Monday, 21 November 2011

A Thanksgiving Pie Bar

It probably hasn't escaped your attention that I'm English...yet here I was celebrating Thanksgiving this past weekend (and in my patriotic tee and all).  Confused? Maybe not.  If you're an avid follower of my blog or know me well, you will know that pretty much every day I wake up thinking I should have been born in the good ol' U.S of A! so celebrating American holidays just goes along with my love of all things American! plus the fact my sister and I will both be spending Christmas day with our in laws so we wanted to have a Jones family get together this weekend and since we like celebrating with copious amounts of food - Thanksgiving seemed like the perfect occasion!

It was my sister who suggested the idea of a Thanksgiving feast but I was quick to suggest a Pie dessert bar...because we all know how much I love my sweet things! It was an idea that at first my sister was not too thrilled about because she has been trying to diet and she knew the pie bar would not help her waist line, so my other sister and I took it upon ourselves to go ahead and organise it anyway but keep things under the radar!! because after all what's Thanksgiving without pies!

Here is the table in all it's glory!

A shout out to my dad for making that awesome cake stand out of a log! and he also spray painted those buckets orange to tie in with the colour scheme! and not only that but on Saturday as we were shopping around he slipped me a sly £20 to help me get anything else I needed for the table.  I was delighted when I came across this ceramic cake stand with polka dot ribbon trim in TK Maxx, I have been after one like this for ages! and with my dad's money in my pocket I knew I could actually buy it! So imagine how funny it was when as I approached the till, my mom came and told me that whilst I was browsing around my dad had said he just hoped I wouldn't spend that money on something stupid like a cake stand! so I bought it anyway and rather slyly got it home in my mom's handbag so he was none the wiser! Thanks Dad!

Everyone contributed a pie for the table.  My mom made an amazing Key Lime is her favourite kind of pie and turns out it was the favourite of the whole day, it was so quick to be devoured! She was also responsible for the orange gerberas on the table (my fave flowers!).

My sister, Mel, contributed these cute little pumpkin pies.  I'll shock you now when I tell you it was my first time trying pumpkin pie! I've always been a little scared of it, but accompanied with some vanilla bean infused double cream on top it was delish and you certainly can't have Thanksgiving without some pumpkin pie!

My sister, Tamara, went with a banana and chocolate cream pie that she had seen in her Food Network magazine.  It was so decadent and rich and I loved the chocolate she swirled through the can tell she does this as her day job can't you!

To keep my dieting sister happy, well sort of, I tried to keep my contributions bite size! So I went with these super cute apple pie pops!

...and these mini s'mores pies because nothing says America to me more than a s'more!

S'mores Pies:
Makes 20

250g cinnamon Graham Cracker crumbs
68g caster sugar
113g unsalted butter, melted
150g dark chocolate (60%)
75g milk chocolate
240ml double cream
125g mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 180 degrees c. 
Grease 24 mini pie pans. 
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Stir until combined.
Press crumb mixture into bottoms and sides of tart pans. You’ll use just 1 1/2 tablespoons per pie.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then let cool until pans are cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile place chocolate pieces in large bowl.
Heat cream in microwave for 1 to 2 minutes or over low heat until just below boiling. Pour over chocolate pieces and let it sit for several minutes.
Stir cream/chocolate mixture until smooth. It will look pale and chunky at first, but keep stirring. It will smooth out and get very dark.
Spoon mixture into tart pans, using approximate 1 1/2 tablespoons per tart.
Before chocolate sets, top each tart with about 6 mini marshmallows.
Use a culinary torch set to low to very carefully brown the tops of the marshmallows. Be prepared to blow out any small flames as the marshmallows can ignite very easily. (I didn't have a blow torch and tried toasting them under the grill but it didn't really work so I went for the un-toasted option!)
Refrigerate tarts at least 4 hours or overnight and serve.

ALL the desserts went down so well, and I certainly think the dessert bar tradition in our family is here to stay judging by the popularity of this one! 

Here's wishing all my Stateside followers a super yummy Thanksgiving this Thursday! 


  1. Great pics Gems! I like how the sunflower appears to be blooming from my chest!!! I don't know who your dieting sister is?? Was she there!!?
    I defo liked the pie bar mucho mucho!
    P.S Didn't know dad slipped you £20 - where was mine??

  2. Fun idea!! :) yum now I feel like pie. I haven't tried pumpkin pie before either, may have to have a go at it one day!


  3. This has to be the cutest idea EVER! Love the adorable apple pie pops! Just so you know, you can come to California and bake pies for me anyday :)

  4. Thanksgiving pie bar! Almost as good as your dessert bars. Everything looks so delicious. Particularly like the apple pie pops! So cute. The secret is out now about how your spent your dad's money! I think it was a good buy and would probably have done the same.

  5. Love the apple pie pops, they look great!

  6. I absolutely LOVE the idea of a pie bar! And those apple pie pops are just darling! I'll be hosting a day-after-Christmas family gathering at my house this year. I was already planning on doing the s'mores tarts again, but you've inspired me to do a whole array of mini desserts! Thanks! And so glad you like the s'mores tart recipe!



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