• Tommy Centola

Think about dessert for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. In my family, turkey is the main attraction. Dirty Rice, Cornbread Dressing and Green Beans are always part of the celebration. The course that I like to get creative with is dessert.

One dish that often appears on the dessert table is pie. Pecan pie almost always makes an appearance. While fruit pies are very popular, my taste favors my sweet tooth. Today, I am sharing three different types of pies: Peanut Butter Ice Box Pie, Fudge Brownie Pie and White Chocolate Mousse Pie. They have all made an appearance at a Centola family gathering and disappeared quickly.

My love for peanut butter must be in my DNA. Growing up, it was easy for us to go through a 5 pound tub in record time. Most of this was eaten with a spoon. Here is a more conventional way to enjoy this spread.

Peanut Butter Ice Box Pie

12 ounces cream cheese softened

16 ounce jar creamy peanut butter

1¼ cup sugar

1½ tablespoon melted butter

1½ teaspoon vanilla

8 ounce tub frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided

1 prepared chocolate graham cracker piecrust

In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar,

butter, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped

topping. Mound filling into piecrust and then smooth the top. Freeze

for 10 minutes and then top with remaining topping. Chill at least 4

hours or freeze for at least 1 hour.

This recipe comes from Cannon’s restaurant in New Orleans. Made daily, we would sell 6 pies a day. It was the most popular dessert on the menu. Served warm and topped with ice cream, it is the perfect way to end a meal.

Fudge Brownie Pie

Brownie

2 sticks + 2 tablespoons melted butter

1/2cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa

2 ½ cups sugar

1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

5 eggs

1 ¼ cups pecan halves

1 ¼ cups flour

Frosting

10oz powdered sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa

½ +1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons melted butter

¼ cup hot coffee

1 cup pecan pieces

To Make the Brownie:

Place sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add melted butter and blend, using wire whisk. Add eggs and continue blending until smooth. Add vanilla and cocoa, continue blending. Measure out flour and salt together in a separate bowl. Add flour to batter, being sure to blend in slowly. Fold in pecans and pour into 2 greased pie shells. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.

To make the Frosting:

Stir sugar into bowl. Add cocoa, salt and melted butter and blend. Add coffee slowly, blending with a wire whisk. Frost cool pies. Top with pecan pieces. To serve, warm in microwave and top with a scoop of Ice Cream.

Here is a quick but decadent dessert. I doubled my white chocolate mousse recipe and folded it into a graham cracker crust. The results must have been good that day. I normally bring home a small portion of leftover dessert. There were nothing to left.

White Chocolate Mousse Pie

1 pound white chocolate chips

4 egg yolks

4 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 cups heavy cream, separated

Graham cracker pie shell

Chocolate sprinkles

In a large glass bowl, place the chopped white chocolate and set aside. Add the egg yolks and sugar to a small bowl and whisk until pale in color. In a saucepan, over low heat, bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a simmer, and slowly add the cream into the yolk and sugar mixture to temper. Pour the creamy mixture back into pan and stir with a wooden spoon until it coats the back of it. Pour hot mix through a strainer over the bowl with the white chocolate. Stir until completely smooth. In another bowl, whip 2 cups of the cream to almost stiff peaks. Fold half the whipped cream into the white chocolate mix to lighten and then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spoon the white chocolate mousse into pie crust and refrigerate until set, approximately 1 hour. Top with chocolate sprinkles.

Any of these pies would make a great ending to any meal. Make one of these for Thanksgiving this year. I guarantee that you will be asked to bring another one for Christmas.

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