34 Showstopping Thanksgiving Pies and Tarts
This easy pecan pie tastes of dark caramel, toasted nuts and a little bit of bourbon. Cheryl Day designed the recipe to work with a range of less-refined sweeteners, from honey to cane syrup. The supereasy press-in crust means you don’t even need a rolling pin.
Apple Cider Cream Pie
In 2009, Allison Kave and her boyfriend, Jay Horton, were winners in Brooklyn, New York's Pie Bake-Off with this clever pie. The challenge was to use a local ingredient, so they chose apple cider and developed this delicious combination of cream pie and apple pie. Winning the contest was the impetus for Kave to open First Prize Pies in Brooklyn.
Classic Pumpkin Pie
To create a crisp crust on the bottom, Grace Parisi partially bakes the pie shell before adding the filling. If the edge starts to darken too much, cover it with a pie shield or strips of foil.
Double-Crust Apple-Apricot Pie
In this fun twist on a classic apple pie, master baker Alice Medrich enhances the flavor of the tender baked apples with dried apricots and orange zest.
Bourbon Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Streusel
Sweet-Potato Meringue Pie
This dish looks like a pumpkin pie, but the filling is actually made with sweet potato.
Pear-Cranberry Hand Pies
These flaky little pies may be the ultimate grab-and-go dessert, making them ideal for a holiday buffet or potluck.
Coconut Custard Pie
Andrew Zimmern had this extraordinary coconut pie ever—simple and delicious—in Charleston, South Carolina.
Butternut Squash Glazed Tart
This elegant puff pastry is quick to make. You’ll be surprised at how delicious butternut squash is for dessert. Look for a squash with a long neck.
Prune Custard Tart
This creamy, fruity, elegant dessert was inspired partly by Gabriel Kreuther's grandfather, a farmer who used to grow plums and dry them for homemade tarts.
Black-Bottom Banana Cream Pie
Valeri Lucks, the co-owner and self-titled "chief people wrangler" and "pie master" at Milwaukee's Honeypie Cafe, says this pie marries two of her best-selling pies: chocolate cream and banana cream.
Cranberry-Glazed Pumpkin Pie
This pie has a super-simple crust made with store-bought gingersnaps and ground walnuts, a silky pumpkin filling and a cranberry compote topping with more crunchy walnuts.
Butterscotch Mousse Pie
Three Babes Bakeshop in San Francisco offers this fun, portable pie: They bake the pastry in a jar, then fill it with fig-and-pear syrup, mascarpone cream, fruit and toasted walnuts.
Lemon Curd Tart with Pecan-Citrus Sauce
In this clever variation of Key lime pie, Michael Mina replaces the usual lime curd with lemon and the typical graham cracker crust with a cinnamon-pecan cookie crust.
Salted Caramel Pie
This supereasy caramel lovers’ dream pie is made with sweetened condensed milk sprinkled lightly with sea salt and baked until thick and gooey, then chilled in a simple graham cracker crust.
Pear and Almond Cream Tart
Thanksgiving Make-Ahead Tip: The tarts can be stored overnight in airtight containers.
Michael Glissman's tart is like a dark-chocolate truffle in a crisp, flaky cocoa crust. Bourbon adds a wonderful smokiness; be sure to heat it carefully with the sugar so it doesn't ignite.
Caramel-Pecan Hand Pies
At Seattle's High 5 Pie, owner Dani Cone has responded to popular demand by making these adorable, portable pies (she calls them "flipsides"), available not just in the fall but year-round. When she tries to take them out of the rotation, customers get angry; one time, she says, a woman even cried.
Brown Sugar-Cranberry Tart
The sweet-and-tart berries in the creamy custard pop when you take a bite.
Chilled Grapefruit-Caramel Meringue Pie
Thanksgiving Make-Ahead Tip: The pie can be prepared through Step 5 and frozen for up to 2 weeks, making it a perfect dessert choice during the busy holiday season.
Lattice-Topped Apple Pie
Greg Patent likes to use an assortment of tart and sweet apples in this dense, apple-packed pie. Some varieties to look for are Greening, Cortland, Winesap, Braeburn, Jonamac and Granny Smith.
Caramel Cream Pie with Crispy Rice Topping
Humble ingredients like puffed rice cereal (transformed into a brilliant topping) and graham crackers (crushed with hazelnuts to yield a tender crust) are the core of this surprisingly luxe dessert.
Puff Pastry Pear Tartlets
"I had the honor of cooking for Julia Child's 80th birthday party at the home of a former F&W editor in chief," says Grace Parisi. "At the end of the evening, Child graciously asked, 'Who made that looovely dessert?' I managed to croak out, 'I did.' These tartlets are a variation on that recipe."
Pecan Pie with Candied Ginger and Rum
For a wonderful contrast to the sweetness of her pecan pie, master baker Alice Medrich adds minced candied ginger and a splash of rum to the filling.
Chocolate-Caramel Hazelnut Tart
If the French celebrated Thanksgiving, they'd probably serve this caramelized hazelnut tart for dessert instead of pecan pie. Dimitri Fayard spreads layers of soft caramel and creamy chocolate ganache in a sweet pastry shell, then sprinkles chopped hazelnuts over the top.
Fig Tart with Pistachio Crust
Thanksgiving Make-Ahead Tip: The tart is most delicious one day after it’s baked.
Sweet Potato Tart with Red Wine Caramel
Chef Michael Laiskonis likes to roast the sweet potatoes for the filling instead of boiling them because he feels the flavor becomes deeper and sweeter.
Chocolate Pecan Tart
Unlike most pies, this tart is just as good when baked a day ahead as long as it is not refrigerated.
Yogurt and Apricot Pie with Crunchy Granola Crust
Oats and almonds may both help lower blood pressure; they’re incorporated here in an ingenious granola crust for this sweet-tart pie.