The Dish: Pies, Tarts and More!

For many people (mainly me), dessert is as — if not more — important than the turkey on Thanksgiving. As an avid baker, I’m always trying to come up with new variations while still perfecting the classics.

Now, before we dive into our Pinterest boards searching for exotic twists on holiday pies, lets talk about crust. Crust is one of those classics that requires no alteration. Once you’ve found that perfect combination of flaky and rich you’ll never want to try anything else. With a fool-proof base, the sky’s the limit on what you put in it!

Below are a number of recipes that take classic crusts and fill them with amazing flavors perfect for Thanksgiving. And for the non-pie eaters (again mainly myself), I have a variety of of options that are still perfect for the season.

Here are my three master recipes for crusts that will give you a solid foundation for just about anything you bake. For baking information and slight variations on these recipes and many more, visit



Graham Cracker Crust


Liven up the end of your Thanksgiving feast with some of these interesting dessert ideas, all of which use classic crust recipes:

Bourbon Pecan Pie. Add 1 cup of chocolate chips to make this variation on a Derby Pie.

Tart Tatin. A French classic that will truly impress your Thanksgiving guests.

Pumpkin Plum Tart. If you can’t find plum butter, try apple butter or quince paste.

Hazelnut, Pear and Goat Cheese Tart. A fantastic option for those with less of a sweet tooth. Makes for an excellent cheese platter item as well.

S’more Pie. Put your marshmallow-making skills to the test with this campfire favorite!

Salted Caramel Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. Sounds like a mouthful. Tastes like heaven.

Not a pie fan? Have a food restriction or trying to diet through the holidays? Well, there’s no reason why you can’t have dessert too!

Thanksgiving Brownies. These gluten free optional treats have become a tradition in my house.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Squares. Better than Tofurkey!

Panettone Bread Pudding. This Italian Christmas cake is great to use in baking throughout the season. Try making french toast with it for Christmas morning.

Paleo Chocolate Pecan Pie. This pie is so tasty, you won’t believe it’s paleo!

Sugar Free Apple Crisp. A great sugar-free dessert that still feels appropriate for the holiday.

Chai Poached Pears. An elegant light note to end the evening on. Can be made days ahead and reheated before serving.