Different Turkey Day dessert ideas

I want to do something a bit different for Thanksgiving dessert this year. It's been requested that I have some roots in something "traditional" but that a different twist on it is fine. Any suggestions out there? (Oh-it's been asked to avoid cheesecake)

  • Posted by: skittle
  • November 5, 2011
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  • 36 Comments

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Bevi
Bevi November 5, 2011

My girlfriend and Thanksgiving co-host makes Indian Pudding occasionally. It is not a pie, has traditional roots, and is delicious. There are a number of recipes on this site, and I would start by trying Sagegreen's: http://www.food52.com/recipes...

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Bevi
Bevi November 5, 2011

And my friend made a persimmon pudding last year which was really nice - she got the recipe from about.com: http://southernfood.about...

SKK
SKK November 5, 2011

Hardlikearmour has an amazing Spiced Parsnip Cake that I have made and gotten great reviews. It is so good I am taking it to our Seattle Food52 Cookbook Launch dessert party tomorrow! http://www.food52.com/recipes...

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour November 6, 2011

Thanks for suggesting this! I know I'm biased, but I really love that cake!

drbabs
drbabs November 5, 2011

This is a really interesting steamed pudding that uses cranberry and molasses with a delicious sauce:
http://food52.com/recipes...

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames November 6, 2011

I'm going to make that steamed cranberry pudding this holiday season, but use regular molasses instead of blackstrap (too bitter, to my mind, to serve to a group); and I'll probably serve a traditional hard sauce, instead of the sugar + melted butter + vanilla sauce used with that, though I may make it a bit looser than I would for my traditional figgy pudding. ;o)

AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames November 6, 2011

WinnieAb's Spiced Maple Butternut Squash Tart is a terrific dessert that is like a second cousin to pumpkin pie, but much, much better:

http://www.food52.com/recipes...

For the holidays, I'd grind up some ginger snaps and add some melted butter, and press that into a pie dish to give it a light "crust." So delicious!! Serve with vanilla scented creme fraiche. ;o)

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lapadia
lapadia November 6, 2011

Butternut Squash & Granny Smith apple combine for an excellent pie, a change from pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. I have a pie posted and also a tart recipe that was tweaked after that. I use a pie crust, this pie was inspired by a recipe I saw in Savour magazine a few years back...they made this filling with Kobaka squash in a puff pastry crust. Links :

http://www.food52.com/recipes...
http://www.food52.com/recipes...

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amysarah
amysarah November 6, 2011

Some years, I make a Pumpkin Flan instead of a pie, served with a dab of cinnamon whipped cream. It's simple, but rich and sort of elegant with the caramel sauce (like creme caramel.) I make it in a narrow loaf pan (like a terrine for pate), so it's really easy to slice/serve. Unfortunately, the recipe isn't online - it's on a scrap of paper in my mother's handwriting - but I can post it if you like.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames November 6, 2011

amysarah, oh please, do post that recipe! It sounds so good, plus I love that you serve it in slices!! ;o)

amysarah
amysarah November 6, 2011

AntoniaJames, will do. Just need to dig out the recipe (haven't made it in a while.) There must be lots of pumpkin flans online - this one is just my mom's, who got it from...lord knows. Frankly - little tangent ahead - most of 'my' recipes (i.e., original enough that I'd take credit) were either improvised on the fly, or began with a recipe which cross-pollinated with others over time, or I messed with until only the ghost of the original remained....but I'm really bad about writing things like measurements down. (How much lemon? A lot.; 2 tbsp butter or 4? Yes. You get the picture.) I'm very much a 'by eye' or 'by heart' kind of cook, which makes posting recipes tough. OK, back on topic: pumpkin flan IS actually written down, so no excuses!

Louisa
Louisa November 7, 2011

My mom always does pumpkin flan, and in her recipe you melt/caramelize sugar, pour it in the bottom of a 9 x 9 square pan and then add the flan mixture, and then it's baked in a water bath.
She serves it with unsweetened whipped cream with crystallized ginger on top.

AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames November 6, 2011

Another (very grown up) winter dessert, which is incredibly easy, is from Alice Waters' wonderful cookbook, "Chez Panisse Fruits." Plump up dried figs in red wine and a splash of water to which you've added zest and juice of an orange, honey (1/4 cup for each cup of wine), vanilla bean, one whole clove (my addition) and a cinnamon stick. Simmer to allow the flavors to blend, and the figs to soak up the liquid. The best part: serve over coffee ice cream. Divine!! Plus, you can make these three or four days ahead and they'll actually improve -- but do take the spices out before you put them in the fridge. This year I'm going to play around with some variations . . . adding a bit of port, and perhaps in another batch, playing with the spices to use star anise instead of cloves. ;o)

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Niknud
Niknud November 7, 2011

Argh! That sounds so good! And soooo easy (key when your feeding the Mongol Hordes). And (best part) I have dried figs at home! Thanks for another great one AJ!

dymnyno
dymnyno November 6, 2011

Try my Nantucket Cranberry Cobbler...I have made it 4 times in the past weeks and everyone loves it. The combo of sour cranberries marries well with the chopped almonds and the sweet almond flavored crust.

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wssmom
wssmom November 6, 2011

This was on the FOOD52 news feed, sounds great:

http://passthesushi.com/cinnamon-chai-cream-pie

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames November 7, 2011

Love this! My boys will, too. (How the heck did I miss this, anyway??) ;o)

hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour November 6, 2011

I did a riff on a gingerbread and pumpkin trifle I saw on the food network - the original called for boxed mixes and such, but I just homemade everything. Super yummy.
I also did a pumpkin spice tiramisu that has traditional pumpkin pie flavors mixed with the coffee flavors of tiramisu: http://www.food52.com/recipes...

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inpatskitchen
inpatskitchen November 7, 2011

I've been thinking about about a gingerbread trifle also.. would love your recipe HLA.. please post since I'm not getting any messages

hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour November 7, 2011

Oh, boy! I don't actually have a recipe for it. I made it before I really thought about writing down recipes. I essentially made the Paula Deen recipe http://www.foodnetwork... but made homemade instead of boxed gingerbread and vanilla pudding.

inpatskitchen
inpatskitchen November 7, 2011

Thanks!! I'll work on it as a starting point!

mensaque
mensaque November 6, 2011

This is an adaptation from a family recipe.Make any chocolate pudding you're used to,and make a layer on a bowl not too deep.On top of that goes a layer of any kind of soft cookies soaked on Port(in Brazil we use a kind of biscuit,very light called "palito francês ou biscoito champagne:french stiks or champagne biscuit"but I have no idea if you have something similar near you.Google it for images-maybe!).Then a layer of a custard made from condensed milk,cream and milk(equal parts)egg yolks,sugar,and some corn starch to give it some thickness.On the pot.Low heat.Stirring.Don't let it cool too much or it won't pour easily over the cookies.Finish it with another layer of drunk cookies and then some meringue...looots of sugar on it.Add a pinch of salt -and- a pinch of baking powder to the egg whites so they stay firmer for longer.(Egg white viagra,I call it.)Oven to give it some colour.We call it Grandma's Wine Dessert.She used to make it every Christmas,and ate half of it herself(quite the sweet tooth),and it's an adaptation cause unfortunately,no one else has the full recipe...only memories.Hope yours (shall you decide to do it) turns out as good as hers!Happy Hollydays!

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mensaque
mensaque November 6, 2011

There's your image.On a line up...would you recognize it?

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mensaque
mensaque November 6, 2011

The image didn't make it.Trying again:

Answer image

mensaque
mensaque November 6, 2011

NO!Yet again:

Answer image

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nutcakes
nutcakes November 8, 2011

Very pretty!

creamtea
creamtea November 10, 2011

They look like ladyfingers.

mensaque
mensaque November 6, 2011

Now we're talking!

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Louisa
Louisa November 7, 2011

Graeters has really wonderful pumpkin ice cream--good pumpkin flavor and not very sweet. Make a pumpkin ice cream sundae with bittersweet hot fudge sauce, sprinkle on some toasted pecans and top with whipped cream.
If you want to work ahead you could make ice cream balls (size of an orange) and roll them in the chopped toasted pecans and store in freezer, then add bittersweet sauce and whipped cream before serving.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames November 7, 2011

Sounds deadly delicious -- the best kind of dessert!!!

Half-Buzzed Hostess
Half-Buzzed Hostess November 7, 2011

When I was an editor at REDBOOK, the food editor there made this pumpkin bread pudding that was to die for. The recipe is here: http://www.redbookmag.com/recipefinder/pumpkin-bread-pudding-vanilla-custard-recipe

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nutcakes
nutcakes November 9, 2011

This sounds fantastic thanks for posting it.

I like Dorrie Greenspans Pumpkin chiffon cake, just a more elegant version of you-know, it is delicious.

I'd also do Johnny Izzuini's Rustic Apple and Pear Tart. It is on puff pastry with an almond orange cream and a strusel topping. On Ny Mag's wetsite. It is fantastic. He shapes it into a round, but I just roll the pastry into a big rectangle and cut slabs to order. The cream and the strusel are do ahead.

To lazy to find links now.

Bevi
Bevi November 7, 2011

Two more suggestions:
AntoniaJames' prune clafoutis is delicious and to my mind a wonderful dessert for Thanksgiving: http://staging.food52.com/recipes/14664_winesoaked_prune_clafoutis

Also, if you love ice cream, you can buy a Cuisinart ice cream maker (Costco - $29.00) and the book Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home, you will find all sorts of wonderful ice creams and sorbets that are great for a Thanksgiving meal. I'm having a great time testing different recipes from Jeni's book and trying to figure out which ice creams I plan to make.

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Stephanie G
Stephanie G November 9, 2011

I LOVE Deborah Madison's Sticy Date Pudding. It's like a little taste of Heaven. Also, Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread from Claudia Fleming with Lemon Ice Cream (Jeni's Genius recipe would be great! or with whipped cream. You can easily find either one online...I think Culinate.com has the Deborah Madison one or epicurious has the gingerbead.

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Blissful Baker
Blissful Baker November 9, 2011

How about Dorie Greenspan's Thanksgiving Twofer Pie (combination pumpkin & pecan): .. http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/2010/11/must-make-recipe-dorie-greenspans.html .. I'm also dying to try LiztheChef's Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie: .. http://www.food52.com/recipes...

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skittle
skittle November 10, 2011

These are all such wonderful ideas! I had been kicking around the idea of a bread pudding....and I've always wanted to try a sticky date pudding. In the past I've made the trifle. It's lovely. I think I'm going to do the parsnip cake. I'm keeping it a surprise from the family though. I can't wait! That being said, I'll have to tuck away these recipes for other gatherings!

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