Thanksgiving Baking

Are you celebrating Thanksgiving? London’s home of American baking takes a look at some of the traditional Thanksgiving treats and shares tips on preparing the perfect pie crust.

The leaves are turning all kinds of golden colours and there has been an abundance of wholesome seasonal foods and goodies around.

With our friends in America preparing for Thanksgiving, we can’t help but daydream about all the delicious treats traditionally shared over the holiday table.

There is turkey, of course, but what’s for dessert? Sweet pies with golden pastry crusts deep-filled with luxurious fillings to devour by the slice are a classic Thanksgiving indulgence.

Pumpkin, apple and pecan and just a few of the favourite American bakes. We bake these American-recipe desserts to order all year round, so we thought we’d put together a few tips for a pie that's to die for!

Top tips:

Have a rest – One tip to help you get the perfect pie crust is allow your pastry time to rest in the fridge once the tin has been lined. Up to about half an hour will do the trick.

Lightly does it - Handle your pastry lightly and be careful not to overwork or you will end up with a much tougher pie crust.

Chill it – Keep your ingredients in a cool place and your butter well refrigerated until you come to make your pastry dough. Rinsing your hands in cold water before working with pastry will also keep hands cool.

Roll it thin – To achieve a crisp and golden crust requires thinly rolled pastry. Thick pastry is much more likely to go stodgy and also a thin crust will let the flavoursome filling do the talking.

Flour power – Go easy on the flour when rolling out as you can actually dry out your pastry with too much extra flour. Only a light dusting is needed to prevent the dough from sticking.

Freeze it – Pastry can be made in advance and frozen, ready to be thawed and rolled out on the day you need it. This is a great excuse to make a big batch of pastry in one go and divide it into balls.

Beautifully blind baked - When making a pastry pie crust, it needs to be ‘blind baked’ first. This gives you a golden pastry case ready for filling. When blind baking, line the case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice to weigh it down. In doing so, you help to prevent the base from puffing up and the sides of the pie from collapsing.

Getting a golden colour – A lightly beaten egg, a splash of milk or a mixture of the two make a great wash for your pastry. Use a pastry brush to lightly dab a small amount around the tops of the crust before it goes into the oven for a final bake and you will have a gloriously golden colour to the edges of your pie.

Fancy a slice of authentic American-style baking from The Hummingbird Bakery?

You can pre-order a selection of delicious deep-filled pies in-store and online all year round - just visit our website here.

We have special edition Thanksgiving Cupcakes in store too!

Light vanilla cupcakes hand decorated with a smooth swirl of frosting topped with holiday-themed decorations. Available at all five London branches until 22nd November.