Entering my grandmother’s kitchen was a sensory delight on Thanksgiving. My nose drew me to the rows of freshly-baked pies cooling on the ledge above the heavy porcelain double sink. The fragrance of fruit, nuts and spices wrapped in flaky pastry was unforgettable. The nutty aroma of toasted pie crust I especially remember.
With a great sense of accomplishment, my own pies are now cooling on the kitchen counter–two golden pecan pies glistening in their glaze of dark corn syrup custard. Like grandmother, I use the tried and true recipe for traditional pecan pie found on the Karo Dark Corn Syrup bottle. Although there is some debate about whether or not to use all dark syrup or to divide the recipe between dark and light, I’m a firm believer in using only dark Karo.
All that’s needed to consume these decadent desserts on Thanksgiving day is a generous dollop of whipped cream. No, not the frozen whipped topping. When I spend quality time baking from scratch–including the pie crusts–my pies deserve real whipped cream. It takes only a few minutes to whip heavy cream with an electric hand mixer and add sugar and vanilla to taste. Oh, the difference it makes! I think the convenience of packaged products like frozen pie shells and artificial whipped topping–even frozen prepared pies–has caused us to forget what scratch baking actually tastes like.
Once a year at least, scratch is the only way to go. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!