Home Beauty recipe 4 of Houston’s best bakers share their holiday pie recipes

4 of Houston’s best bakers share their holiday pie recipes

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Few things are more satisfying for the home cook than cooking a nice Thanksgiving dinner. All the planning, timing, logistics, shopping, cooking, garnishing – it all comes to a happy but predictable conclusion when the pie is sliced.

For many, however, the pie finale can be the most upsetting part of the holiday meal. The pies, especially the very large crust, require as much effort as other dinner stars; and so much planning because the stove is hijacked by turkey, dressing and other baked dishes. It’s often easier to spruce up the Thanksgiving dinner table with store-bought or bakery-bought pies.

Understandable. But homemade pies offer something as important as turkey to the Thanksgiving table: warmth, familiarity, and undeniable culinary honesty. A homemade pie tells you someone cares.

This year we reached out to several local bakers to help us bring that spirit to the most important meal of the year. As we mark our second holiday under pandemic realities, the need for the intrinsic comfort of Thanksgiving dinner has never been more essential. Especially when it comes to pie.

Our bakers have offered us revisited classics, adored pastry chefs with a little something extra:

Jane Sauvage: The Houston pastry chef who has delighted foodies with her sweet and savory pie creations (sold at various farmers’ markets and pop-ups) has her finger on the pulse of Thanksgiving cravings. Its repertoire of holiday pies includes flavors such as salted caramel apple, pumpkin and browned butter, Texas pecans with streusel, and salted honey (see janeandthelion.com for ordering information; for contextual information, follow @janeandthelion on Instagram). This year, she shared with us her recipe for Cranberry Sage Pie, a lattice beauty invested in the sweet / tangy flavors of cranberries subtly flavored with fresh sage, an herb normally associated with Thanksgiving dressing.

Cranberry Sage Pie is a lattice crust pie filled with a blend of cranberries and grated apple with a subtle infusion of fresh sage.

Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer

Recipe: Cranberry Sage Pie

Vanarine Kuch: The famous pastry chef, whose Koffeteria bakery and cafe at EaDo recently made Alison Cook’s list of 20 most interesting restaurants in Houston, shared their velvety squash cream pie recipe. Made with roasted kabocha squash, the pie is inspired by its Cambodian heritage and is available at Koffeteria under the name Oh My Gourd! Coconut milk gives a delicious flavor to the pie that can replace the traditional pumpkin pie.

Oh my gourd!  The pie is a version of the traditional pumpkin pie made with roasted kabocha squash and coconut milk.

Oh my gourd! The pie is a version of the traditional pumpkin pie made with roasted kabocha squash and coconut milk.

Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer

Recipe: Oh my squash! Tart

David Berg: The executive pastry chef of the growing bakery / cafe / restaurant group Common Bond offers a nutty version of Texas’ favorite pecan pie. Its open-sided pie, filled with walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans, enjoys a hint of nutty liqueur after baking, emphasizing the nutty flavors of the pie while adding a flavorful alcoholic vibe. Common Bond’s range of holiday pies can be ordered at commonbondcafe.com.

The Three Nut Pie is a nutty version of the traditional pecan pie, but with the addition of walnuts and hazelnuts and a hint of hazelnut liqueur.

The Three Nut Pie is a nutty version of the traditional pecan pie, but with the addition of walnuts and hazelnuts and a hint of hazelnut liqueur.

Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer

Recipe: Three nut pie

Rebecca Masson: The pastry chef / owner of the Fluff Bake Bar in the Heights is known for her Mountain Rose apple pie, a limited vacation offering that has become a Houston favorite. We took this pie recipe, which she shared with Houston Chronicle readers several years ago, and reimagined it as a double crust pie (the original pie has a crumb filling). We used his pie crust recipe and spice filling, but replaced the fruit with a mix of apples and pears and a hint of fresh ginger. Masson’s holiday pies – chocolate, pecans and bourbon; traditional pecans; chocolate cream, Dutch apple and mountain rose apple pie – can be ordered on fluffbakebar.com.

The Spicy Apple and Pear Pie is a double crust pie filled with a mixture of apples and pears with holiday spices and freshly grated ginger.

The Spicy Apple and Pear Pie is a double crust pie filled with a mixture of apples and pears with holiday spices and freshly grated ginger.

Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer

Recipe: Apple and pear pie with spices

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