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by Sarah Steimer

This was the first time I ever made a pecan pie, and I had planned to head over to Martha Stewart’s website for the recipe. After talking with my mom, she mentioned my Uncle Steve makes great pecan pie (even though I don’t think she’s ever tried it). I asked him for the recipe and here we have it: The great Stephen Jameson pecan pie. And now I can officially vouch for how good it is.

For the crust:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water

Combine the flour, butter, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, mixing until coarse crumbles appear.

Whisk together the vinegar, egg and cold water in a small bowl. Add the liquids to the dry mix and combine with your hands. Form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

For the filling

  • 1 1/4 cup Grade A maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans (plus a few halves for garnish, optional)

Whisk all filling ingredients together in a medium bowl.

I plan to freeze this pie (just wrap tightly with plastic wrap and aluminium foil) and take it home for Thanksgiving.

Roll the pie crust dough into about an 11-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate, allowing about 1/2-inch or so to overhang the edges of the dish — the crust WILL shrink a bit. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the crust and bake for about five minutes at 375 degrees. Remove the crust from the oven and carefully arrange the edges in your preferred design. I took a cue from Caitlin and made an easy criss-cross pattern with the back of a knife.

Carefully add the filling so as not to overflow the crust. Return to the oven (still on 375 degrees). Let bake for about 1 hour, checking it about halfway through. If the crust is beginning to brown too quickly, cover it with aluminium foil or a crust shield (cheap and totally worth it). The pie is ready when the center is still slightly jiggly and has puffed up.

Allow the pie to cool completely before serving. The center will mostly level out once cooled.

Recipe adapted from my Uncle Steve.

*This month we’re featuring classic pies that would be a great dessert at any Thanksgiving table. For the full list of pies, click here.

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by Sarah Steimer

This is my first time making these cookies, but they may make my yearly Christmas cookie list. They would probably rule with a chocolate drizzle, too.

  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 2 cups pecans (could substitute walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 cup flour

In a food processor or blender, add cranberries, pecans and brown sugar – I doubled this from the original, by the way, so you can cut this in half if you so please. Blend well until only small pieces remain. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add baking powder, salt, eggs and orange zest. Beat for about 1 minute. Add flour a little at a time, mixing on medium speed. Cover and chill for at least one hour.

Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, roll dough out to a rectangular shape until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Lift the dough as you roll to make sure it does not stick to the surface. Spread half of the cranberry-pecan mixture on the dough, stopping 1/2 inch from the edges of the dough.

Begin rolling from one of the short ends, making sure to seal it at the ends. Wrap in plastic wrap and repeat with the other half of the dough and cranberry mixture. Chill for at least 24 hours. Every once in awhile roll the logs to avoid a flat end.

Slice the logs into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place on a lined cookie sheet 1 to 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 for eight to 10 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies begins to brown. Let cool for five minutes on the sheets then transfer to cooling racks.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Recipe adapted from: Baked by Rachel

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by Sarah Steimer

I could eat this every week in the fall. These are literally my favorite flavors in the universe.

  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • about 10 Brussels sprouts, rinsed and quartered
  • handful of pecans
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons blue cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Wash the sweet potatoes and pierce the skin all over with a fork. Bake the potatoes at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a knife can be easily inserted into the potatoes.

When the potatoes have about 15 minutes left in the oven, toss the Brussels sprouts in olive oil, salt and pepper and place in a metal or glass pan. Roast for about 15 minutes or until the leaves begin to brown and crisp.

Once the potatoes have cooled to where you can touch them, slice lengthwise and apply pressure to open. Top with the roasted Brussels sprouts, cranberries, pecans and cheese.

Makes two servings.

Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart Living

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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