Since moving to Colorado in 2012, I've spent every Thanksgiving with my friends Sarah and Wes and their family. Although I enjoy the company, the best part is the food--everything is gluten-free and most things are made dairy-free.
Sarah and I spend most of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving making several pies and a quadruple batch of rolls. We start sometime in the afternoon and finish around 10 p.m. This year, we couldn't start our pie baking until the evening. When baking four pies, it's probably a better idea to begin in the morning. We started baking at about 6:30 p.m. and weren't done until around 2 a.m.
Because of the late hour--the clock on the stove is wrong, it was definitely 1:21 a.m.--I forgot to collect recipes for the pies. Most of the recipes, with the exception of the pumpkin pie, came from a gluten-free cookbook Sarah has. The pumpkin pie is Alton Brown's recipe. What I do have for you are some tips if you're considering taking on the challenge of pie baking.
Pro Tips from Thanksgiving 2016
Start your baking early; no one wants to be waiting for pies to cool at two in the morning. If you must bake late at night, do it with friends and a glass of wine.
Make the pumpkin puree in advance. I pureed the pie pumpkins a few weeks ago and froze the leftovers so I could have pumpkin risotto. This was a great time-saver.
Make the pie crusts ahead of time. Sarah made the crusts in advance and like the pumpkin puree, this was one less step to worry about the day of baking.
Dry out your fruit the day before. Slice the apples the day of so they don't brown, but the cherries and the strawberries really need to lose some of their water. We didn't account for this. The pies might be picture-perfect here, but they were a bit of a mess. Cutting the fruit the day before, or even a few hours, will make for less soggy fruit pies.
Eat a piece of each pie because you deserve it!
Each year, I feel more thankful than the last. We wrote what we're thankful for on a dry erase board, but I could've filled the entire board with my own thanks.
For pro tips from years past, check out the Thanksgiving 2015 and the Thanksgiving 2014 posts!