Welcome to Snacksgiving, where we bring you classic Thanksgiving dishes in the form of poppable, dippable, shareable bites.
By now, we’ve taken a half-dozen classic Thanksgiving dishes, held them up to our Snacksgiving lens, and found a way to make those favorites more bite-sized and portable and fun. But since pie is such a beloved staple of the holiday table, does shrinking it to snack form actually make it less fun? Are the rules of miniature candy bars at play here?
We don’t want to let that happen, so the challenge was finding a way to make a snack out of traditional Thanksgiving pies without sacrificing any of their indulgent, gooey charms. When it comes to desserts with perfect tidy little portions, inspiration leapt out plain as day: Snack Packs. Just about everyone enjoys a good pudding cup, and we wanted to bring the unanimous delights of pudding to our Snacksgiving twist on dessert.
But which pie is your family’s go-to? Not everyone embraces pumpkin; some people prefer pecan pie, or (as we learned in last week’s fantasy food draft) apple pie. So the only acceptable solution was to make pudding pie parfaits three ways, and let you pick your poison. In the true spirit of a Snack Pack, there are a lot of flavors to choose from. And unlike a Snack Pack (which is smooth as silk all the way through), we’ve added a bit of textural interest with the pie dough crumbles layered in each parfait. Enjoy dessert, puddin’.
Pie dough crumbles
- 1 cup flour
- 2 Tbsp. brown butter solids
- 5 Tbsp. ice-cold butter
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp. sugar
- 3 Tbsp. water
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
- 1 Tbsp. dark maple syrup
- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and diced
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 cup roasted apple butter
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cloves
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 1/4 cup pecans
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. dark corn syrup or maple syrup
Toss the flour, brown butter solids, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Use a cheese grater to shred the cold butter into the bowl, then gently toss using a fork to make sure all the butter shreds are covered with the flour mix, then stir in the water.
Put a piece of parchment onto a sheet pan, then dump the pie crumble onto it. Roughly spread into a circle, square, or any other shape—doesn’t matter. Only thing that’s important is that your mass of pie dough it about 1/8 thick. Put another piece of parchment on top, gently roll over the dough with the side of a can a few times, just to even things out a bit, then put in the refrigerator (with the parchment still on top) to firm up while the oven preheats. Next, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven has preheated, put another baking sheet on top of the parchment-covered pie dough (this will keep it from puffing up) and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the top pan and parchment and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or so until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
Whisk together the half and half, brown sugar, and all but 1/2 cup of milk into a medium saucepan. Leave the remaining milk in the measuring cup, add the cornstarch, and stir very well until you are positive there are no lumps. Put the saucepan over high heat and cook until the mixture begins to barely simmer, then whisk in the cornstarch milk. Cook while whisking continuously for about 5-7 minutes, until it magically seems to double in volume (this is the starch doing its thing). Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook for a minute or so until the pudding is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter, salt, and vanilla.
Put the canned pumpkin into a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring and spreading about continuously with silicone spatula, for 10 minutes. This will cause all the excess moisture to evaporate, concentrating the pumpkin into a rich butter.
Pour about 1/3 of the pudding out of the pot and into a liquid measuring cup (don’t worry about it being perfect). Add the condensed pumpkin to the pot, along with the maple syrup and spices, and stir well.
Fill the bottom of six glasses (any 6-oz. glasses will do) with pie dough crumble, then evenly divide the pumpkin pudding between them. Give the glasses a little tap on the counter to even them out a bit, and chill for 10 minutes. Divide the reserved vanilla pudding between the glasses, cover in plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour. Serve with whipped cream and more pie crust on top.
Toss the diced apple with 1/2 teaspoon of the brown sugar in a small bowl; microwave on high for 90 seconds, then drain off any extra liquid. Set aside.
Pour about 1/2 of the pudding out of the pot and into a liquid measuring cup (don’t worry about it being perfect). Add the apple butter to the pot, along with the maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; stir well. Gently stir in the diced apples. Taste for seasoning, adding more syrup and spices according to your personal preference.
Fill the bottom of six glasses (any 6-oz. glasses will do) with pie dough crumble, then evenly divide the apple pudding between them. Give the glasses a little tap on the counter to even them out a bit, and chill for 10 minutes. Divide the reserved vanilla pudding between the glasses, cover in plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour. Serve with whipped cream, pie crust, a slice of apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Chop the pecans finely. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, add the pecans and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the dark corn syrup or maple syrup (whichever you’re using) and salt; cook for about 30 seconds, pour into the pudding, and stir well.
Fill the bottom of six glasses (any 6-oz. glasses will do) with pie dough crumble, then evenly divide the pecan pudding between them. Give the glasses a little tap on the counter to even them out a bit, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour. Top with crumbled pie dough, whipped cream, and additional toasted pecans.