Perfect Thanksgiving Pies
Our 100% whole-grain pie shaves more than one-third of the sugar and calories off the classic, and it cuts saturated fat in half. Toasting the pecans intensifies their flavor and adds notes of caramel.
Salted Caramel Apple Pie
A quick homemade caramel sauce that’s folded into fresh apple slices and baked in a whole-grain crust takes this classic holiday pie to the next level. A hint of salt in the sauce intensifies the apple flavor and balances the sweetness. Apples contain a natural thickener called pectin; grating some of the fruit will ensure a gooey, cohesive mixture once baked. Crisp, sweet Fuji apples bake beautifully and will contrast the salty caramel. You can also use Cripps Pink or Honeycrisp apples.
If you can’t decide between pecan and pumpkin pie, this dessert will give you a taste of both in one slice. A quick brown sugar–pecan streusel tops the pie after it bakes; the topping will set into a crunchy layer as the pie cools. Be sure to use a standard 9-inch pie plate rather than a deep-dish one to ensure an evenly baked crust.
Miso Caramel-Apple Pie
You've no doubt heard of--and enjoyed--salted caramel. Miso caramel takes that concept one step further, offering te 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Roasted Pumpkin Pie
By roasting the pumpkin whole, you avoid cutting it open and scooping out the seeds and membrane. If you'd like, serve pie with a dollop of lightly sweetened 2% reduced-fat yogurt.
Pomegranate-Orange Tart with Pistachio Shortbread Crust
A handful of blueberries boosts the color of the filling and deliver irresistible sweetness.
Double-Crust Apple Pie
A double crust 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.
Maple Pumpkin Pie With a Message
To use up the leftover pumpkin, try adding some to a breakfast smoothie, or stir into pancake batter. Or combine with a splash of half-and-half, season with sage, and toss with pasta.
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.
Hasselback Apple Tart
We already love our Hasselback Apples but we thought, how can we take this individually sized dessert and turn it into something that is easy and portable for holiday dinners? By following our recipe, we just took it a step further by nuzzling each cinnamon-streusel apple onto a sheet of puff pastry. The final result? The Hasselback Apple Tart.
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.
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.
Sweet Potato Pie
Tart and tangy, sweet and spiced, this intensely flavored homemade apple pie is thickly layered into a sharp cheddar cheese-enhanced crust. It's a gluten-free remake of an American classic.
Double-Banana Cream Pie
Thick vanilla custard is layered with ripe bananas in a sweet arrowroot-cookie crust. You'll hear "mmm" with each bite.
Sweet Potato Pie with Spiced Cream Topping
Tangy cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk combine for a creamy contrast to the sweet potato layer. You can prepare this pie up to two days ahead and refrigerate.
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.
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.
Mississippi Mud Pie
It may not be the prettiest pie, but many folks speculate this cross between a chocolate-bottomed pie and a chocolate cake was named for its textural similarity to the rich, gooey mud found all along America's greatest river.
Silky Sweet Potato and Pecan Pie
Toasted pecans make a delicious garnish, adding crunch and adorning it like a necklace.
Double Nut-Chocolate Tart
This dark, almondy, and rich-tasting tart requires much less sugar and butter than the standard fare. It's almost a flourless chocolate cake, but a little bit of brown rice flour is added to give it some structure and help it develop a nice crust.
Rich Chocolate Pudding Pie
Melted chocolate binds cookie crumbs for the crust—and makes it extra delicious. Substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for the rum.
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.
Honey-Pecan Tart with Bittersweet Chocolate Drizzle
Traditional pecan pie gets a delicious flavor update, with honey's sweet-tangy touch countered by bittersweet chocolate. If you'd like a more casual pie, you can make this in a 9-inch pie plate; you'll probably need to bake the filling an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
Meringue-Topped Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe
Making perfect pastry depends mostly on how well you coat flour proteins with fat—more difficult in a low-fat recipe. You want to leave small clumps of fat in the dough (here, from vegetable shortening) so they'll melt during cooking and give off steam, creating luscious layers. Meanwhile, we melted the butter so it would coat more than it would in solid form.
Spiced Apple Two-Bite Tarts
The nutty pastry is absolutely delicious, like pecan shortbread. You can make the tart shells and filling the day before and assemble just before serving: Place the shells in an airtight container and chill the filling, bringing it to room temperature before placing it in the shells so it's not ice-cold. The crème fraîche dollop is more than just a pretty garnish; its rich, tangy flavor makes these sublime.
Rustic Apple Tart
Chocolate-Walnut Meringue Pie
This is a pie that's dressed up for the prom. Inside, it's an old-fashioned, dense, sweet chocolate pie, but it's encased in a refined walnut crust and topped with elegant toasted meringue.
Pear Tarte Tatin
This dessert may be just as beautiful as it is delicious. Pears, always a festive holiday fruit, are surrounded by crispy sheets of phyllo dough to create an absolute palate pleaser.
Oat-Crusted Pecan Pie With Fresh Cranberry Sauce
The pie and sauce can each be made up to two days ahead. Cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil for the last eight minutes of baking if it begins to brown too much.
Pecan Pie With Spiked Cream
Brown rice syrup is a sweetener with a soft, delicate flavor. It is sold in jars in the baking section of large supermarkets or health-food stores. You can substitute dark corn syrup in its place. You can make and freeze the unbaked crust up to a week ahead; bake the pie up to a day in advance, and refrigerate. Remove it from the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to serve it.
Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie
We love the combo of deep, rich chocolate and the tingly pinch of cinnamon and red pepper. We also enjoy the ease and forgiving nature of a graham cracker crust, which is less fussy than pastry. If you can't find espresso granules with the coffee, look in the Latin-foods section (that's where we sometimes find them).
Lighter Key Lime Pie
There's an addictive quality to Key lime pie's finely tuned balance of the sweet and the tart, the creamy and the crunchy, all crowned with fluffy cream. It seems so airy, but it's 500 calories of airy. Time for a makeover, indeed.
The name for this Pennsylvania Dutch treat likely came from the flies it attracts when it's pulled from the oven and left to cool on a breezy windowsill.
Bourbon-Pecan Tart with Chocolate Drizzle
Pecan pie is often purely sweet with no undertones, but the bourbon, molasses, and chocolate in this beautiful centerpiece dessert all add complexity of flavor. It's also somewhat thinner than a pie, meaning you get more buttery, flaky crust in each bite.
Maple-Bourbon Pecan Pie
Maple syrup and bourbon infuse the pie with distinctive sweetness. For a decadent treat, top warm pie with low-fat vanilla ice cream.
This juicy double-crusted beauty combines two favorite fall season flavors. We suggest using Grade B maple syrup in the pie filling because it is less refined and has stronger maple taste, though grade A will work just fine in this recipe.
Ginger Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Coconut
Ginger and coconut add warm, flavorful accents to this Thanksgiving classic. If you'd like a dollop of something creamy, top with fat-free whipped topping.
French Apple Tart
The free-form apple tart is mighty easy because it works from a store-bought crust—yet it's just spectacular, and so evocative of the season.
Quince Tart with Pine Nut Caramel Glaze
For that elegant dinner, consider a pine nut-studded quince tart—an exotic Old World sweet to give thanks for. Quince is a hard fall fruit with sweet-tangy flavor. You'll find quince paste in specialty stores and most supermarkets.
Coconut Cream Pie
With flavors better than the traditional version, the Cooking Light Test Kitchen shaved over 200 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat off this coconut cream pie while still maintaining its creamy, fluffy Italian meringue.
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.
Frangipane Pear Tarts
Sheets of crisp, paper-thin phyllo dough encase a filling of toasted ground almonds, with red-skinned pears as the crowning touch. We call for Anjou, but you can also use Bartlett, Bosc, or Concorde pears.
Caramel Apple Pie
An iconic holiday dessert served with a quick caramel sauce, this pie won’t be on your table for long. Who can resist the crunch topping that blankets the even more irresistible sweet and delicious apple filling?
This lightened version of classic chocolate cream pie features a smooth, rich chocolate filling and a creamy topping, but has only 8 grams of fat per serving.
Key Lime Pie
Billowy meringue crowns a sunny citrus filling in a pie with about one-fourth the fat of classic versions. Vastly lighter but with that crucial balance of lime and sweetness. Best enjoyed the day it’s made.
Pear-Cranberry Pie with Oatmeal Streusel
This pie's strength lies in the amalgamation of many different textures and flavors. Crisp pear and tart cranberries are held in an ooey-gooey brown-sugar filling, topped with a crunchy, nutty streusel. Using a premade crust means there's almost no work involved. Assembly takes maybe five minutes―throw it in the oven, and you're done.
Roasted Pear Creme Brulee Tart
"Since most people make an effort to save room for dessert, I came up with something special. This tart combines elements of every good dessert--flaky crust, crunchy caramelized sugar, creamy custard, and soft roasted fruit. You can make all the components ahead of time, but brûlée the pears just before serving." —SaBrina Bone, Test Kitchen Professional
Caramel-Apple Crumb Pie
This is a variation on the classic apple pie; it has a rich caramel syrup drizzled over the apples and is topped with a crunchy streusel.
Classic Pumpkin Pie
Refrigerated pie dough makes this classic pumpkin pie recipe simple to prepare. Bake the pie on a baking sheet in the lower third of the oven to encourage a crisp crust.