Thanksgiving is the one American holiday I insist on my family celebrating together here in Ireland. When I first moved to Ireland in the early 1990’s it was almost impossible to get a hold of pumpkin pie filling, Karo syrup for pecan pie. I relied on stocking up on ingredients when visiting my family back home and one year out of desperation talked my sister into posting two cans of pumpkin purée that probably cost $1.50 each for about 20 dollars. Luckily baking for Thanksgiving is no longer such a challenge. I don’t use canned pumpkin purée anymore with the availabilty of fresh pumpkins this time of year. I steam our Halloween pumpkins, puree and freeze them so I can enjoy pumpkin through out the year. Pumpkin purée is easily found in Tesco and even occasionally Aldi sells it. Fallon and Byrne usually stocks Karo syrup and much to my surprise I found out they are selling cartons of Egg Nog! Mind you it’s €8.00 a carton but it’s a special occasion.
I don’t mess with the classics ! Deserts are always pumpkin pie and pecan pie either a big one or loads of little mini ones. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of my holiday baking so mince pies always make their holiday première in my house. Chocolate brownies and rocky road are usually made for the kids. This year I’ve made an alternative gluten free pastry for some of the the pies. I was skeptical that it would taste as nice but I found a really good recipe that is light and easy to work with. I did a a taste test with my gluten loving husband and he couldn’t tell it was gluten free.