5 Thanksgiving Tart and Pie Recipes
Thanksgiving is a blow-out, high-octane ride to Flavortown, but don’t flag as you round into the dessert course. These decadent recipes—from a rich, chocolaty tart to a comforting sweet potato pie—are well-worth an extra notch in your belt. And yes, you can (and should) pair dessert with wine, so we’ve highlighted the best bottles that’ll end your meal on a high note.
Turtle Tart paired with Quinta de la Rosa 2010 Late Bottled Vintage Port
Recipe courtesy Wes Morton, executive chef of Art and Soul, Washington, D.C.
This chocolate dessert is a nice switch-up from traditional pumpkin and apple pies—and its preparation requires no oven space on the big day. Paired with a classic Port like Quinta de La Rosa’s Late Bottled Vintage Port (89 points) and you have the ideal post-turkey pairing.
1½ cups Oreo cookie crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
1 cup chocolate bar, 66% cocoa, chopped
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1½ cups heavy cream, divided
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups pecans, chopped and toasted
3 cups chocolate bar, 44% cocoa, chopped
Pecans and sea salt, for garnish (optional)
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
Add the cookie crumbs, salt, sugar and melted butter in a mixing bowl, and combine them with your hands until they are well mixed. Press the mixture into a tart or pie mold and baked in the oven for 10 minutes. Set it aside to cool.
Melt the chocolate, spread it over the bottom of the pre-baked crust and allow it to set. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine ¼ cup of water, brown sugar and 1 cup of the heavy cream and cook for 10–15 minutes until it thickens or coats the back of a spoon.
Next, add the butter to the brown sugar mixture and stir constantly until it is melted and well combined. Add the toasted pecans. Pour the mixture into the prepared tart mold and allow it to cool and set.
In a double boiler over medium heat, combine the 44% chocolate and the remaining heavy cream to make a ganache. When it’s melted, spread the ganache over the top of the cooled tart. Garnish the tart with additional pecans and sea salt, if desired.
Allow the tart to sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving. Serves 6–8.
Fresh Apple Crostata paired with Ca’ dei Zago Col Fondo Glera
Recipe courtesy of chef Michael Chiarello
A simple, rustic tart with all of the hallmarks of fall, this crostata is a delicious match for a Prosecco such as Ca’ dei Zago’s Col Fondo offering, which boasts mouthwatering acidity and finishes bone-dry.
For tart dough:
2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (½ pound) chilled unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
¼ cup ice water, or more if needed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups pitted fresh Granny Smith, Pippin, or your favorite apples, peeled and cut into 3/4- inch wedges
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream for egg wash
2 teaspoons coarse sugar
To make tart dough: Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir together the ¼ cup ice water and the vanilla; sprinkle the water over the mixture in the processor and pulse just until a dough forms, adding a little extra ice water if necessary.
Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a 1-inch-thick round. Wrap 1 disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour; freeze the other for a future use. Put a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 425ºF for 45 minutes. Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before rolling to soften it slightly.
Place the dough round between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll into a 13-inch round, flouring the round lightly as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Remove the top sheet of parchment. Slide a pizza peel or rimless baking sheet under the bottom sheet of parchment.
To make the filling:
Combine the apples, sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl and toss well. Fill the center of the dough round with the apples in an even layer, leaving a border of about 1½ inches. Fold the border up and over the apples to make a rim. Brush the rim with egg wash, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Trim the excess parchment with scissors.
Use the pizza peel or baking sheet to transfer the crostata, still with parchment underneath, to the oven, sliding it, with the paper, directly onto the pizza stone. Bake until the crust is nicely browned and the apples are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven with the peel or baking sheet and let cool on a rack for 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
Note: This can be made hours ahead and heated before serving.
Three-Ginger Chèvre Tart with a Spiced Walnut Crust, paired with Rui Roboredo Madeira 2012 Beyra Superior Red
This tart is thin, elegant and perfumed with three kinds of ginger, fresh, ground and candied. It unfolds on the palate in layer upon layer of flavor. These qualities engage beautifully with the Madeira, which is a structured and richly exuberant wine with intense acidity.
For the crust:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup, packed, light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄8 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted
1½ cups all-purpose flour
For the filling:
10 ounces fresh Chèvre, such as Chabis
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
½ cup chopped candied ginger
To make the crust:
Put the butter, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, clove and ground ginger into the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse several times, until well blended. Add the vanilla and the walnuts and pulse until the walnuts are evenly incorporated into the butter mixture; use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the work bowl as needed. Add the flour and pulse several times, until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Clean the work bowl and blade. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Press the chilled dough into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool thoroughly.
To make the filling:
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Put the Chèvre, sugar, egg and egg yolk into the work bowl of the food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the cream and fresh ginger and pulse until just smooth; do not overprocess.
Spread the candied ginger over the surface of the crust, pour the Chèvre custard over the candied ginger and agitate the tart pan very gently to even it out, if needed. Set the tart on a baking sheet and set the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the custard is firm and the top is pale gold. Remove from the oven, let cool for about 15 minutes and remove the ring of the tart pan. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8.
This rich, fragrant dessert, with its layers of ginger, wants something slightly lean on the palate, yet elegant and engaging. You can’t go wrong with a well-aged Madeira but fans of single-malt Scotch, especially those of Islay, will be delighted by the flirtatious resonance of the match. Try Laphroaig 15 Year Old.
Caramelized Apple Tart Topped with Crème Caramel with Reduction of Apple Cider and Cranberries, paired with Clambake 2013 Chardonnay (Mendocino)
The richness of this dish—the crème caramel and the cider reduction sauce—are balanced out by the acidity of Clambake’s golden apple-inflected Chardonnay from Mendocino.
For the caramelized apple tart:
½ sheet puff pastry
3 ounces almond paste, room temperature
2 ounces sugar
1 ounce egg whites
6 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
2 ounces butter, melted
1 ounce water
3 tablespoons sugar
6 ounces caramel candy
1 cup condensed milk
2 cup milk
½ vanilla bean, scraped
¼ cup sugar
To make the apple tart: Cut the puff pastry into three-inch circles with a ring mold. Keep aside. In a mixer with the whisk, combine the almond paste, sugar and eggwhites. Mix until well combined. Place the puff pastry in a cooking sheet pan, spoon some of the almond mixture in the center of the pastry. Slice the apples very thin and layer them over the pastry by leaving a little section on the outside of the ring uncovered by the apples. In a bowl, combine the butter, water and sugar. Brush the apple tart with the mixture and bake at 300° F for about 30 minutes until caramelized and the apples become very soft. Serves 6.
To make the crème caramel: Melt the caramel in a pot and pour into the ramekins just to cover the bottom of the ramekin. In a small saucepan combine both milks and vanilla, bring to a boil. In a small bowl, place the sugar and eggs. Whisk well. Temper the egg mixture with the milk mixture and pass through a fine sieve. Pour the custard into the ramekin and bake in a water bath at 300°F for about 20 minutes. Chill until needed.
For the apple cider-cranberry reduction:
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon karo syrup
1 cup apple cider
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
½ cup chopped cranberries
In a small saucepan combine the sugar, water and syrup and caramelize to golden brown. Add the rest of the ingredients and reduce until it reaches a syrup consistency.
Plate Presentation: Place a tart on the center of each plate. Topped with flan and drizzle sauce around. Garnish with chopped almonds. Ice cream and mint are optional.
Sweet Potato Pie paired with Quady 2012 Essensia Orange Muscat
Here’s the only reason to go easy on your otherwise overindulgent Thanksgiving tuck-in: Saving room for the decadent duo of Orange Muscat and this rib-sticking sweet potato pie from Chef Travis Milton at Comfort in Richmond, Virginia. With enough acidity to cut through the sticky pie, the Essencia (92 points) boasts intense aromas of orange oil and flavors of orange rind and pear with dabs of honey, vanilla and buttered toast.
What You’ll Need
1¾ pounds Hayman sweet potatoes (white sweet potatoes can be substituted)
½ cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sorghum syrup (or maple syrup)
½ cup heavy cream
4 ounces maple sugar
¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon orange juice
¼ cup buttermilk
1 9-inch piecrust
Sourwood honey for garnish
Whipped cream for garnish
Preheat an oven to 350˚F. Coat sweet potatoes with the melted butter and roast on a lined baking sheet in the oven for until fork tender (about an hour). Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Once chilled, discard the skins, mash and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk the sorghum syrup, heavy cream, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and orange juice. Add the potatoes and mix until smooth, then add the buttermilk and stir until consistent. Pour the potato filling into the crust and bake at 350˚F for 45 minutes. Cool at room temperature for 2 hours. Cut into 6–8 slices and top each with a drizzle of honey and a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 6–8.
An Orange Muscat We Love
92 Quady 2012 Essensia Orange Muscat. With enough acidity to cut through the sticky pie, this California dessert wine boasts intense aromas of orange oil and flavors of orange rind and pear with dabs of honey, vanilla and buttered toast. $25.