The RuraList: 5 Pumpkin Pies For Your Thanksgiving Table
Few traditions seem to be as rooted as pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. And while there are those who make their own, we in the Rural Intelligence region are fortunate to have pastry chefs and bakeries that can supply some outstanding pumpkin pies for those who’d rather leave the baking to the pros. Here’s a list to get you going if pie making doesn’t happen to be in your bailiwick.
You could order your entire Thanksgiving menu at this Millerton, New York café/catering venture, but we’re focused on pies right now, so let’s get right to it. Executive Chef Bruce Young offers his sweet potato-pecan pie, $30 [above]. Eschewing canned sweet potatoes, Young roasts the fresh sweet potatoes in their skins and toasts the pecans before they go in to the pie mixture. The pies are available at the bakery/cafe, but Young advises ordering them (through Sunday, Nov. 19) to make sure you get yours. And you can pick up some Arethusa Ice Cream at the shop to accompany the pie.
The pumpkin tart at the Bartlett House Bakery and Cafe in Ghent, New York is baked not once, not twice, but three times, which makes it triply special. In the “Thrice-Baked Pumpkin Tart,” local pumpkins are first roasted to soften, then roasted again and baked with maple and cinnamon. The rich pumpkin mixture then gets the final bake inside the homemade pâte brisée tart shell and topped with pecans and currants. It’s available in two sizes: a small round ($11) and large square tarts ($34). You have until Saturday, Nov. 18 to special order it, but there will also be additional tarts and baked good available for pickup at the bakery counter on the day before Thanksgiving.
Although Dutch Desserts in Kinderhook, New York got its start with the bona fide Dutch apple tart by Netherlands native Marjan Beebe, its pumpkin pie should not be overlooked. The creamy custard pie with the requisite blend of spices is given a piquant touch with the addition of orange juice. Beebe has put special care into her pie crusts, which are as beautiful as they are tasty. The pies come in three sizes: 5-inch: ($8.75), 7-1/2-inch ($16.50) and 9-inch ($22). They’re available from both Guido’s in the Berkshires, the Berry Farm in Valatie, New York and other select locations (check the website), or order one online.
Add a Gallic touch to your Thanksgiving table with the brandied pumpkin pie ($23) from this traditional French pastry shop that has locations in Lenox, Great Barrington and Hudson. It’s a classic recipe with the addition of brandy, says Yulia Bougouin, who runs the bakery and cafes with her husband Jean Yves, a former pastry chef at La Grenouille. Order your pie by Monday, Nov. 20. Also available: a variety of Thanksgiving cookies in a 11-pound box ($20). (And don’t forget to pick up a few croissants for Thanksgiving morning. You’ll thank us.)
White Hart Provisions Pumpkin pie sits in the top three of Pastry Chef Gabby Rios’ favorite pie flavors, and she likes to keep hers classic. “All you need is an excellent buttery crust, smooth and creamy custard, and a perfect whipped cream topping,” she says, and we believe her. (She’s also not afraid to admit she prefers to use canned pumpkin puree for consistency, texture and mouth feel.) The topping, fresh heavy cream with vanilla bean infusion, is just slightly underwhipped, “so it oozes over the pie like melted ice cream,” she says. The pie, $40, is available as a pre-ordered item. Each one comes made with lots of love by Rios.