My parents (mainly my mom), love to ask questions. Not your average, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” or “who are you texting all the time?”, more like “what country is your future husband/wife going to be from?” and “what type of food will you serve at your wedding?”. Kind of weird, I know. When my brother, Nathaniel, was around 8 years old my mom asked what type of food he wanted at his wedding…he responded pretty much instantly without needing to think and said “thanksgiving”.
My families love for thanksgiving comes from both sides of the family, but I think it’s fair to say the deepest love of the holiday came from my mothers side, from her dad. Papa, as we called him, was about as obsessed with thanksgiving as you can get without it getting a little weird. It was his big day. He would buy the absolute largest turkey(s) possible, listen to great music, teach me and my brother how to make his famous stuffing, have a lemonade or two (beefeaters gin with a twist), watch the packers game, and dance with my Grandmother. If you asked him how he was feeling on thanksgiving, and any other day of the year, his answer would be almost always “just a little bit better than perfect”.
Almost as good as the actually day of thanksgiving, is the day after thanksgiving. Because, leftovers. My grandmother, her name is Diane but we call her Nonni, started making something we now call thanksgiving pie. It’s pretty much the best thing ever (besides thanksgiving), and my grandfather requested it every single year the day after his favorite holiday. It’s basically what would happen if you made a thanksgiving themed shepherds pie (does that make sense?). The bottom layer is your leftover turkey, stuffing and gravy lightly mixed together and put into the bottom of a pie dish. The middle layer is cranberry sauce. The top layer is your leftover mashed potatoes, with your green vegetables mixed through (I go with peas or diced green beans. You top the whole thing with pastry and pop it in the oven and VIOLA! You have my Grandmother’s Thanksgiving Pie. You can thank me now, later, or in the comments below…
Makes 1 9 inch pie
- 2 cups stuffing
- 2 cups turkey meat
- 1 cup gravy
- 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
- 2-3 cups mashed potatoes
- 1/2 cup vegetables, peas, carrots or diced green beans work best
- 1 sheet pastry, you can use shortcrust or puff
- 1 egg
- Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
- Begin by lightly greasing your pie dish.
- Mix together your stuffing, turkey and gravy. Pour into your prepared pie dish and gently press down until an even layer forms.
- Add a thin layer of cranberry over the stuffing mixture, smooth.
- Mix together the mashed potatoes and vegetables. Spoon over your cranberry layer and smooth using a spatula. This layer should come up to the rim of the pie dish.\
- Finally cover with your pastry, trim and pinch the edges.
- Scramble your egg with 2 tbsp of water. Brush the top of your pastry with the egg wash.
- Bake 40-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown. If the edges of the crust are browning too quickly, simply cover with a sheet of foil.
- Let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve with gravy and cranberry sauce.
*This recipe can also be frozen once assembled and served at a later time. Just be sure to leave the egg wash until right before baking.