How to Thanksgiving: Pies


William Hsieh

While the apple pie may look dry, the apples are full of moisture, which complement nicely to the flaky pie crust. If you have any vegan friends, fear not! The apples by its own are delicious.

In the second installment of the series, we will be making pies. The fillings are easy to make, but pie crust is notoriously finicky. If you have never baked before, we suggest you seek the advice of a seasoned baker.

Apple Pie Filling

What you need:

3 Granny Smith apples

1 tablespoon lemon juice

⅛ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1 cup brown sugar


1. Peel and thinly slice the apples. 

2. Combine the apples with all the other ingredients.

NOTE: When baking the filling, the apples release a lot of moisture, which makes the crust soggy. To adjust, mix flour into the apple filling, or cook the filling on the stovetop for 5-10 minutes. 

4. Add mixture to pie crust and bake for 10-15 minutes at 400ºF. 

Pumpkin Pie Filling

What you need:

1 small pumpkin

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup evaporated milk

2 eggs

¾ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 

½ teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Slice your pumpkin in half, scrape out the seeds, place on a baking sheet and coat the outside with oil.

2. After baking for 20 minutes, let the pumpkin cool and peel the pumpkin. 

3. Take the baked pumpkin and blend with evaporated milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. 

4. Pour mixture into the prebaked pie crust and bake for around 50 minutes until the filling is set one inch from the center.

Pie Crust 

This recipe will make enough crust for two pies.

What you need:

2 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup cold unsalted butter

¼ cup ice water 

Pie weights (dried beans or rice)


1. Add flour, sugar and salt to a mixer and lightly combine. Add the butter (cut into cubes) slowly to the mixer and pulse until butter is almost incorporated. Avoid having the butter melt while combining; if the butter does not melt, it’ll create flaky layers in the oven. 

2. Add water slowly until the dough is barely holding together 

3. Turn the dough out onto a flat surface, and knead until the dough can be formed into two disks. 

4. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and put into a refrigerator for at least one hour. 

5. When ready to bake, roll the dough out and place on nine inch pie tins. Don’t forget to flour all surfaces.

6. Freeze crust for 30 minutes as oven preheats at 400ºF. 

7. Remove crust from freezer and line with parchment paper with pie weights on top.

8. Bake for 40 minutes.

9. Remove weights, add filling and continue baking until filling is cooked. 

Pies add a sweet conclusion to any Thanksgiving meal and can be baked throughout the season. Stay tuned for a turkey recipe, or check out our side dish recipes here.