Vegetarian Christmas Pies
Chai Carrot Pie
Staple spice-rack spices create all the depth of classic chai tea in this luscious, carrot-packed, whole-grain dessert. It's a cross between a play on pumpkin pie and carrot cake: The texture and flavor are reminiscent of the former, and the layers—cream cheese mixture on the bottom, spiced carrot filling on top—are inspired by the latter. To get a big head start, you can make and freeze the crust up to a week ahead. A combination of butter and shortening in the crust is ideal—butter for its rich flavor, and shortening to create a flaky texture. We recommend Earth Balance shortening (found with the other shortenings in large supermarkets or health-focused stores) because, unlike most other shortenings, it contains no trans fats.
Shake up your Thanksgiving buffet with this incredible offering. Taking inspiration from the best part of classic pecan pie (the sweet goo!), this nutty treat serves several tasty upgrades while still cutting sugar by more than a third. Toasted hazelnuts offer supreme crunch and a sweetness unsurpassed by any other nut, while instant coffee and coffee liqueur deepen the flavor with delightful bitter nuances. And that dollop of chocolate-hazelnut spread? That's simply a touch of sweet genius, as is the sprinkling of flaky salt on top. Make the pie up to a day ahead and refrigerate; be sure to let it sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving to wake up all the flavors.
Shaker-ish Lemon Pie
Traditional Shaker lemon pie uses the whole lemon, pith and all. This version uses only the rind and the meaty-juicy lemon part, leaving the pith for those hearty Shakers. Macerating the rinds in sugar for 24 hours tenderizes them and reduces bitterness. There's rich caramel flavor in the golden cane syrup; light-colored corn syrup will work fine, too, but the flavor won't be quite as rich.
Miso Caramel-Apple Pie
You've no doubt heard of—and enjoyed—salted caramel. Miso caramel takes that concept one step further, offering the irresistible salty-sweet flavor combo along with a richness that's unparalleled. You may just love this caramel so much that you want to make a big batch for yourself or to give as holiday gifts; we won't blame you. And even though this pie is rather decadent, it still comes in with 12g less sugar than a popular online version of caramel apple pie. Ever been disappointed by an apple pie where the fruit was still just a little crunchy, not tender as you'd hoped for? This recipe makes sure you end up with buttery-soft fruit by first covering the raw apple slices with boiling water to soften them before they even go in the crust.
Gingery Cranberry-Pear Pie with Oatmeal Streusel
Combine the best of fall and winter flavors in this must-try pie recipe. The oatmeal streusel topping shines as a crunchy companion to the tart-sweet filling.
Maple-Walnut Cranberry Pie
While the buttery, maple-scented filling is inspired by classic pecan pie, we swap in toasted walnuts and add chopped fresh cranberries for a beautiful pop of color and tart flavor contrast that cuts the sweetness.
Sweet Potato Pie
Mocha Pie with Coffee Whipped Cream
This pie comes together quickly and won't hog oven space as it chills and sets in the fridge (a great make-ahead option). You can use decaf instant coffee granules instead of regular, or leave them out entirely for a silky-smooth chocolate pie with vanilla topping.
Lattice-Topped Cranberry-Raspberry Pie
Add a splash of festive color to your dessert sideboard with this tangy fruity pie. For pretty rickrack-shaped lattice, cut the dough with a fluted pastry wheel.
A playful and delicious twist on traditional chess pie, this treat gets a triple shot of rich sesame flavor—white sesame seeds in the crust, tahini in the filling, and black sesame seeds on top (feel free to use white sesame seeds there if you can’t find black). These nutty touches allow Darcy to use less sugar than traditional chess pie recipes, which often call for 2 cups. If you’d like to play up the “chess” pie angle, do as Darcy does, and arrange the black sesame seeds in a checkerboard pattern on top of the pie. A touch of vodka in the pie crust is a great baker’s trick; it makes it the crust more flaky and tender, and it evaporates out as the crust bakes so you have no residual alcohol flavor. We like the depth that sherry vinegar adds to the filling, but you can also use apple cider vinegar for similar results.
Chocolate Cream Pie
Double-Crust Apple Pie
The simple act of sharing something sweet that's been made with care brings such tremendous joy. Good desserts conjure good times and cheerful celebrations—and it's not only the taste but the shared memories that are integral to our appreciation. So go ahead and show off.
A double crust on this pie seals in the apples' natural juices as the pie bakes for full-on apple flavor. Tossing the apples with apple juice keeps them from browning as you peel and slice them, and it adds a boost of apple flavor.
Though a beloved pie classic, rhubarb has a strong tartness that sometimes needs moderating. Sweet raspberries do that job perfectly here, while a splash of crème de cassis adds even deeper berry flavor. A slice of this pie absolutely screams for a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Lavender Rice Pudding Tarts
In a stroke of pure genius, Darcy transforms the homey, comforting dessert of rice pudding into pie. And why not? Rice pudding is a starchy, creamy delight, so it makes a perfect pie filling—especially when it’s going into a pine nut–flavored crust. Some traditional rice pudding recipes use lots of sweetened condensed milk, but this one uses just 1/3 cup sugar for a not-too-sweet treat. Dried lavender, used judiciously, adds just the right amount of floral essence to lend an air of elegance, while blueberry jam spooned on at the end brightens with a tangy, fruity lift (raspberry jam would be delicious as well). If you don’t have rectangular tart pans, you can make 2 larger tarts in 14- x 41⁄2-inch pans.
Can't Be Beet Tart with Goat Cheese
This is the dessert you cook when you want to make a big impression. Everything about it, from the ginger kick in the crust to the sweet earthiness of the beets in the filling to the rich goat cheese in the topping, comes together in beautiful harmony. Be sure to use an 11-inch tart pan to accommodate the filling; a 10-inch pie plate will work in a pinch. Look for buttermilk powder on the baking or with the powdered milk.
Pomegranate-Orange Tart with Pistachio Shortbread Crust
A handful of blueberries boosts the color of the filling and deliver irresistible sweetness.
Port-Glazed Pear Tart with Rosemary-Cornmeal Crust
The shortbread-like crust stands up well to a luscious ricotta filling that's topped with pretty port-stained pears. Larger pear wedges (as shown) are stunning; you can also cut the pears into thin slices and arrange spokelike on top. Prepare the crust and pears up to 1 day ahead and refrigerate. Assemble just before serving.
Silky Sweet Potato and Pecan Pie
Toasted pecans make a delicious garnish, adding crunch and adorning it like a necklace.
White Chocolate-Raspberry Pie
Oatmeal Pecan Pie
Rolled oats add heartiness to the filling of this classic dessert. Make the pie up to a day ahead, but store it in the refrigerator if you do.
Walnut-Crusted Apple Pie
One of our first apple pies after launching this magazine had an interesting walnut crust, filled with healthy fats and nutty flavor. We remade this class pie and developed a version that has a few more calories than in 1987, but still has only half those in a typical bakery pie.
Hazelnut, Pear, and Blue Cheese Tart
Here's a beautiful, sophisticated, not-too-sweet dessert that captures the flavors of a great cheese course. If you don't have a rectangular tart pan, you can easily make this in a 9-inch round tart pan. For the boldest blue cheese flavor, go for Maytag or Roquefort; for a subtler effect, try Gorgonzola Dolce.
Chai Cream Pie
Cinnamon, ginger, and black tea combine for an enticing and unexpected blend of spices and flavors in our Chai Cream Pie. Serve with after-dinner coffee for a new dessert that is sure to become an instant favorite.
Meyer Lemon Curd Tart
The Meyer adds a gorgeous tang to a tasty twist on classic citrus curd.