Thanksgiving at Chestnut Cottage is an “entertaining event”! For many years, I have cooked for 24-30 guests who are family, friends, and what I describe as “strays”. I use the term strays in a fond manner, as these guests are usually new to our area or simply do not have a place to dine for Thanksgiving. I take off the entire week of Thanksgiving and enjoy cooking for days. I prefer to do all the cooking myself and feel that it is my gift to our guests.
Last year about three weeks prior to Thanksgiving, I delivered my invitation to the homes of all my guests. This “invitation” consisted of a jar of my homemade lime pickles and an antique pickle fork along with a written invitation. As the saying goes, “only one per family please”.
One of the greatest pleasures of my Thanksgiving entertaining is to set my tables early so that I can enjoy them for several days. Arranging the flowers and having them in place on the table early inspires me to keep cooking!
Our Thanksgiving menu is very traditional and one of my oldest recipes is my pumpkin pie recipe.
I would like to share my pumpkin pie recipe with all of you as my Thanksgiving gift.
Makes one 9” pastry , with some extra for garnishing
1 ¼ cups of all purpose flour
½ cup of unsalted butter, chilled
¼ teaspoon of salt
5 tablespoons of ice water
1/3 cup of finely ground pecans
Combine the flour, salt, butter and pecans in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is the size of small peas. With the machine running, add the ice water until the dough comes roughly together and forms a ball. Wrap the dough in wax paper and let chill. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface , rolling from the center toward the edge in all directions. Carefully transfer to dough to a 9 inch pie pan and gently pat it into the bottom and up the sides. Trim and crimp the edges. Use extra dough for garnishing . I use small cutters in the shape of fall leaves.
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (16 oz.) can of pumpkin
¾ cup of maple syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Beat with a wire wisk until smooth. Add pumpkin and mix well. Gradually stir in syrup and evaporated milk until mixed well. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F . Bake 40-45 minutes longer until filling is set. Cool and serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a pastry leaf. Sometimes I add 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup into my whipping cream rather than using sugar.
If you are entertaining this Thanksgiving, enjoy the process. Plan ahead and then experience the joy of your food, your home, and your guests. We all have so very much to be thankful for at this season.
“May your Thanksgiving celebration be filled with the comforts of home and the warmth of family and friends”.