Pie Nights

Since I enjoy cooking so much, I sometimes take entire days off from work devoted to the task. St. Patrick’s Day has always been a day for me to cook new (to me) traditional Irish dishes while listening to Irish music and sipping on a glass of Bailey’s. Before Christmas, same thing, although that one mixes baking with wrapping presents with terribly awesome holiday movies in the background like Mr. Saint Nick starring Kelsey Grammar.

For the last several years, I’ve also taken off the day before Thanksgiving, known affectionately to me as “pie day,” because it’s when I make all my baked goods for Thanksgiving. If I was a normal person who made one regular apple pie and one regular pumpkin pie, this probably wouldn’t be necessary.

003 But there’s something so fun to me about spending the entire day covered in flour, washing dishes, and heating my oven as much as it can handle.

Who wants a regular apple pie when you can make a Creamy Caramel Apple Crunch Pie? Why pumpkin when you can make Chocolate Chipotle Sweet Potato Pie and Pumpkin Cheesecake? Why not throw a cake in there, like a Gingerbread Cake Roll with Maple Frosting?

Since I elected to take the day after Thanksgiving off to spend more time with my family instead of the day prior (driving home two hours after a turkey dinner and wine didn’t sound like fun), I had to scale down the complexity of my desserts.

I planned to make Pecan Pie Cheesecake two nights before and two apple pies the night prior, putting my sister Emily in charge of everything pumpkin. No, I couldn’t just make pecan pie or cheesecake, thankyouverymuch. I simply have to trash things up sometimes.

Realizing my cheesecake pan got lost in the move put a damper on things for a bit, as did the discovery that my cat Artemis loves barely-cooled cheesecake. But despite these minor hiccups, the cheesecake turned out as good as last year’s.

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I ended up using a muffin pan lined with tin foil for half the cheesecake, and an 8″ layer cake pan wrapped with foil for the remainder.

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This is the first time I’ve ever made mini cheesecakes, and even though I haven’t tried them yet, they’re so adorable!

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And you can barely tell where I had to do surgery on this cheesecake from Artemis. That little bugger. (That’s my favorite thing to yell when he does something naughty).

I also made a Rustic Apple Tart and added some Maple Spiced homemade jam shipped to me from a friend in Colorado.

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And a Rhubarb Apple Pie with a lattice crust for good measure.

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I honestly think lattice crusts are much easier to make than double crust pie. Plus, then I have leftovers to cut out pretty snowflakes.

The recipe for the Pecan Pie Cheesecake is here. You won’t be disappointed.

Now, since I woke up at 5:00am on my day off, I’m going to watch a few Friends Thanksgiving episodes before I make the 2 hour journey to my parent’s.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am very thankful for you, readers.

So is Gabby the Gobbler.

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