Ever since moving to Los Angeles for school, I have always baked my grandma’s pecan pie for various Thanksgiving feasts. This year, I offered to bake all of the pies for the small (in guests, not dishes) Thanksgiving dinner at the West of Campus apartment. I settled on a menu of three classics: pecan pie, apple galette, and, of course, pumpkin pie.
I’m sure there are those who might wonder: why bake three pies when there are only three guests celebrating Thanksgiving together? While we will certainly be overwhelmed with leftover pie, it was practically impossible to decide which pie of the three to forfeit this year—so all three it was.
In order to accomplish baking all three the same night, I set to work a week early collecting ingredients; the day before, I was ready to get baking.
8am: While my pot of coffee brewed—an essential task on baking day—I remembered to take the rolled pie crusts (from Trader Joe’s) from the freezer to the fridge so they could thaw and be ready to go when I got home from work.
Noon: I texted the roommate’s sister to ask her to take the pie crusts from the freezer, since of course I forgot to do so myself.
6pm: Home from work, I sliced my apples for my apple and walnut galette (recipe from The New York Times). While the prepared—but not yet baked—galette sat in the freezer per the recipe, I prepared and baked my grandma’s pecan pie. I cooked the pies in order of increasing temperature: pecan pie at 325°F, apple galette at 350°F, and pumpkin pie at 425°F (which then would be cooled to 350°F after the first fifteen minutes of baking).
8pm: While the pecan pie cooled and the galette baked, I had time to pour a glass (or two) of wine, clean up the mess I made baking, and quickly prepare the pecan pie filling so that I could swap that final pie into the oven while the galette cooled.
While the pumpkin pie baked, I drank a glass of wine and settled down for a movie! Throughout the process, I used the time the pies were in the oven to clean the kitchen and the bathroom so that the apartment would be ready for Thanksgiving Day! The three pies came together easier than expected, and (while the final taste test is still pending) I would be able to spend Thanksgiving helping prepare dinner, enjoying company, and making merry!