Traditional pies didn't get as much coverage as turkeys in the magazines this month. Cook's Illustrated proposed an intriguing No-Bake Pumpkin Pie (reg. required), promising a "fresher, brighter pumpkin flavor."
Martha Stewart Living did a whole spread of "Great New Pies" (Mini Cranberry Meringue, anyone?) and instead of traditional pumpkin they offered Pumpkin Pie with Graham Crust & Candied Pepitas. "We spiced up the filling with a pinch of cayenne pepper." I'm not sure my grandfather would appreciate that!
Saveur created a Thanksgiving Twofer Pie (which doesn't seem to be online). The Twofer "bakes our two favorites into one delicious combo." It's a mix of pumpkin and pecan. Since my family doesn't ever have pecan pie at Thanksgiving, but rather apple, our "twofer" would be an apple/pumpkin mix. Hmmm…I'm not convinced that's better than two individual pies.
Food & Wine didn't offer a single traditional pie recipe, the closest they came was a Sweet Potato Tart with Red Wine Caramel.
And my choice for best new pie idea was Gourmet's Caramel Pumpkin Pie. Caramel sounds like a good addition to an old stand-by, but it's not getting very good reviews at Epicurious. One poster said, "The caramel dominated the other flavors. The recipe called for very small amounts of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger, so the pie was very bland as a result." Another wrote, "The recipe was followed exactly, and it just didn't taste good." Drat!
So maybe this is the year to stick with your family pie recipes, and ensure that everyone will leave the table happy. What pies do you enjoy at Thanksgiving?