Traditional Thanksgiving food is classic for a reason. Not only does it taste delicious, the aromas wafting from the kitchen often spark fond memories from your childhood of spending the day at home with loved ones. But maybe it's time to toss out the traditional, give your taste buds a swift kick in the tongue and add some new flavors to old favorites. Have you ever thought of preparing duck instead of turkey? How about adding maple syrup to your sweet potatoes, or making cranberry sauce with wine? Why not top pumpkin pie with apple cider?
We asked some local chefs to share how they add a twist to some time-honored Thanksgiving dishes, staying true to the spirit of the holiday while spicing it up with some signature touches of their own. These recipes might not be passed down through the generations, but they could give you a chance to start a few food traditions of your own this year.
Edwards chef Heather Weems doesn't specialize in pastries because "even though I love baking, being relaxed and sane is more important," she said.
However, when the holidays come around, Weems does enjoy tying on her apron and making a tasty treat that both young and old enjoy. Weems' recipe adds cider syrup to the topping, pleasing both pumpkin and apple pie lovers on Thanksgiving.
1 1⁄2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons shortening
5 tablespoons cold butter, diced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In mixer with paddle attachment, combine all but water. Blend to coarse crumb. Slowly add water until mixture starts to come together. Remove from mixer and form into hat disc with hands. Freeze for 10 minutes. Rollout and pre-bake with pie weights for 10 minutes.
1 (15 oz.) can of 100 percent pumpkin
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 cup whipping cream
1⁄2 cup sour cream
3 large eggs
Blend all ingredients until combined. Pour into pre-baked pie shell. Cook for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.
1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts
1⁄4 cup chopped candied ginger
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1⁄2 cup butter
Combine all ingredients. Squeeze butter through fingers until a course crumb forms. Remove pie from oven. Let sit 10 minutes. Thickly coat top of pie with crumbs. Bake for 50 more minutes. Cool completely on rack.
1 1⁄2 cups apple cider
Bring cider to a slow boil and reduce to syrup consistency. Drizzle over the top of the pie just before serving. If just serving a few slices, drizzle over cut slices. Garnish with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Makes one 9-inch pie. Serves 8 to 10 people.