I know that, as a Brit, Thanksgiving really isn’t my party, and I know it isn’t free of contentious connotations, but I can’t help feeling that any chance we get to give thanks is a good thing. And showing gratitude through food is an especially good thing. I so love that Thanksgiving really is about the food itself - the idea of getting together, around a table, to celebrate a feast, and be grateful for it, and the company who share it - and that’s always going to make me happy and make me eager to join in.
Thanksgiving relies on the acceptance of traditions - both general and within families - and I do, most certainly, have all the main and necessary features of your Thanksgiving feast covered - and please click on this link to see recipes for dips before, desserts after, and of course the turkey and trimmings and so forth. But where I want to concentrate here is the Sweet Celebration.
For me, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a pie, and in particular my Pecan-Plus Pie, Honey Pie, or Salted Chocolate Tart - all of which earn repeat requests from my friends and family. And they are easily make-ahead and obligingly portable, so perfect for taking to someone’s house on the day itself: just leave them in the tin, cover with foil, and take a plate and cranked spatula with you so that you can unmold with ease in situ. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, then you could make the freezer your friend, and whip up either my gratifyingly-honest Girdlebuster Pie, or any one of my no-churn ice creams, but it would be remiss of me not to draw your particular attention to the seasonally-appropriate Brandied Pumpkin Ice Cream. (And do remember that my Pumpkin Bundt Cake pleasingly uses up the remaining canned pumpkin leftover from making the ice cream).
And I know it’s not exactly traditional, but when I celebrate with friends from the States, I also proffer - keeping the flavours in the North-American register - either my Pumpkin Cheesecake or my Gleaming Maple Cheesecake - both of which are baked cheesecakes. And I can’t help but mention, here, too, my Chestnut Cheesecake; chestnut may not belong to the traditional Thanksgiving table, but it is so essentially seasonally celebratory.
If it’s a cake proper you’re after, well, you could do worse than make my Autumnal Birthday Cake - its maple-pecan flavourings lend themselves well to the Thanksgiving feast. My Ginger and Walnut Carrot Cake also goes down a storm - I know it’s not a trad American carrot cake, but it really holds its own. I’ve already mentioned the Pumpkin Bundt, but it would be unfair of me not to give a mention, too, of my Cider and 5-Spice Bundt, which I always serve with Salted Caramel Sauce. And for anyone who needs a gluten-free option, I’d suggest my Almond and Orange Blossom Cake, new to the website this Fall. And, also gluten free, my Clementine Cake and Chocolate Meringue Truffle Cake are always a success, and actually would go very well together if you’re looking for a pair of desserts for your table.
Those wanting a warm option should consider my Holiday Hotcake and the egg nog cream that goes alongside. I’d be delighted with a Sticky Toffee Pudding, too - and do consider serving it with Salted Caramel Ice Cream. It’s truly a combination to give thanks for.
A very Happy Thanksgiving to all those of you celebrating it. And I’m very grateful to be given a seat at the table, too.