Cooking on the Quad: Thanksgiving Pies ‘n’ Sides

Welcome to another installment of Cooking on the Quad! In this episode, Thanksgiving Pies ‘n’ Sides, Annie shows you how to make a pumpkin pie from scratch, while Joel makes asparagus in the microwave and roasted sweet potatoes.

Pumpkin Pie


This recipe makes enough for a double crust pie, but I save the excess for either making decorations or for making mini pot pies the next day.

14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar, cold
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1.Cut the butter into small cubes and return to the freezer for about 20 minutes.
2. Measure out the flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and whisk them together in a bowl.
3. Add about 2/3 of the butter and pinch it into flour with your fingers, 2 knives or a pastry cutter. Then add the rest of the butter and repeat. Continue until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
4. Add the cider vinegar and 5 Tbs of ice cold water and work into the dough. Add more water one Tbs at a time until you are able to ball up the dough.
5. Divide the dough into two balls, flatten them slightly into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
6. Flour your work surface, or using two sheets of wax paper/parchment paper, roll the dough out from the center with a rolling pin.
7. Place the dough on top of the baking dish and press into the pan.
8. Trim the crust so it hangs over the edge about a 1/2 inch.
9. Turn the edge under, and then crimp the crust with your fingers.

Place the prepared shell in the refrigerator while you prep the filling.

Annie's Crimped Crust--Still frame from video


1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 1/4 c half and half

Mix the sugars and spices in a bowl with the pumpkin. Then add the eggs and salt and beat into the mixture. Gradually add the half and half.

Pour the filling into the prepared shell.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees for another 40-50 minutes. To test the pie, insert a knife into the center and if it comes out clean it is ready! Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Recipe adapted from “The Pie and Pastry Bible,” with modified/simplified steps.


Trim the ends off a pound of asparagus, place them in a microwave safe dish with 1/4 cup of water, 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Microwave for 3-4 minutes.

Sweet Potatoes:

Cut your sweet potato into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Place each round in a square of aluminum foil. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Wrap up the foil tightly so no oil drips out. Place the parcels in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for at least 45 minutes. They will probably be ready within an hour, but you can leave them in for up to 90 minutes without fear of burning. To serve, unwrap the foil and enjoy.

Music: Jahzzar

Camera: Gabe Stein, Chuck Giroux

Editor: Joel Kahn

Pie Recipe: “The Pie and Pastry Bible”

Joel Kahn

Joel is currently a film major at BU. He hails from South Florida, and started at The Quad writing about food. He is now the publisher of The Quad.