the 1890s, many Americans have eaten their pie à la mode — that is, with a scoop of ice cream.

Crustless Cranberry Pie

Jean
“Light, super simple, and delicious dessert. Great with vanilla ice cream.”

Ingredients:

1 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup butter, melted

 1 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 inch pie pan.
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir in the cranberries and the walnuts, and toss to coat. Stir in the butter, beaten eggs, and almond extract. If you are using frozen cranberries, the mixture will be very thick. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

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