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Tasting Pies From Each City Hosting An NFL Game This Thanksgiving

Pie shops from Detroit, Arlington and Dallas—hosts of this year's Thanksgiving Day NFL games—sent us some treats for a pie-tasting contest. We dutifully tried each and picked a winner, but we've provided you with the recipes to all three, because every holiday could use extra pie.
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For millions, Thanksgiving Day is defined by two treats: NFL football and delicious pie. To honor these great fall customs we asked one pie shop from each of the three cities hosting NFL games this Thanksgiving to provide us a sample for a pie-tasting contest. From the Detroit area, Achatz Handmade Pie Co. sent its pumpkin praline; Livin' the Pie Life in Arlington, Va., offered its Southern pumpkin praline; and Emporium Pies in Dallas submitted its Drunken Nut (a bourbon pecan). The winner: Heather Sheire's Southern Pumpkin Praline Pie from Livin' the Pie Life. Her confection is well-balanced with a sweet, crunchy topping and a smooth filling. But in the spirit of the holiday, we're in a giving mood, so here are the recipes to all three: 

Southern Pumpkin Praline Pie

Our winner! Recipe courtesy of Livin’ the Pie Life in Arlington, Virginia



  • One unbaked pie shell (store-bought or use recipe provided)


  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


  • 1 small can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup heavy cream or whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons quality amber or dark rum
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • a small pinch of cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Make the praline topping. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until mixture is the consistency of coarse sand. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, ¾ cup brown sugar and 3 large eggs until smooth. Next, whisk in the cream, vanilla, rum, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.
  4. Pour the pumpkin filling into the unbaked pie shell.
  5. Sprinkle praline topping over the pumpkin filling.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. Then, turn the oven down to 375 degrees F and continue to bake for 35-45 more minutes. The pie is done when the center is puffy and the praline is browned.

American Pie Crust

Recipe courtesy of Livin’ the Pie Life in Arlington, Virginia

If you want to make your own crust, this recipe is easy and delicious.


  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-cubes
  • 4 Tablespoons shortening (like Crisco), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4-5 Tablespoons ice water, approximately


  1. Place flour and salt in a food processor and process for two seconds to incorporate. Add butter and shortening. Process in 1-second intervals until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. Add 2 Tablespoons of ice cold water and pulse 3 times.  Add additional water, one Tablespoons at a time and continue to pulse until the dough looks like wet sand and holds together when you pinch it between your fingers. Turn the dough onto a floured counter and form together into a ball. Wrap the ball tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 2 days.
  2. Roll, place in pan, crimp the edge and use.

Drunken Nut

Bourbon pecan pie that is made with a base of a melted butter & sugar in place of the traditional corn syrup.

Recipe courtesy of Emporium Pies, Dallas



¼ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 ¼ cup light brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 Tbsp all purpose flour

⅛ tsp salt

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

2 Tbsp bourbon

1 ½ cups pecans halves, roughly chopped

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)  


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Turn off heat and set aside.

3. Mix Sugars, Flour and Salt into butter and sitr all ingredients over low heat until mixture begins to bubble and loosen.

4. Remove pan from heat. Transfer mixture into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

5. Once sugar mixture is cool, mix in eggs, yolks and whiskey.

6. Pour filling into a chilled pie shell and sprinkle with chocolate chips (if desired).  Cover pie evenly with pecans.

7. Allow pie to chill for 15 minutes

8. Bake at 425 for 8 minutes

9. Reduce temperature to 325 and bake for 1 hr or until pie is domed and only moves slightly when shaken

Pate Sucree:

Sweet, crumbly pie crust that is reminiscent of a shortbread cookie


⅔ cup powdered sugar

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and

 cut into pieces

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 ¾ cups all purpose flour

½ tsp Salt


1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until well combined, then beat in the egg and egg yolk, one at a time until fully incorporated into the mixture.

2. Mix in the flour and salt until the mixture comes together as a ball of dough.

3. Turn the pastry out onto a floured work surface and form into a circular disk.

4. Wrap the pastry in plastic and chill for at least an hour before rolling out.   

Pumpkin Praline Pie Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Achatz Handmade Pie Co., Chesterfield, Mich.



Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Pie dough: Makes top crust for one 9 or 10 inch pie. (You may have extra)


2 ½ cup pastry flour, unbleached

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

Then Add:

1 cup trans-fat free shortening

Or you can use ½ cup butter and a ½ cup trans-fat free shortening

Cut room temperature shortening into flour with fingers until crumbly, yet not too blended.


½ cup chilled water.

Do not over mix at this point. Dough will be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap or wax paper and allow chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Cheesecake Filling:

1-8 oz. package cream cheese

½ cup sugar

1-teaspoon vanilla

1 whole egg

Beat all ingredients until well blended.

Pecan Praline Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients

Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1 16 - ounce can pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 5 - ounce can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup milk

In a bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Add eggs and beat lightly. Gradually beat in evaporated milk and milk.

Remove chilled dough from refrigerator place in bottom of 9 or 10 inch pie tin.

Spread cheesecake mixture into pie shell, then add pumpkin filling.  Sprinkle Pumpkin Praline on top.

Bake for 15 minutes at 375, then lower temp to 350 for one hour.