Thanksgiving presents the perfect opportunity to gather friends and family together to give thanks — and to eat.
Regardless of whether you’re opting for turkey, spaghetti, ramen, sushi, butter chicken, Galbi … (you get the idea) on the table during dinner, the perfect way to wrap up the holiday smorgasbord of your choosing, is with a delicious dessert.
We asked a few Vancouver chefs to share their favourite sweet treat that’s worthy of any Thanksgiving table. From baked fruit tarts to pumpkin sticky toffee pudding, here are the recipes they came up with.
Pumpkin Gâteau Basque
“Gâteau Basque originated in the Basque region of France. It is made with a tender cookie crust, and is traditionally filled with vanilla pastry cream. This version is filled with pumpkin pastry cream, perfect for Thanksgiving. It is both like a pie and a cake.” — Betty Hung, Beaucoup Bakery
10 tbsp (150 mL) unsalted butter, room temperature
Half vanilla bean, seeds scraped or 1 tsp (15 mL) vanilla extract
½ cup + 1 tbsp (140 mL) granulated sugar
¾ cup + 2 tbsp (210 mL) almond flour
1 egg yolk + 1 large egg
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
½ tsp (2.5 mL) salt
Pumpkin pastry cream:
2 tbsp (30 mL) brown sugar, divided
½ cup (125 mL) pumpkin purée (canned)
¾ cup (180 mL) whipping cream
2 egg yolks
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) cornstarch
½ tsp (2.5 mL) ground ginger
½ tsp (2.5 mL) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp (.5 mL) ground clove
1/8 tsp (.5 mL) ground allspice
1 tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
Whipped cream, if desired
In the bowl of a mixer, place butter, vanilla seeds or extract, sugar, and almond flour. Mix with the paddle attachment on medium speed just until incorporated. Refrain from incorporating too much air. Add the egg yolk and egg, mix until incorporated on medium speed, about 20 seconds. Add the flour and salt, mix on low speed for 20-30 seconds, just until there is no more dryness. Turn the dough onto a clean work surface and pat into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least two hours or preferably overnight.
For the pastry cream, combine a tablespoon of sugar with the pumpkin purée and whipping cream in a medium saucepan and heat it over medium heat until simmering, for about 2-3 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the remaining brown sugar, salt, cornstarch, and spices until the mixture is coherent. When the pumpkin begins to simmer, take it off the heat and slowly pour the cream in the yolks while whisking. Once the cream is all incorporated, return the mixture back to the saucepan and heat it over medium heat. Continue whisking the cream until it thickens and boils, about 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the butter to incorporate. Strain the cream into a clean container. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Let it chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
When you are ready to assemble, preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C. Line of the bottom of a 8 inch / 20 cm round cake pan with a removable bottom or spring form pan with a piece of parchment paper.
Take out the chilled dough to room temperature so it is soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Dust your work surface with flour, and roll out the dough to a 9 x 17 inch / 23 x 43 cm rectangle. Make sure you flour the dough and work surface as needed, and keep turn the dough 90 degrees after each roll. Trace and cut out two 8 inch / 20 cm circles. Carefully place one circle on the bottom of the cake pan. Transfer the other onto a piece of parchment paper and place it in the fridge until you are finish filling the cake. Gather the dough scraps and roll it into a 24 inch / 61 cm rope. Roll it into a coil and transfer it onto the lined cake pan. Gently press the dough rope onto the sides and bottom edge of the pan. Cut out the excess dough, you can roll this out and cut into leaf shapes for garnish if you wish.
If your pastry cream is too stiff, mix it in a bowl with wooden spoon to soften. Spread the pastry cream onto the prepared cake pan, level, and smooth the top. Take out the other dough circle from the fridge, and place it on top of the filled cake. Gently push the edges to seal in the cream. Decorate with the leaf cut-outs if desired.
Brush the top of the cake with egg wash, and score a crosshatch pattern on it with a fork. Decorate with the leaf cut-outs if desired. Bake it in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, rotating halfway, until it is golden all over the top. Cool it completely before taking out of the pan. It is best served at room temperature and will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Serves 6 to 8.
Pecan Bourbon Pie
“Bourbon Pecan Pie is one of my favourite Thanksgiving desserts because it’s about satisfaction and pure indulgence. An alternative to the classic Pumpkin Pie during Thanksgiving, our Bourbon Pecan Pie is rich, decadent and the perfect end to a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.” — Chef Wayne Sych of Joe Fortes
1 cup (250 g) Pecans, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp (192 g) brown sugar
2/3 cup (170 g) corn syrup
1 tsp (5 g) vanilla extract
1/4 cup (56 g) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup (90 g) bourbon
1 1/2 tbsp (7 g) salt
3/4 cup (192 mL) chocolate chips
Heat oven between 325-350 degrees.
Bak pecans until toasted and then course chop. Not too small or the filling with taste grainy.
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, melted butter, bourbon and salt till blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and half the amount of toasted pecans.
Remaining pecans press lighting into the base of the pie shell then pour in liquid mixture. Bake on the lower shelf of the over for 30 minutes or until the centre is set.
Remove from oven and cool to room temperature then put into the fridge. Let pie cool for at least an hour before serving
Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe
“It has the flavours of pumpkin and warm spices. The dessert is great for cool fall evenings and brings together many classic fall flavours.” — Chef Adam Meade of The Teahouse
¾ cup (.5 mL) butter
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
½ tsp (2.5 mL) nutmeg
½ tsp (2.5 mL) ground ginger
¼ tsp (1 mL) all spice
¼ cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
¾ cup (180 mL) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) brown sugar
½ vanilla bean (scrapped) or substitute 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup (250 mL) pumpkin purée
2 cups and 2 tbs (530 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
½ tsp (2.5 mL) baking soda
½ tsp (2.5 mL) salt
½ cup (125 mL) butter
½ cup (125 mL) 36% heavy cream
1 cup (250 mL) brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan or use parchment paper.
Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until melted (1-2 minutes), Continue to cook stirring until the butter is light brown (2-4 minutes), add in cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & allspice and continue to stir for 15 seconds. Pour butter into a bowl and set aside to cool.
Once the butter has cooled whisk in the vegetable oil, sugars, vanilla, eggs and pumpkin purée. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined, pour into a baking pan and smooth out the top.
Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until only a few small crumbs appear when a toothpick is inserted in the cake. Set the cake aside and let the cake to cool completely.
In a small saucepan, combine the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar. Bring mixture to a boil whisking constantly. Boil gently for eight minutes over medium — low heat or until the mixture thickens.
Pour 1/3 cup of the toffee sauce onto the cake and spread around evenly. Place the cake under the broiler until the topping is bubbly, about 1 minute. Slices can be served with extra toffee sauce, whipped cream or ice cream.
Apple Crumble with Vanilla Gelato
“A traditional dessert that uses apples which are harvested in the fall. This dessert is also perfect for the home cook as it uses tools and ingredients which can be found in almost any kitchen.” — Chef Joseph Thomas of Seasons in The Park
5 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into two-centimetre dice
½ cup (125 mL) Demerara sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
½ tsp (2.5 mL) ground cinnamon
½ cup (125 mL) water
20 g cornstarch
Combine apples, cinnamon and sugar in a sauce pan and cook on low heat until sugar starts to dissolve and apples become tender.
Mix cornstarch with cold water to make a slurry.
Increase the heat to mid/high and add cornstarch slurry until apple mixture starts to tighten up. Remove from heat and let cool.
1 cup (250 mL) rolled oats
½ cup (125 mL) Demerara Sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
225 g unsalted butter
¼ cup (60 mL) golden raisins
1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup
1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl until combined.
Place equal amounts of apple mixture into 6 dishes. Evenly spoon the crumble mixture over the apple.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown. Top with vanilla gelato. Serve and enjoy.
Passion gianduja eclair
“I love this dessert because it has so many layers of texture. You have the crunchiness from the choux, the pralin and the hazelnut. You have the whip ganache which has a great texture thanks to the chocolate. It’s not like bitting into whip cream. And who doesn’t like hazelnut-y milk chocolate? And the passion fruit is really there to just make everything lively so you can keep going back for another bite. It’s a little bit of work, but it’s not hard to make, and it’s worth it!” — Chef Remi Ho of Origo Club
250 g milk
3 g salt
4 g sugar
100 g butter
150 g all purpose flour
4 large eggs
75 g room temp butter
50 g sugar
50 g brown sugar
100 g all purpose flour
Passion fruit dark chocolate caramel:
60 g sugar
20 g butter
80 g cream
100 g passion fruit pure
90 g 70% dark chocolate
1 g salt
100 g hazelnut
100 g sugar
Gianduja whip ganache:
10 g glucose
75 g gianduja
75 g cream
250 g cream
50 g cream cheese
Toasted half hazelnuts
Make the choux crunch by placing all the ingredients in a mixer fitted with a paddle and mix on medium low speed until it forms one uniform dough.
Spread the dough to a thickness of 2-3mm between two sheet of baking paper and freeze.
Make the whip ganache by boiling the smaller measurement of cream with glucose. Pour it over the chocolate and cream cheese and blend it to homogenize. Finally add the rest of the cold cream and blend it again. Store in the fridge for at least 5 hours.
For the passion fruit caramel, boil the cream and the passion fruit pure. On a sauce pan, make a dry caramel with the sugar and out of the heat, deglaze with the butter. Slowly add the cream mixture mixing as you pour. Be careful with the splashes. Bring it back to boil for 30 second and add the salt. Finish by Pouring onto the chocolate in three times and ensure a nice emulsification.
For the hazelnut pralin, toast hazelnut in the oven and thrown in another handful for the decoration. Make a dry caramel until a light brown colour and mix in the toasted nuts. Be sure to keep a handful of hazelnut for later use.
Once the caramel has cooled, blend it in a robot coupe until the size that you like.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Make the choux pastry by boiling the milk with the sugar, salt, and butter. Off the heat, mix in the flour and place it back low heat. Continue mixing for a couple minute then transfer the dough into a mixer fitted with a paddle and mix on medium for a minute. Add in the eggs while mixing and make sure to scrape the sides after each incorporation. Finish by piping the choux pastry with a star tip or round tip onto a sheet tray with parchment paper. Cut the frozen choux crunch to the size of the log of choux pastry and just lightly place it on top of the choux pastry. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. Let cool.
Whip the gianduja ganache till a medium stiffness then place it in a pipping bag fitted with any tip you like. Cut the eclair but just the top 1/3 of it. Stuff the top into the hollow centre of the eclair. Pipe some of the passion caramel in the centre and sprinkle the pralin over it. Pipe a nice amount of whip ganache over the eclair. Finish by decorating with some toasty halves hazelnut and edible flowers.
“My mother used to make it every Sunday for the family growing up so it reminds me of my childhood in Dijon, France, my mother and my family. It’s definitely a comfort dessert for me.” — Chef Emmanuel Joinville of Jules Bistro
¾ cup (180 mL) sugar
1/8 cup (30 mL) water
1 vanilla bean, scraped
2 cups (1/2 litre) milk
Beat eggs with ¼ cup of sugar and vanilla. Bring to a boil 1/2 litre of milk and pour onto the egg mixture.
Divide in ramekins and cook in Bain-Marie for an hour at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Refrigerate overnight Serve on plate upside down.
Pear Almond Tart
“Pear and almond tart is a dessert that is popular all year round. However, by incorporating various spiced garnishes it brings the Thanksgiving flavour into the dish, making it the perfecting ending to any thanksgiving meal. Thinking about this makes me salivate.” — Pastry Chef Nikki Tam of Minami Restaurant
1½ cup (375 mL) butter, softened
1½ cup (375 mL) sugar
1¾ cup (560 mL) ground almond
Cream butter and sugar until pale yellow. Add ground almonds and mix until incorporated. Then add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated. Set aside.
Pear Vanilla Glaze:
¾ cup (180 mL) pear purée
⅓ cup (80 mL) water
½ pod vanilla
½ tsp (2.5 mL) pectin
Scrape the beans out of the vanilla pod. Combine all in a pot and boil for 1 minute. Reheat glaze and brush onto the baked tart before serving.
3 cup (750 mL) cream
½ cup (125 mL) sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
½ tsp (2.5 mL) nutmeg
¼ tsp (1 mL) cardamom
Whip cream and sugar till medium peak, add in spices to your liking and mix well.
Par bake 3-inch store-bought frozen tart shells. Fill tart shells ¾ full with almond filling.
Slice pears to your liking, place pears into almond filling. Bake at 180C for 20 mins or until the top is golden.
Brush top of tart with warm pear vanilla glaze to give it a shine. Serve with spiced cream for a touch of holiday warmness.
Makes 20 tarts
The Great Pumpkin
2 oz. (58 g) Casamigos Reposado Tequila
.75 oz. (21 g) fresh lemon juice
.75 oz. (21 g) agave nectar
.5 oz. (14 g) crème
.5 oz. (14 g) egg white
2 bar spoons organic canned pumpkin
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 pinch cinnamon
Combine all ingredients into a tin shaker and dry shake (no ice) for 4-6 seconds. Add ice then shake vigorously. Strain into coupe glass and garnish with dehydrated persimmon, thyme bundle and star anise.
Source : https://vancouversun.com/life/food/recipes/thanksgiving-recipes-vancouver-chefs-dish-on-their-favourite-desserts