Imagine you have mastered the perfect cherry pie for your annual work picnic but, upon taking it out of its airtight pie carrier, your heart sinks as you realize the crust has turned to mush thanks to the moisture from the filling. Sound familiar?
How often do you make a pie from scratch? If your answer is "only during the holidays," you're not alone. Unless you're an experienced baker, homemade pies can be pretty tough to tackle. And the most common problems are the crusts coming out of the oven soggy or scorched.
Making a good pie crust can seem intimidating to the uninitiated, but once you master this skill, a whole world opens up to you. Not only can you make all manner of fruit, custard, and cream-filled pies once you know all the tricks, you can branch out into the world of quiches, savory pies, and flaky, crispy turnovers, too. We've already told you how to get perfect, firm fruit pie fillings, so now, let's learn about crust.
Autumn is a time of year when everything looks, smells, and tastes good. The scents of cinnamon and spices are everywhere you go, and even the dead leaves that fall off the trees are pretty. In particular, the fruits and vegetables of the season are gorgeous.
Gravy is a relatively simple dish, yet it's remarkably easy to mess up. We've all experienced the disappointment of excitedly pouring gravy onto our mashed potatoes, only to realize it's too runny, too lumpy, or too bland. And because gravy is so simple, even if you don't mess it up, it's still challenging to make it memorable and delicious.
Pumpkin pie is a symbol of autumn, and it's the traditional dessert to whip up for your fam when Thanksgiving Day arrives. But year after year of the same old thing can be a total bore if you're not a strict traditionalist. So, we found 8 unique ways to make that pie a little less snooze-fest and a little more interesting.
Roasting turkey is a topic that inspires endless debate among cooks. How do you get the perfect mixture of juicy meat, crispy skin, and flavor? Everyone has a favorite technique, whether it's brining the bird or spatchcocking it. However, if you're ready to move onto Ph.D. levels of turkey cooking, you might just want to look beyond these methods and get genuinely wild.
There are those who prefer Thanksgiving leftovers to the actual official meal, much like people who prefer cold pizza over hot. I'm definitely in the latter camp. There's something luxurious about enjoying your perfectly cooked turkey and stuffing while wearing sweatpants and not having to make small talk with your weird uncle who drinks too much.
You've probably seen someone in your family truss the turkey on Thanksgiving before roasting it, even if you don't recognize the word. To truss a bird or roast just means to wrap it up as compactly as possible before placing it in the oven, and it's usually done by tying it with string. Trussing a bird is a tradition that's been around for a long time, and a lot of home cooks do it religiously even if they don't know why. It's a highly debated topic with fierce supporters on both sides, but f...
I love making everything from scratch, but some things are just easier to buy. So there are times when you have to find a creative way to split the difference. For me, the easiest dish to buy without compromising on flavor is cornbread mix.
Frozen fruit is always in season at your local grocery store, so you don't have to wait until the farmers market starts again to enjoy delicious baked fruit desserts. Peach pie, blueberry muffins, raspberry scones... all of these delicious baked goods can be just as delectable when using frozen fruit, too.
One of the golden rules to cooking a Thanksgiving turkey is to place it on a roasting rack before it goes into the oven. Missing this step and cooking it directly on the pan will burn the bottom of the bird, resulting in overcooked, dry meat.
Mashed potatoes are universally beloved, and for a good reason — they're cheap, tasty, and relatively easy to make. What's more, they're adaptable to just about every dietary regimen, whether you're vegan, gluten-free, or lactose-intolerant. And they're a staple for holidays such as Thanksgiving.
It's bad enough messing up in the kitchen when it's just for you or your family, but when you're cooking for a big event with a lot of guests, it can be mortifying. And on a holiday like Thanksgiving, that's all about the food, the last thing you want is to botch a key component of the meal.
Oven space is scarce on that fated fourth Thursday of November. Even if you can find a spare space for pumpkin pie on the bottom shelf, you risk turkey drippings overflowing from above and ruining your beautiful dessert — not to mention a burnt crust from different temperature requirements. The bottom line is: oven real estate is valuable, and it's tough to multitask cooking for Thanksgiving when every dish requires baking or roasting.
When I was 12, for some mysterious reason, my dad put my little brothers and me in charge of cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. Naturally, my brothers and I spent the rest of the day playing hide-in-seek in the backyard and forgot all about the humble bird defrosting in the sink.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, some people live for stuffing (or dressing, if that's what you call it). Personally, I love all stuffing, even the boxed kind. However, even the classics can start to feel a little staid and dull after a while.
Pie crusts are pretty intimidating if you're an at-home baker with little experience, since there's a lot of science behind making them. A perfectly flaky crust that's golden brown—not charred and black along the edges—requires careful attention, a foolproof recipe, and some decent baking skills.
Mashed potatoes are a reliably tasty side dish, but they can definitely get a little boring sometimes. So if you're looking for that extra 'oomph' that goes beyond the classic butter and salt seasoning, try infusing your next batch with the flavor of baked potato skins.
I've never been a huge fan of the traditional roasted turkey at Thanksgiving. Different parts of the bird finish cooking at different times, so by the time the legs are cooked through, the breast meat is totally dry. If you don't want to go the deep-frying route, how can you still end up with a moist and delicious turkey?