The Life of Pie

One of the most beautiful attributes of a city like Bangalore is that this buzzing metropolis is a melting pot of various religions, cultures, and traditions. Diwali has just gone by and now everyone’s awaiting the festive season of Christmas with breath that is bated!

But before that comes Thanksgiving. And before Diwali, we were soaking in the spirit of spook on Halloween. That’s right, like it or hate it, there’s no way you can ignore it. Foreign traditions are very much becoming a part of the city’s culture in more ways than one.

So while some of you might have already made your reservations for that delish roasted turkey dinner next Thursday, the rest of you might be wondering what the fuss is all about. So just to fill you in, Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated in Canada and the United States as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

On that note, as you would already know, food plays a massive role in Thanksgiving celebrations. And no, we aren’t just talking stuffed turkey, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, or devilled eggs. Pies are aplenty at the table and if you’re a sucker for dessert like we are, here’s all you need to know about what’s served after a sumptuous Thanksgiving meal.

Pecan Pie
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Made primarily with corn syrup and pecan nuts, variations of the pecan pie may include white or brown sugar, sugar syrup, molasses, maple syrup, or honey. It is popularly served at holiday meals and is also considered a specialty of Southern U.S. cuisine. Most pecan pie recipes include salt and vanilla as flavourings. Chocolate and bourbon whiskey are other popular additions to the recipe. Pecan pie is often served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

 

Apple Pie
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This fruit pie in which the principal filling ingredient is apple, is on occasion, served with whipped cream or ice cream on top, or alongside cheddar cheese. The pastry is generally used top-and-bottom, making it a double-crust pie, the upper crust of which may be a circular shaped crust or a pastry lattice woven of strips. Apple pie was brought to the colonies of America by the British, Dutch, and Swedes during the 17th and 18th centuries.

 

Mincemeat Pie
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A mixture of chopped dried fruit, distilled spirits and spices, and sometimes beef suet, beef, or venison, originally, mincemeat always contained meat. Many modern recipes contain beef suet, though vegetable shortening is sometimes used in its place. Variants of mincemeat are found in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, northern Europe, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The increase of sweetness from added sugars, and those produced from fermentation, made mincemeat less a savoury dinner course and helped to direct its use toward desserts.

 

Pumpkin Pie
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This sweet dessert pie with a spiced, pumpkin-based custard filling is often eaten during the fall and early winter. In the United States and Canada, it is usually prepared for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it is also featured at Halloween.  Interestingly, the pumpkin is a symbol of harvest time.

The pie consists of a pumpkin-based custard, baked in a single pie shell, rarely with a top crust. The pie is generally flavoured with cinnamon, powdered ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Cardamom and vanilla are also sometimes used as batter spices. The pie is often made from canned pumpkin or packaged pumpkin pie filling (spices included), mainly from varieties of Cucurbita moschata.

 

Sweet Potato Pie
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A traditional dessert, originating in the Southern United States, sweet potato pie is often served during the American holiday season, especially at Thanksgiving, and is similar in many ways to pumpkin pie. Marshmallows are sometimes added as a topping. It is usually made as a large tart in an open pie shell without a top crust. The filling consists of mashed sweet potatoes, milk, sugar and eggs, flavoured with spices such as nutmeg.

Like many sweet potato recipes, sweet potato pie was likely developed by African-American slaves from traditional African cuisine, making it a staple of soul food today.

Image Courtesy: wikimedia, wikipedia, flickr.com

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Categories: Baking, Desserts, Thanksgiving

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