Thanksgiving is so close, I can almost smell the gravy.
On Sunday, we ran our annual Thanksgiving food section, with recipes for seven side dishes, including a vegan potato gratin, and “Pastry” author Nick Malgieri’s cranberry pecan pie, a cranberry salsa from Kalyn’s Kitchen blogger Kalyn Denny and a whole bunch of tips on getting your turkey in order.
Some cooks plan out their menus weeks in advance, but I finally just confirmed what I’m bringing to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday (two casseroles I just can’t quit, one green bean, another corn).
I already went through the “Oh, no, I forgot to thaw the turkey” crisis ahead of Friendsgiving, so this is a good time to remind you that yours should already be in the fridge so it can start to thaw. (Leave the bird in the plastic vacuum-sealed bag. You might still have to run cold water over it to finish thawing on Thursday morning if it’s not totally defrosted.)
Also, I wanted to include this Whiskey Maple Pecan Pie from Kate Lebo’s new book, “Pie School,” but we ran out of room in the print section. (Clearly, I have a thing for pecan pies.)
Planning on going out to eat on Thanksgiving? Here is our roundup of Austin restaurants that will be open and serving a holiday dinner on Thanksgiving.
Whiskey Maple Pecan Pie
This version passes up the usual Karo syrup in favor of more complex natural sugars, plus a slug of whiskey to add an extra buzz to sugar’s high.
1/2 recipe any double-crust pie dough (for a single crust)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. white vinegar
3 Tbsp. rye whiskey
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups pecan halves
Make the dough and refrigerate it for at least an hour, or overnight. Roll out the bottom crust and place it in a 9-inch pie plate. Tuck the crust into the plate, trim the edges, and fold them into a ridge. Freeze the crust while you prepare the next steps of the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with an electric hand mixer until frothy. Stir in the maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, vinegar, whiskey, and salt. Mix in the pecans. Pour the filling into the pie shell and smooth the surface with a spoon. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the crust is golden and the center remains firm when gently shaken.
Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Store leftovers on the kitchen counter loosely wrapped in a towel for up to 3 days.
– From “Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour, and Butter“ by Kate Lebo (Sasquatch Books, $24.99)