Last night I celebrated my first American Thanksgiving… in America. Although I celebrated the holiday with American friends during my four years away at school in Scotland, last night was my first-ever, proper American Thanksgiving, taking place in the U.S. itself. I loved being able to experience my boyfriend’s longstanding family rituals, such as pancakes and board games in the morning, and the singing of Albuquerque Turkey during dinnertime.
Since the tasks were delegated among family members, cooking and prep-work weren’t exhausting. We were in charge of all vegetable items—mashed potatoes, roast vegetables, brussel sprouts—while others brought the turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and wine. For dessert, we had three pies: I made this bourbon pecan pie, and cousins Joe and Lynne brought a blackberry and apple pie, as well as a yam and ginger pie. Cousin Joe made the yam and ginger pie for Lewis and I, because my better half has ginger hair and my last name is yam. The pie was meant to be a celebration of what cousin Joe likes to call “our enduring love,” and was a very sweet sentiment.
My favourite part of the evening was when we went around the table saying what we were thankful for. We were thankful for many things, but I think, mostly, everyone around the table was thankful for one another. Grandma Sally was thankful for my boyfriend’s sister, Rosie’s, recovery from surgery. Joe thanked his wife Lynne with a sonnet about mammalian and reptilian pettings habits (it is as sweet and funny as you think it is). Lewis was thankful for his family and me. I was thankful for food on my plate, and the people who grew the food. I was also thankful for Lewis and all the wonderful people he has brought into my life, who I now think of as a second family, if not family itself.
Last night I was reminded of the love and joy that surrounds me, and I was filled with so much gratitude. I am thankful for so much in my life, and as I got ready for bed last night, I felt inspired to start a blog where I would write specifically on mindfulness, gratitude, and happiness. I remembered, however, that I already had a blog, and it was called gratitude and greens. This was the light-bulb moment I was waiting for, the solution to the problem I recently wrote about: my neglect of the ‘gratitude’ aspect of the blog. With that said, my Friday posts will now be Friday, I Am Thankful.
But first, pie. And not just any pie, but the best ever bourbon pecan pie. This was one of the first recipes I posted on my blog, and I am sharing an updated (read: edited and better) version of the last one I posted, the first of many old recipes to be improved upon. This pie is inspired by my friend Jessica’s mom, who first introduced me to this pie two years ago.
The Best Pecan Pie, Ever: Bourbon Pecan Pie
For a 10-inch pan. I used a cast-iron skillet, which is quite deep. You might have extra filling if you are using a shallow pan.
- 4 eggs
- Use flax eggs if vegan. 1 flax egg = 1 tablespoon of flax + 3 tablespoons of warm water. Whisk the flax with the warm water and refrigerate for five minutes.
- 3 cups pecan halves
- 1 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup bourbon or good whiskey
- 2 tablespoon rye flour
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened almond milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- pie crust
- I used the recipe for coconut oil pie crust from Oh, Ladycakes. It is one of the best pie crusts I’ve ever made and is worth every bit of effort!
- Preheat your oven to 200ºC/390ºF.
- Melt the coconut oil on the stovetop over low heat.
- While the coconut oil melts, beat the eggs with the coconut sugar, bourbon, almond milk, and vanilla extract.
- Allow the coconut oil to cool (but not solidify) before pouring it into the pie filling to prevent cooking the eggs. This will take just 5-10 minutes.
- Pour the coconut oil in, and mix. Add the flour and sea salt.
- Add the pecans and give the pie filling a good stir.
- Spread your pie crust over the cast iron skillet or pie dish you are using.
- Pour the filling into the crust.
- Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. The pecans should be crisp and caramelized, and the centre should be set.
- Let the pie cool before eating.
I’d love to know: what are you most grateful for? Did you celebrate American Thanksgiving? What’s your favourite pie? Let me know in the comments below!
Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,