…and with the help of 91 Indians, the remaining Pilgrims survived the bitter winter and yielded a bountiful harvest in 1621. In celebration, a traditional English harvest festival, lasting three days brought the Pilgrims and natives to unite in a “thanksgiving” observance. This is the part of the meaning of Thanksgiving that we like the most. Nowadays mostly in North America, Thanksgiving is celebrated the fourth Thursday of November and many traditional dishes are served on this special day. We chose pecans as the common ingredients in these two recipes, which you can cook for Thanksgiving day dinner.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Pecan Crunch
Serves: Makes 8 servings.
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon, Ground, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Ginger, Ground, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut up, divided
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, orange juice, vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon each of the cinnamon and ginger, and salt in large bowl. Add sweet potatoes; toss to coat well. Spoon into 13×9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with cranberries. Dot with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix flour, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon each cinnamon and ginger in medium bowl. Cut in remaining 4 tablespoons butter with a fork until coarse crumbs form. Stir in pecans. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and stir gently. Sprinkle evenly with pecan topping.
- Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes longer or until sweet potatoes are tender and topping is lightly browned.
American pecan pies
Our favorite American dessert, perfected with a little kick of bourbon cream on the side.
For the pastry
- 300g plain flour
- 150g melted butter
- 50g caster sugar
For the filling
- 175g pecans halves
- 4 large eggs
- 85g golden syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 50g butter, melted
- 85g light muscovado sugar
For the iced bourbon cream
- 150ml whipping cream
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Work the flour, butter and sugar together with your hands until well mixed, then press onto the base and up the sides of six 10cm fluted tart tins. Put on a baking tray.
- Reserve 36 pecan halves and roughly chop the rest. Beat together the eggs, sugar, syrup,vanilla, bourbon, melted butter and chopped pecans, and spoon into the tart cases. Top each one with 6 pecan halves, then bake for 20-25 mins until golden and set. The filling will rise up as it bakes, but will settle back as it cools. You can make these 2 days ahead and freeze for up to 2 months.
- If you fancy a double shot of bourbon, serve the pies warm topped with this iced bourbon cream. Beat the whipping cream with the golden syrup and bourbon until softly stiff, then turn into a rigid container and freeze for up to 1 month. Serve straight from the container like ice-cream, or leave to soften for up to 15 mins for a softer, creamy version.