What’s the perfect Thanksgiving pie for you?

What’s the perfect Thanksgiving pie for you?

It’s no wonder that Thanksgiving is celebrated by consuming a big load of calories. Not only does the cooler weather make us want to stock up on carbs, but also this is the time of year when produce aisles and farmers markets fill up with tempting, wholesome foods.

Apples, pears, pecans and pumpkins are harvested in the fall, and jars of cranberries and cherries from the summer are best consumed within the first few months of being canned. Generations of Americans have found that about the best way to use up all the autumn harvest bounty is to make these ingredients into pies, grab a fork and dig in.

We’re gearing up for the holiday season here at Mother Rucker’s Sweets, so we decided to share our favorite recipes for Thanksgiving’s signature pies.

Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkins grow all summer long, yielding their golden orange globes of goodness throughout the fall. The fact that pumpkin pie is synonymous with Thanksgiving is simply a matter of timing. And nothing could be better to prepare us for the cold months of winter than the boost of vitamin A and the variety of minerals that pumpkin pie provides—which is why it’s as much a health food as it is an indulgence.

You may have scanned your grandmother’s complicated pumpkin pie recipes and scratched it from your Thanksgiving menu, but think twice. Now that most home cooks have a food processor or blender in their kitchen, it’s easy to turn a can of pumpkin pie puree and a handful of ingredients and spices into a quick, simple pumpkin pie. Check out this recipe and see what we mean.

Hint: Buy frozen, prepared pie crusts to cut prep time down to five minutes if you need to.

Apple Pie
Want the secret to the best apple pie you’ve ever baked? Get both sour Granny Smith apples and a mild, sweeter variety of apples and mix them half and half for the filling, no matter what recipe you follow.

We’re partial to this recipe for apple pie because it shows how easy it is to make a complex dessert without resorting to too many precooked ingredients.

Pecan Pie
Pecan pies have always been a task for the committed cook, not for someone who wants to get into and out of the kitchen in under two hours. But why does it have to be that way when this recipe for pecan pie makes it so easy, without sacrificing an ounce of flavor or texture? What’s more, it’s cholesterol-free.

Cranberry Pie
Less popular than a cranberry muffin but deserving of its spot on the Thanksgiving table is cranberry pie. Like cherry pie, it’s sweet, but mostly tart. This recipe turns out a creamy pie with less of a cobbler quality.

Chocolate Pie
When did chocolate pie become a Thanksgiving staple and not a Christmas treat? Who knows? And really, once you’ve got a slice in front of you topped with whipped cream, who cares? Because chocolate pies are typically as easy as mixing up a box of pudding and pouring it into a prebaked pie crust, we thought we’d point out that there’s a huge world of chocolate pies that are maybe a little less simplistic but a whole lot more rewarding.

And what if your chocolate pie not only tasted decadent but was also a good source of protein and calcium? Well, this recipe does both. You may never be able to go back to silly stir-and-bake chocolate pie recipes again.