A gorgeous Thanksgiving pie — no rolling pin required

If you’ve been assigned Thanksgiving pie duty, fear not. Erin McDowell’s gorgeous fruit-topped Vanilla Mascarpone Cream Pie requires no rolling pin at all, and your guests will Instagram themselves silly over this beautiful thing.

If you’re a fan of Food52, you may recognize McDowell’s name. The 30-year-old food stylist and recipe developer is the most popular baking contributor to that website — where she’s known as the “Queen of Pie” — and her work has appeared in more than 60 cookbooks. As you might guess, pie figures prominently in her new cookbook, “The Fearless Baker” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30), but so do cakes, cookies and other sweet treats, from Salted Caramel-Swirled Meringues and Raspberry-Ripple Crunch Bars to pound cakes, buttercreams and DIY jimmies (yes, really).

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McDowell calls her Vanilla Mascarpone Cream Pie “the easiest pie in the book.” The crust is a riff on a graham cracker crust: Sugar cookie crumbs are simply tossed with melted butter and pressed into a pie pan — “I use a small dry measure to help press it into the corners and keep things even,” she says — then baked briefly. Do it the night before the big holiday or early the morning of, before the turkey starts monopolizing things. Add an easy mascarpone cream filling, then arrange fresh fruit on top. In the summer, McDowell uses berries and halved or quartered stone fruit. In the fall, try raspberries, pears and grapes or figs — or persimmons, raspberries and glossy red currants.

Vanilla Mascarpone Cream Pie


2 cups fine sugar cookie crumbs

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter


2 tablespoons cold water

1 teaspoon powdered gelatin

1¼ cups heavy cream

½ cup granulated sugar

2 cups mascarpone cheese

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups seasonal fruit, cut into large wedges or trimmed and left whole

2 tablespoons wildflower honeyRelated Articles

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Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

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