3 Desserts to Wow Your Guests this Holiday Season 

click to enlarge BLUEBERRY SAGE PIE, PHOTO BY LEA THOMPSON
  • Blueberry Sage Pie, photo by Lea Thompson

The holidays remind us to celebrate the important things in life — family, friends and, obviously, pie. Whether you prefer sweet, savory, or decadent dessert experiences, here are three pie recipes that go beyond the pumpkin-spiced and apple flavored basics.

I’m usually a purist when it comes to pie flavors, but this blueberry sage pie has a special place in my heart. Flaky, buttery crust, fresh, aromatic sage and sweet blueberries — what’s not to like? Serve the pie warm with your favorite ice cream, coffee and enjoy with your favorite people.


PEACH COBBLER
It may not technically be a traditional pie, but is there anything as satisfying and comforting to a Texan as peach cobbler? Chef Lorenzo Morales added this dessert to the menu at Jazz, TX, but the recipe originates with his family.
“This is something that we would have at holidays, especially at Thanksgiving. My grandmother would buy canned peaches, but it’s always been amazing,” said Morales. “It very much fits with the cooking style we have at Jazz, TX — it’s Southern and homey kind of food, it’s not complicated at all.” Although there are no plans to take the cobbler off the menu anytime soon, it’s a comforting, delicious recipe to share with your own family during the holidays.

Filling
2 cups canned peaches

Cobbler
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk


Directions: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk all ingredients for batter together, breaking up the butter as much as you can. Butter a 9-by-7-inch glass baking dish. Drain peaches from the syrup and place all in baking dish. Pour batter on top of peaches and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown. Allow pie to cool.

Top pie with ice cream and serve.

click to enlarge TURTLE PIE, PHOTO BY LEA THOMPSON
  • Turtle Pie, photo by Lea Thompson

TURTLE PIE
This is pretty much the Beyoncé of pies — I haven’t met anyone who didn’t love it.

This is a variation of my family’s beloved turtle pie recipe. Made with chocolate, pecans and caramel, this triple-threat is rich, flavorful and incredibly decadent. The first layer features caramel, which you can opt to buy from a grocery store if you’re not comfortable making it yourself.

Crust
8+ Oreo cookies, pulverized
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Whipped Cream
10 ounces heavy cream

Meringue
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 ounces egg whites, pasteurized


Caramel
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water


Chocolate Filling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 ounces heavy cream, warmed
½ cup pecan halves
1 cup milk chocolate chips, melted
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 ounce egg yolks, or 2 egg yolks, pasteurized

Directions: Heat oven at 350 degrees.

Crust: Combine pulverized Oreos and melted butter, and place directly into pie plate. Press firmly against plate to form crust. Bake crust for about 8 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool.

To caramelize sugar: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Place pan on stove over medium heat; do not stir, but agitate and swirl the combination until it turns a dark amber color. (Keep an eye on the pan, it can go from ready to burnt very quickly).

To assemble: Remove from heat; add butter, warmed cream, pecans. Pour mixture into pie shell. Place in fridge until completely cool. Meanwhile, use a whisk or whisk attachments to whip cream; refrigerate and set aside.
Make meringue with egg whites and sugar. Meringue should be fluffy and light but should form stiff peaks.

Stir melted butter and yolks into melted chocolate. Fold in half of whipped cream. Fold in meringue. Place chocolate mousse on top of caramel and pecan mixture in the pie shell. Decorate with remaining whipped cream, crushed pecans and chocolate curls. Serve immediately.


BLUEBERRY SAGE PIE

Filling

6 cups frozen blueberries
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
¼ cup cornstarch
1+ tablespoons fresh sage
Pinch of salt


Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons fresh sage
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chilled shortening
¼ cup ice water


Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease pie plate using non-stick baking spray.

Filling: Combine frozen blueberries with the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, sage and salt in a small bowl.

Crust: Pulse flour, butter, sage, shortening and
salt in the food processor until it forms a coarse meal. Pulse the processor, slowly adding ice water, until dough forms.

To assemble: On a floured surface, roll dough into ball, wrap and chill for at least one hour. Divide the dough in half. Place dough on lightly floured surface and roll, in one direction, using a lightly floured rolling pin.

Grease the pie plate using non-stick baking spray. Using pie plate as a guide, roll out pastry circle to a circle slightly larger than the plate. Lift the dough and gently fit the pastry to hang over the edge of the plate. Fill pie with blueberry filling. Repeat dough-rolling process and place the second circle on top of the filling.

Using a sharp, small knife, cut small vents on the top crust. Fold overhanging pastry over the top and crimp all around the rim, using fingers or a fork. 

Place the pie on a foil-covered baking sheet, and bake it for approximately 30 minutes. Bake until the pie is golden and the filling has begun to bubble up through the vents, another 15 to 45 minutes. Allow pie to cool before cutting. Slice and serve.

On a floured surface, roll dough into ball, wrap and chill for at least one hour. Divide the dough in half. Place dough on lightly floured surface and roll, in one direction, using a lightly floured rolling pin.

Grease the pie plate using non-stick baking spray. Using pie plate as a guide, roll out pastry circle to a circle slightly larger than the plate. Lift the dough and gently fit the pastry to hang over the edge of the plate. Fill pie with blueberry filling. Repeat dough-rolling process and place the second circle on top of the filling.

Using a sharp, small knife, cut small vents on the top crust. Fold overhanging pastry over the top and crimp all around the rim, using fingers or a fork.
Place the pie on a foil-covered baking sheet, and bake it for approximately 30 minutes. Bake until the pie is golden and the filling has begun to bubble up through the vents, another 15 to 45 minutes. Allow pie to cool before cutting. Slice and serve.


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