Thanksgiving part 3: Desserts and Spiced Ginger Pear Martini

The time has come to round out the delicious memories of thanksgiving until 2012.  To be honest, I love the classic pumpkin and apple pies that find their way onto the dinner table after thanksgiving but they are never as exciting as making the turkey and side dishes and of course the cocktail.  I have said it before in previous posts, but I don’t find culinary excitement in baking pies.  However, lately I have really enjoyed the planning process of a dinner party start to finish.  Appetizers through cocktails.  So this post wraps up the dinner party of thanksgiving and let me just say it was so fun to make.  I can’t wait to tackle it again next year, and maybe throw in some spontaneous dinner parties throughout the year.

Classic Pumpkin Pie (William Sonoma’s Essentials of Baking) 

Ingredients 

  • Flaky pastry dough
  • 1/2 c firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 c heavy cream
  • sweetened whipped cream

Recipe

    1. Roll out the dough disk into a 12 inch round.  Transfer dough round to a 9 inch pie pan or dish.  Trim the edge of the dough round.  Leaving ¾ inch of overhand.  Fold the overhand under itself and pinch together to create a high edge on the pans rim.  Flute the edge decoratively.  Refrigerate or freeze shell until firm about 30 min
    2. Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375.  Partially bake the pie shell as directed.  Transfer the pie shell to a wire rack.  Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven and reduce oven temp to 350
    3. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs until well blended. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, and nuteg and mix well.  Add the pumpkin puree and cream and whisk until smooth.  Pour into partially baked pie shell
    4. Bake pie until the filling is slightly risen and firm in the middle, 35-45 min.  transfer to a wire rack and let cool until just slightly warm or at room temp.

Woven Crust Apple Pie 

Spiced Ginger Pear Cocktail (for one pitcher, serves about 5)

Now this combo for a cocktail just kinda popped into my head while we were grocery shopping so I got the ingredients but just threw them together for the drink and it turned out delicious.  It was a little better and less sweet once the ice melted a bit so that would be my only tip.

Ingredients 

  • About 1 inch of frech ginger, peeled
  • 1 can of pears
  • vodka to taste (I added about a cup)
  • Spiced simple syrup (recipe below)
  • water

Recipe

  1. The day before, make the simple syrup.  Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a bot and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.  Add 1 cinnamon stick and 1 tsp nutmeg.  Cover and let simmer for about 20 min.  discard the cinnamon stick and refrigerate the syrup until you make the cocktail.
  2. combine the canned pears, ginger and simple syrup in a blender until smooth
  3. add the vodka, about 1/2 c water and blend to combine.  Adjust to taste.
  4. You can also add club soda to top it off if you want a sparkling taste to it.

{Spiced simple syrup} 

{Finished cocktail! Yum}

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