Sally brought three pies: mincemeat (not Crosse and Blackwell mincemeat, but the real thing from de Laurenti's at the Pike Place Market); four-nut pie (from a Greg Atkins recipe in the Seattle Times Sunday Magazine); and Japanese squash pie. I made traditional pumpkin pie with 2/3 the sugar and used a new pie crust recipe that turned out to be just fabulous. It includes rice vinegar, which imparts a lovely, flakey lift to the crust.
Here's the crust recipe from Puyallup Fair prize-winning baker Carol Lagasca, as published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
No-Fail Pie Crust
(makes four single crusts for 9-inch pies)
1 TBSP rice vinegar
4 TBSP cold water
3 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup Crisco
1/4 cup butter
I made one pie, a couple mini pies for another household's Thanksgiving, and used one crust to make little flower-shaped piecrust "cookies" to decorate all the other pies. Since pumpkin pies have no top crust to decorate, I baked the flowers on a cookie sheet (20 minutes) and dropped them on the pumpkin pies when those came out of the oven. Next year I hope to have a set of leaf-shaped cookie cutters to make fancier decorations.
After Thanksgiving I took the extra raw cranberries and dipped them in sweet Dolci Frutta dipping chocolate (usually used to make chocolate strawberries). The contrast of sour cranberry and ultra-sweet chocolate is a real kick. (If you make this, be sure to use fresh, crunchy cranberries.)
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