5 Mouthwatering Holiday Pies Anyone Can Bake

Pumpkin pie may be a holiday favorite, but these seasonal tart and pie recipes are worthy alternatives.

November 8, 2010

Pumpkin pie's great, but once you go pecan, you may never go back.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Many Thanksgiving tables feature a spicy, creamy pumpkin pie, but this year, why not try something new? We've got some tasty suggestions from the Rodale Recipe Finder: easy pie recipes that make a great addition to any holiday table. Besides being delicious, these deserts are full of healthy ingredients. You're sure to find a pie or tart that's best for your Thanksgiving feast. (For you die-hard pumpkin pie fans, check out our expert tips for making your own fresh pumpkin puree, and here's a classic pumpkin pie recipe. Pumpkin’s carotenoids help prevent cancer and heart disease, and its beta-carotene can help protect your peepers and keep mucous membranes resistant to infection.)


#1: Sweet Potato Pie with Oat-Pecan Streusel. To keep that harvest-orange color on your table, try this delicious pumpkin pie alternative, made with a graham cracker crust and an oat-nut topping. The health benefits of sweet potatoes include vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, copper, potassium, iron, fiber, and vitamin B6. B6 can help lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that can promote the blockage of blood vessels at unhealthy levels.

#2: Spirited Pecan Tart. A pretty and equally taste alternative to the typical pecan pie, this tart has a flaky crust that supports a rich filling and loads of pecans. Almost 90 percent of the fat in pecans is unsaturated, so these nuts are a good choice for helping to reduce your levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol and raising your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Increase the odds that your family's chocolate lovers will reach for a slice by baking up this chocolate version.

#3: Spiced Apple Crumb Pie. This apple pie recipe calls for Granny Smiths, but you can substitute your favorite (preferably organic) apple variety. The phytonutrients in apples may help fight against liver and colon cancers, while quercetin, a flavonoid, may reduce your lung- and prostate-cancer risk while strengthening your immune system. Also see our classic apple pie recipe.

#4: Apricot Tart. For a different but still very satisfying holiday dessert, enjoy this succulent apricot tart, which is topped with toasted almonds. Apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A, a very good source of vitamin C, and a good source of fiber and potassium. The orange-hued fruit also contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.

#5: Pear Tart with Whole Wheat Crust. Another less-common but very seasonal treat, this tart could easily become a traditional addition to your holiday menu. Look for organic and, preferably, local pears when making this beautiful, seasonal pear-and-walnut dessert. Pears are loaded with fiber and are a good source of vitamin C.

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