This year for Thanksgiving we had both sets of parents over for turkey dinner. We wanted to take care of two of the main thanksgiving staples: the pumpkin pie, and the turkey. Both turned out to be super delicious!
For the pumpkin pie we followed a recipe featured in the latest edition of the Toronto Life Cookbook. The recipe comes from Lorraine Hawley of Mabel’s Bakery.
The dough consists of 1 egg yolk, 1 tbsp of vodka, cold water, 1 1/4 cups of flour, 1 pinch of salt, 1/4 cup of chilled vegetable shortening (cubed) and 1/4 cup of butter (also cubed).
Put the egg yolk and vodka into a measuring cup and then top it up with cold water until it reaches the 125 mL mark, then whisk it lightly.
In a large bowl, place the flour and stir in the salt. Add the shortening and butter and use your thumb and index fingers to incorporate them into the flour mixture. Pour in the egg and water mixture until you are able to form the dough into a ball, but don’t overwork it. Refrigerate until chilled and then roll the dough out onto a floured surface into a 13 inch circle. Place into a greased pie plate.
The filling consists of 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of salt, 3/4 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of ground ginger, 1/2 tsp of nutmeg, 2 eggs, 1 can of pumpkin puree (398 mL), 3/4 cup of whipping cream, 1/2 cup of buttermilk and 1/4 cup of maple syrup.
Stir the sugar, salt, and spices together into a bowl, whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, whipping cream, buttermilk and maple syrup, then pour into the pie shell.
Bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees F and then let it cool completely before serving, topped with whipped cream!
For our turkey, we decided to try brining it for the first time. In the past we have tried many different ways of preparing the turkey including roasted in the oven covered in butter soaked cheese clothe, and smoking it on the BBQ. The smoked turkey turned out amazing, but we have to say, this brined turkey was even better!
For the brining liquid, we poured 8 cups of water, 1 1/2 cups of coarse salt, 1/2 cup of sugar, a large red onion (sliced), 1 head of garlic (smashed) and 2 bottles of white wine. We also tossed in a few herbs and spices including some fresh rosemary, fresh ground black pepper, a few bay leaves, some savory, and some red pepper flakes.
Our turkey was a 14 pounder from our local butcher shop. After soaking it in the brine for 24 hours, we roasted the bird at 375 degrees F for a few hours, basting every so often, until the interior temperature reached 165 degrees F.
The turkey turned out amazingly juicy, salty and flavourful throughout. We didn’t even remember to take any pictures of the sliced up bird, we were so distracted with the thought of scarfing it down.
After dinner and pie we had a second dessert: Hellwoods by Bellwoods Brewery. This Russian Imperial Stout is full of sweet molasses, chocolate, caramel and roasted coffee flavours. The 10% ABV warmed us up and was the perfect cap to a perfect thanksgiving dinner with our wonderful family!