Try these Thanksgiving themed dessert recipes for a meal that’ll impress.


I’ve never been a turkey person, so for me, Thanksgiving has always been about one thing and one thing only: pie. As a self-proclaimed pie connoisseur, I know the healing power of pie. Your whole family could be at each others’ throats all holiday, but as soon as dessert comes out, a reverent hush falls over the table in glorious admiration of the delicacy in front of them. It’s an event. It’s an experience. So in honor of that, here’s three pie recipes that might just give your family something to talk about other than your grades, politics or dating life.

The beginning to every good pie, as all pie connoisseurs know, is a good crust. You could start with a premade one, but I would be remiss if I didn’t at least provide a recipe. Crusts are actually much simpler than they’re made out to be and an added bonus of making your own crust is getting to impress people who don’t know how little you actually had to work on it.


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

(or your choice of gluten-free


½ cup of butter or

margarine, cold

2-5 tablespoons cold water

Pour flour into a bowl and add butter, cut into 1-inch cubes. Using a pastry blender or  fork, mash together the butter and flour until the dough has a sandy texture, leaving some chunks of butter. Add the water bit by bit, mixing between tablespoons and stopping when there is no more dough sticking to the sides of the bowl. Wrap dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Then, onto the fillings:


A popular Italian gelato flavor, spumoni is like a rich man’s neapolitan: chocolate, cherry and pistachio, layered together in opulent glory. The three best flavors in existence, all in one go? Sign me up.

Oven to 325 degrees

1 pie crust

1 12 oz. tub of whipped

topping (like Cool Whip)

Approx. 1 jar of hot fudge

1 10 oz. jar maraschino

cherries in juice

1 package pistachio pudding


Grease 9-inch pie pan with butter and flour. Roll out crust and put in pan, crimping edges. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let crust cool completely, then cover the bottom with a layer of hot fudge, making sure to leave a bit for garnish. Set aside six cherries, again for garnish, then cut all the remaining cherries in half, layering on top of the fudge. Mix about one cup of the whipped topping with two tablespoons cherry juice. Layer on top of the cherries. Combine the remaining whipped topping with pistachio pudding mix, stirring until smooth. Top the cherry mixture with the pistachio, drizzle with hot fudge and top with remaining cherries. Refrigerate when not serving. 


The only thing I might love more than pie is tea. Black tea, green tea, herbal tea; let’s just say the electric kettle in my dorm gets its fair use. This Thanksgiving, I will combine my two loves. The rhyming name is just an added bonus.

Oven to 350 degrees

2 pie crusts

3 apples

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ tsp. Nutmeg

About 2 tablespoons


⅓-2/3 cup chai tea, brewed


Grease a 9-inch pie pan. Roll out crust and put into pan, crimping edges. Slice the apples into a bowl, then add sugar, lemon juice and nutmeg. Mix. Add cornstarch (based on how liquidy your mixture is, you may add more or less) and mix again. Pour apples into crust and add tea, filling the crust about halfway. Roll out another crust and slice into strips. Lay strips across top of pie in a lattice pattern, then bake 30-35 minutes. Let cool before serving.


I’ll be honest, I do not have much experience with gluten-free or vegan baking. However, I do know that making desserts with substitutes can go poorly, so I really wanted to try my hand at making an “everything-free” pumpkin pie that actually tastes good. The results? In layman’s terms, “Pretty bomb.”

Oven to 350 degrees

1 Gluten-free pie crust

1 can pumpkin puree

2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie


⅓ cup cornstarch

½ cup sugar

¾ cup vanilla almond milk

Grease a pie pan with margarine and almond flour. Roll out gluten-free crust and place into pan, crimping edges. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into crust and bake for 30-40 minutes. Let cool before serving.

So there you go: now you, too, are a pie connoisseur. Brandish your title with pride! I’ve just bestowed upon you knowledge that may save you from a few more awkward conversations next week — one more thing to be thankful for.

Karenna Blomberg is a staff writer.

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