We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. Mark’s brother and his dear family came down and spent several days with us. We ate a TON, played games, explored the city, and went to the beach. It was so very nice and relaxing. I’m so grateful that we are now closer to many of our family members since our move. It was nice to, once again, see my Thanksgiving table full of family. Since the first year of our marriage, I’ve made big dinners with any combination of people apt to show up, but the last 3 years -with apartment living and then a newborn for two consecutive holidays- made things very quiet and simple. Too simple for our tastes. We like our big Thanksgivings.
Our menu consisted of the usual fare, and then some new recipes. The first thing I did differently is that I hopped on the turkey brining bandwagon. It was a good decision! I’ll definitely keep doing that every year. I think Alton Brown (Food Network guru) started that craze a few years ago, so a lot of people use his brine recipe. I went a little more simple with mine and I wouldn’t change a thing. It was SO tender and juicy! This recipe is similar to the one I used except I added some sugar and used poultry seasoning instead of all of those different spices (poultry seasoning us just a mixture of all of those).
I made an incredible dressing recipe that combined regular stuffing and cornbread. It was completely perfect for those of us with Northern roots and our Southern born and bred children. It’s definitely a keeper for this house! Mama’s Cornbread Dressing. I also used her Brussels Sprouts with Bacon recipe for a side. Totally yummy… but it has bacon, so what could go wrong? I plan to make that throughout the year, too.
Let me start by saying - I hate white chocolate. It tastes like sweet wax or something and I think it’s gross. So I was trying this recipe only to be nice to my family who, for whatever reason, adores the stuff. But then… then… I took a spoonful of the filling just to make sure it didn’t taste completely wonky, and OH. MY. LANDS. I then took another spoonful just to make sure it wasn’t a dream… then another… Anyway, when the whole thing is assembled, it’s even better with the cranberries and pistachios.
I made a few modifications to the original recipe so that is what I’m posting here. The big one is that I made it a pie (easier) rather than a tart using a pre-made pie crust. I also changed the filling by whipping it, making it fluffy and more of a meringue consistency. It was a TOTAL hit, and I will be making it again for Christmas, for sure! The recipe:
White Chocolate Cranberry Pie
1 premade pie crust
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries (reserve a small handful for garnish)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
12 oz white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 tbsps. chopped pistachios
Place crust in pie plate and poke holes with a fork in the bottom to prevent bubbling. Bake according to package directions. Remove and cool. Place the cranberries, sugar and water into a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes. Lightly mash the mixture and then place into the fridge to cool completely. Put the white chocolate chips into the food processor or finely chop them with a knife. Combine chopped white chocolate with whipping cream into a bowl and microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Repeat for another minute until the chips are melted. Let it cool for a few minutes, and then whip it with an electric mixer until it is fluffy (about 5 minutes, give or take). Place the cranberry mixture into the pie crust and then pour the white chocolate mixture on top of that. Sprinkle the pistachios and the reserved cranberries on top (I sliced mine in half). Place back into the fridge for at least 2 hours. Enjoy!!