Holiday Pie Recipes Worth Making from Scratch
The holiday season is quickly approaching, which means baking season is in full swing!
If you’re the person on dessert duty, chances are you’re either digging up old family recipes or you’re looking for something brand new that’ll knock your socks off! If it’s the latter, we’ve got you covered: it’s called pie, but not just any old pies. We’ve put together 20 of our favorite holiday pie recipes that are worth making from scratch.
Basic Pie Dough
Because all good pies start with a high-quality crust.
- 1 cup flour, pastry or all-purpose
- 6 tablespoons cold butter (or other shortening, such as lard or coconut oil).
- 3 tablespoons water, ice cold
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Cut butter into the flour until it is reduced to pea size pieces mixed evenly into the flour. This is most easily done by pulsing the two ingredients in a food processor. However, you can also use a pastry blender or two butter knives (basic scissor cut method).
- Dump the crumbly mixture into a mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
- Dissolve salt in the ice cold water and pour into the well. Combine by hand until the mixture has come together to form a dough. (Don’t worry if the dough is a bit ugly and still has a few loose crumbles. That means you’re doing it right!)
- Form the dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Put it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (up to a day) to chill before using. You can also freeze the dough for future use.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface.
- Since the dough will be cold from being chilled, it will likely crack a bit while being rolled out. That’s fine, just push it back together and continue to roll it into a circle that’s two inches greater in diameter than your pie pan.
- When transferring your dough to a pie or tart pan, either roll the dough loosely onto your rolling pin and then unroll it over your pan, or gently fold your circle of dough into quarters (in half, then half again to form a triangular shape, set it in your pan and then unfold it.
- When forming your dough into pie or tart pans, do not pull or stretch the dough to fit into corners or crevices. The dough will shrink during the baking process, leaving you with a large gap between your pan and the baked crust. Instead, push the dough from the edges down into the corners of the pan.
- Trim any overhanging crust to 1/2″, fold excess crust under itself and pinch with fingertips to create a fluted edge.
Pumpkin pie is one of those desserts that you can count on to make an appearance at every holiday gathering. Sure, you could snag one store-bought, but there’s just something special about making it yourself.
- 1 3/4 cups (or 1 15-oz can) pumpkin puree
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/3 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 9-inch homemade pie crust or prepared pie crust
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400⁰F.
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except pie crust and optional whipped cream and beat until smooth.
- Pour into pie shell and bake at 400⁰F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350⁰F and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack for 2-3 hours before slicing. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if using.
Eggnog Custard Pie
Sure, you can sip on an eggnog latte or enjoy a post-dinner drink, but what about making an eggnog pie? The creamy custard texture of this pie balances well with the subtly spicy flavor of eggnog to create a satisfying holiday treat.
- 1 pie crust
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup whiskey, bourbon or brandy
- 2 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1-2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Beat the eggs with the sugar until combined. Try not to beat too much air into the mixture. Add salt and vanilla and blend.
- Combine alcohol, milk, cream and nutmeg to make a quick eggnog. Stir eggnog mixture into egg/sugar mixture and set aside.
- Roll out pie dough and form it into a 9” pie pan.
- Pour mixture into prepared pie crust. Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 325°F and bake until the custard is set, about 20-30 minutes.
- Let cool completely at room temperature. Then either serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.
- Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and some freshly grated nutmeg, if desired.
Cranberry Tart with Pecan Crust
Cranberries aren’t just reserved for the sauce at Thanksgiving! Here, cranberries are transformed into a rich mousse and paired with a crispy pecan crust.
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup toasted pecans
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
- 1 large egg yolk
- Ice water
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 8 ounces chevre cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
- In the food processor bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, salt and pecans. Process until the pecans are ground. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the butter is in tiny pieces. In a cup, stir the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of ice water, and pour over the contents of the processor. Pulse just until a dough forms, squeeze the mixture to see if it holds together. Add a tablespoon of water if needed to make a pliable dough. Press into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, or a spring-form cheesecake pan. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Line the tart crust with foil and fill with beans or pie weights. Bake for about 20 minutes, remove the foil and weights, then bake for 10 more minutes, until lightly golden; let cool completely.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream to stiff peaks, then scrape it out into a medium bowl and reserve. In the same bowl, place the chevre, sugar and vanilla and beat until soft and fluffy. Fold in a dollop of the whipped cream, then fold in the rest, being careful not to deflate the cream. Scrape the mixture into the cooled tart shell and smooth the top. Place in the refrigerator to set, for an hour.
- Stir the cranberry sauce to distribute berries evenly, then spoon over the cooled tart. Keep in the refrigerator until serving.
Sweet Potato Pie
If one of your favorite dishes at Thanksgiving is sweet potato casserole, this is definitely the dessert for you.
A creamy sweet potato filling is paired with a flaky classic pie crust before being finished with a crunchy praline topping.
This is also a pie that’s fairly easy to toss together, especially if you opt to use a pre-made crust.
Classic Apple Pie
Along with pumpkin pie, another dessert you can always expect to find after a holiday dinner is a good old fashioned apple pie.
This is definitely a recipe that’s classic by all accounts, from the butter pie crust to the tender, saucy apples.
This recipe calls for just a few simple pie spices to let the apples do all the talking.
Molten Chocolate Crackle Pie
Crackly on the outside and rich and gooey on the inside, this molten chocolate pie is perfect for those that are more about the chocolate than the fruit desserts at the holidays.
The addition of hazelnut liquor and instant coffee gives this chocolate pie a rich, deep flavor.
Serve it with homemade hazelnut whip cream and vanilla sugar — the instructions for each are at the bottom of the recipe!
Salted Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Pie
Think of this dessert as something between a pumpkin and pecan pie.
Full of contrasting textures and flavors this pie can be made up to 2 days in advance, making it the perfect option for pre-holiday prep.
The decorative pumpkin pie-crust cut-outs are totally optional but add an adorable festive touch.
Silky Vegan Chocolate Pie
In this vegan-friendly recipe, a silky chocolate filling is paired with a simple crust to create a pie that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Top it all off with chopped pecans and some homemade nice cream!
And with how sweet and delectable this pie is, you’d never expect that acorn squash is one of the main ingredients!
Apple Cider Cream Pie
Apple cider cream pie might not be a traditional holiday recipe, but it’s definitely one of those desserts that will end up being a favorite.
With a fluffy filling that tastes just like apple pie, this light and airy dessert is easy to toss together the day of.
Top your cream pie off with thin slices of baked apple.
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Think pumpkin pie flavor, but with a fluffy, silky twist.
In this recipe, pumpkin puree, fall spices, heavy cream, and egg white, are whipped into stiff peaks before being spooned into a crunchy graham cracker crust.
Top it all off with a big dollop of homemade whip cream and a generous sprinkle of reserved graham cracker crumbs.
Honeycrisp Apple Pandowdy
If you’re asking yourself what the heck a pandowdy is, you’re in for a treat.
It’s essentially a pie baked in a skillet with cut up piece of dough covering up the fruit filling.
What you end up with is light, doughy crust, perfectly tender apples, and a caramel-style sauce. And it’s quick and easy to make, too!
Caramel-Earl Grey Custard Pie in Gingersnap Crumb Crust
This is one of those pies that when you taste it, you know someone made it out of love.
Featuring a earl grey tea-infused custard filling and a seasonally-approproiate gingersnap crust, this pie isn’t a quick and easy option, but it is worth the time!
Not a fan of Earl Grey tea? Simply sub it out for something else — might we suggest chai?
Even More Holiday Pie Recipes
- Classic Apple Crisp from King Arthur Flour
- Maple-Ginger Apple Pie from EatingWell
- Toasted Marshmallow Butterscotch Pie from Bon Appetit
- Vegan Pecan Pie from Bob’s Red Mill
- Cranberry-Fudge Pie from King Arthur Baking
- Margaret’s Maple Sugar Pie from Bon Appetit
- Deep-Dish Winter Fruit Pie With Walnut Crumb from Epicurious