Desserts and  Pies  for Thanksgiving day

IGingered Fresh Pear Cake
Southern U.S. Cuisine

  • 1 1/2 cups pureed pears, (4 to 5 ripe pears)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup applesauce, all-natural

  • 5 eggs

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tb + 2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a bundt pan and dust well with flour. Puree pears in a food processor. In a small bowl mix the pureed pears, vanilla, lemon juice, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Set aside. Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan until butter is melted. Sift flour and baking powder.

With an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the eggs and brown sugar for 5 minutes, until pale and thick. Add milk and melted butter mixture while beating on low, then add the pear mixture and applesauce. Add the flour and baking powder, beating until just combined.

Pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or warm fruit compote.


Classic Pumpkin Pie.

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
OR 2/3 cup butter flavored shortening
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 to 4 T ice water

Time Saving Option
Frozen pie shells or ready made refrigerated pie dough

1 - 15 oz. can pumpkin
equivalent fresh cooked pumpkin
2 eggs
12 oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground (dried) ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
whipped cream or topping (optional)

Makes 6 large or 8 small pieces

Pre-heat oven to 425.

Prepare crust. Mix together crust dry ingredients. Cut shortening into dry ingredients (your bowl should be full of small clumps, when finished). Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture holds together. Use a rolling pin to roll dough out to approximately 1 1/4 times the size of your pie pan. Place dough in pan and finish edges.

Combine filling ingredients and mix until well blended. Pour filling into crust and bake at 425 for fifteen minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more or until a cake tester comes out clean. Top with whipped cream, if desired, and serve. 

Apple Walnut Tart

Apples, almond paste, apricot jam, and walnuts make this one luscious tart.
Source: Better Homes and Gardens

1/2  cup butter or margarine
1/2  cup sugar
1  cups egg yolks
1-1/4  teaspoon all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon vanilla
1/2  finely shredded lemon peel
Dash salt
3 tart cooking apples, cored and peeled
1/2  cup all-purpose flour
1/2  cup ground toasted almonds
3/4  teaspoon baking powder
5  tablespoons margarine or butter
1/3  cup sugar
3-1/2 ounces almond paste (made without syrup or glucose) (about 1/3 cup)
1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1  teaspoon vanilla
2  eggs
2  egg yolks
2  egg whites
1/2  cup apricot jam, melted
1  tablespoon margarine or butter, melted
1  tablespoon sugar
1/2  cup chopped walnuts


1. For pastry, beat the 1/2 cup butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Add the 1/2 cup sugar; beat on medium speed 4 minutes or until fluffy. Add 1 egg yolk; beat for 1 minute on low speed. Add the 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon vanilla, the lemon peel, and salt; beat until combined (mixture will be crumbly).

2. Thinly slice apples; place in a large skillet. Add 1/4 cup water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain well; set aside.

3. For the filling, stir together 1/2 cup flour, the almonds, and baking powder; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the 5 tablespoons margarine and the 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed. Slowly beat in almond paste, a small piece at a time, until smooth. Add cinnamon and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat until a paste forms. Add whole eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Beat in 2 egg yolks. Stir in flour mixture. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; fold into batter.

4. Press the pastry onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Snip large fruit pieces in jam. Spread half of the melted jam over pastry. Pour filling into pan. Arrange cooked apples over filling until it is completely covered with the apple slices. Drizzle with melted margarine; sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

5. Bake in a 325 degree F oven 60 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 1-1/2 hours. Remove sides of springform pan; transfer tart to a serving platter. Drizzle the remaining melted apricot jam over the tart. Makes 12 servings.

Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare Tart Pastry. Press into pan; cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.


White Chocolate-Almond Torte

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • Filling:

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1 (6 oz) pkg white chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup slivered almonds

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

  • maraschino cherries, for garnish

Heat oven to 400 degrees. For the crust: Combine flour, brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract; mix well. Cut in 1/2 cup butter with a fork or pastry blender. The mixture will be quite dry. Press 1 3/4 to 2 cups in the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 10-inch springform pan. Bake until just light brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

For the filling: Combine the sugar, 1/2 cup butter, eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract; blend well. Mix in the white chocolate and 1 cup of slivered almonds. Pour mixture into crust-lined pan. Sprinkle with the remaining crumbs (cover all), then sprinkle 1/2 cup of slivered almonds around the outer edges of the torte.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown and almonds are lightly toasted. Cool for 10 minutes; run a knife around side to loosen and remove pan sides.

Garnish with maraschino cherries if desired.

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