To be honest, I've never been a turkey person for Thanksgiving, but pies are something I can always get behind and I love spending the night before Thanksgiving baking with my mom in the kitchen. Every year I make a chocolate cream pie using this recipe and it's always a hit with family and friends. The downside is it uses a lot of dishes (I prefer 1-bowel recipes and this one uses at least 3-4) but I've never found a chocolate cream pie recipe that comes close to this one. I skip the whipped cream on top and just do chocolate shavings so people can add their own whipped cream later.
Also I found key limes at the grocery store the other day, which I always freak out about because I LOVE key lime-flavored things and they are so hard to find, so naturally key lime pie was added to the pie menu! I figured it would be a non-traditional twist to contrast with the sweeter desserts. I used this recipe which is great because the filling only has three ingredients. It's on the tarter side which I am a fan of but you could always decrease the lime juice.
And lastly we had cherry! I always used to be scared of cherry pie because pie cherries are only in season for two weeks in the summer and I figured it would be impossible to make good cherry pie with canned fruit but I was wrong. I've found this brand of canned cherries in a couple stores and they make for a great-tasting pie! I just used the recipe on the site. Just be sure to drain the fruit well so the pie isn't too runny.
And lastly these pie banners were a new addition this year and they were super easy to make! I was inspired by these from Food52 (looooove everything on this site!) but they were not budget-friendly and so I decided to attempt to recreate them! I just bought felt, fabric glue, cream-colored ribbon, and 1/4-inch wooden dowels at Michaels Crafts. I cut out little banner shapes in one color (I made one that I felt was the right size and then used it as a template to make the rest). I free-handed the letters because I was too lazy to try and trace them or look for pre-made ones. Plus, even though the letters aren't perfect I think that's almost better because it makes it look more homey! Attach the letters with fabric glue to the felt (I found I had to use quite a bit because felt absorbs the glue) and then glue the banners to the ribbon, making sure the width stays shorter than a pie plate (about 9"). I used hot glue to attach the banners to the dowels, and garden shears to cut the dowels a bit shorter. Overall, these were pretty simple and inexpensive to make! I'm now thinking of all the desserts I can potentially "banner."