The Thanksgiving Dessert Table
Need some Thanksgiving dessert ideas? Keeping it relatively simple is key! The last thing you want during the holidays is extra stress because the most important part of the holiday is spending time with your family and friends, not spending all day in the kitchen. So pick a few traditional desserts, something new and fun and then relax and enjoy the holiday.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (1 cup)
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (+ more for topping)
1 cup pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ⅓ cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
whipped cream (for topping)
In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer and beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice and continue to beat until light and fluffy and fully blended together. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla and mix until combined. In a medium mixing bowl, whip the cream using your hand mixer set on low-medium speed until you form soft peaks, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and set the mixer to high and continue to whip until you reach stiff peaks, about 1 more minute. Gently fold the whipping cream mixture into the pumpkin mixture until fully combined with no streaks visible. Transfer the mousse into individual sized serving cups. You can pipe them to make the transfer easier. At this stage, the mousse will be very soft. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let the mousse set. If you have time, leave it overnight. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice on top.
1 pie crust, either store bought or homemade
4 medium apples
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice *see notes for substitution
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Peel, core and slice the apples. You can also chop them into peices instead of slices. You should end up with about 4 cups of apples. Put the apple slices in a medium bowl. Then add the sugar and flour and toss the slices to coat them.Add the apple pie spice and toss to coat. Roll out the pie crust into a circle about 12 inches around and 1/8 inch thick. A galette is supposed to be rustic, so you don't need to make a perfect circle. A rectangular shape also works fine! Pile the apples in the center of the crust, leaving about 1 inch around the outside without fruit. Fold the edges of the crust up over the apples, crimping it slightly. Bake at 375 F for 45-50 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Whipped cream, ice cream or caramel sauce make excellent toppings for the apple galette.
Maple Pecan Pie
2 cups pecan halves, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
½ teaspoon salt, divided
2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 tablespoon avocado oil or organic canola oil
3 tablespoons cold water
½ cup maple syrup, preferably Grade A Dark Amber
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons dark rum
½ cup dried cherries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom on a baking sheet and coat lightly with cooking spray.
Place ½ cup pecans and sugar in a food processor fitted with steel blade attachment. Process until the pecans are the consistency of rough meal. Add whole-wheat pastry flour, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon salt and pulse until combined. Stir 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and canola oil in a small bowl. With the food processor motor running, drizzle yolk mixture through the feed tube and process until completely mixed in. Drizzle in water with the motor running and then pulse just until mixture clumps together.
Turn mixture out into the prepared pan; spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom and up sides to form a thin crust. Prick all over with a fork and transfer to the oven. Bake, pressing down with the back of a fork only if it starts to puff, until dry and slightly golden along the edges, 10 to 13 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk maple syrup, brown sugar, rum, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, the remaining 2 eggs and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium bowl. Set aside ¼ cup of the maple mixture for glazing the pecans for the top of the tart. Chop 1/2 cup of the pecan halves and add to the medium bowl with the larger amount of maple mixture. Stir in the cherries. Mix the reserved ¼ cup maple mixture in a small bowl with the remaining 1 cup of the pecan halves for the pecans for the top of the tart.
Remove the tart crust from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. While the crust is hot, brush the remaining 1/2 teaspoon flour over the crust with a pastry brush to fill in any holes or cracks. Spread the cherry and chopped pecan mixture in the baked crust. Arrange pecan halves decoratively over the top of the tart. Drizzle any remaining maple mixture over the tart. Bake the tart until it no longer jiggles when gently shaken, the top is lightly crackled and the filling is set-up, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely, at least 1 hour and remove the sides of the pan.
Softened butter, to coat pan
1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce
For the cake:
10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
For the flan:
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For garnish: 1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce 1/4 cup chopped pecans
Put an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat a Bundt pan with a little butter, then coat the bottom with 1/4 cup cajeta and put it in a large roasting pan. (The roasting pan will serve as a water bath during baking.) For the cake: Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa in a medium bowl. Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture, and 1/2 of the buttermilk into the egg mixture. Repeat, ending with the flour mixture. Blend until well incorporated. For the flan: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high for 30 seconds. Scoop the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and spreading evenly. Slowly pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. Cover with foil and add about 1-inch of hot water to the roasting pan. Carefully slide the pan into the oven, and bake 1 hour, until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean. When cake is done, remove from the water bath and cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour. Invert a large, rimmed serving platter over the Bundt pan, grasp tightly together, jiggle a little and flip over. Remove the pan and scrape any remaining cajeta from the pan onto the cake, garnish with chopped pecans and serve!
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