It has traditionally been a source of irritation to me that once our Canadian Thanksgiving is finished in October, all the American blogs start talking about their Thanksgiving plans, which makes me very jealous. Since I have a dining room table now, I decided to have an American Thanksgiving Potluck a.k.a. Friendsgiving Feast! (Yes, a table, but only 8 plates…next year I will have more people, but it will be BYOP.)
Because I don’t know how to roast a turkey (yet), and my Mom had a huge ham in her freezer she said I could have, this is what I prepared as our main course. Baked ham is super easy to prepare, because it’s fully cooked, so you basically just shove it in the oven with some cloves stuck in it, then pour a glaze over the top in the last 30 minutes of baking. My glaze was honey, grainy dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and more cloves. I also made this Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette as the vegetarian entree, so Alexis didn’t just have to eat sides (she’s vegetarian). I also made Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits, because they’re just so good. Here’s what my friends brought:
- Cornbread Stuffing (made with homemade gluten-free cornbread)
- Sauteed Swiss Chard with Garlic
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Cinnamon
- Cranberry Relish (and a Cranberry Log just for fun!)
Everything was SO GOOD! It was so fun to celebrate with friends, and it was a nice way to kick off the holiday season. I’m so used to my family’s traditional dishes for the holidays, so it was so nice to try new things. I just loved EVERYTHING!
As for dessert, Danielle and I have been drooling over this pie for ages (Dani – next year I think you should plan a visit for American Thanksgiving weekend!). This is what’s going on from the bottom up:
1. Graham Cracker Crust
2. Homemade Caramel Sauce
3. Sauteed Cinnamon Apples
6. Whipped Cream
7. See #2.
Is there really anything else to say?
Source: Ezra Pound Cake
Yield: one 9″ pie, about 8 generous slices, more if you cut it smaller. You can use a regular or deep dish pie plate.
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping or Ridiculously Easy Butterscotch Sauce
5 apples (I used Honeycrisp), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
8 oz (1 pkg) cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
+ more butterscotch sauce for decorating
- Preheat oven to 375.
- For crust, mix graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar and cinnamon until the crumbs are moistened. Press into the bottom and up the sides of your pie plate. Bake for 6-8 minutes until golden, and cool completely. Pour caramel into pie crust, and stick in the fridge while you’re making the apples.
- For apples, get a large skillet or saucepan going over medium heat. Melt butter, then add sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add apples, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, until apples are softened. Cool for 10 minutes, then pour into graham cracker crust.
- Reduce oven to 350.
- For cheesecake, mix everything until fully blended and smooth. Pour over apples, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Put in the fridge for 4 hours, or overnight.
- An hour or so before serving, whip the cream until soft peaks form, then add sugar and whip to the consistency you like. Spread over the pie, and decorate with butterscotch sauce.
Notes: The original recipe calls for pecans layered into the pie crust with the caramel, and also sprinkled on the top, but I left them out.