Thanksgiving Pie Fries

November 20, 2014

With Thanksgiving right around the corner it is time to talk about pie. I always make lots of traditional pies for Thanksgiving but sometimes it is fun to play with my food a little bit. I made these fun pie fries last year for the Joy of Kosher website but never got around to posting them here, so I thought I would share them today in case anyone is looking to jazz up their Thanksgiving desserts this year. Because, lets face it, who doesn’t like playing with their food?

That is what makes these pie fries so much fun. They have the traditional Thanksgiving pie flavors of pumpkin and cranberry apple but the are a fun to eat finger food. Since I would never dream of serving French fries without some kind of dipping sauce, it was clear that these fries needed a sweet dipping sauce of their own. I always serve cinnamon ice cream with my Thanksgiving pies so I decided to use that same flavor paring here. This creamy and slightly spicy pastry cream is the perfect dip for the pie fries, if you can keep yourself from just eating it with a spoon.

The key to tasty pie fries is in the crust. Since the ratio of crust to filling is much higher than it is in a classic pie the filling cannot compensate for a flavorless crust. This is not the place to take a store bought shortcut, it is worth it to make the crust from scratch. It is also important to use a crust that doesn’t spread or the shape of the fries will not be as cute. The shortening based crust in this recipe is my favorite.

If you are looking for some more classic Thanksgiving pie recipes these are some of my favorite classic recipes.
Perfect Pecan Pie
Cranberry Raspberry Pie
Pumpkin Pie

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Ingredients & Quantities

  • 2 cups + 6 tablespoons flour (10 oz)
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup tablespoons (6 ounces) spectrum organic shortening, cut into 1 inch pieces and well chilled
  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz) ice water
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) butter flavor (such as the one from Lorann oils. Optional, but it helps with the flavor)
  • Pumpkin Butter or Cranberry Apple filling (see below)
  • 1 egg*
  • pumpkin pie spice and coarse sugar for sprinkling
*to make these vegan omit the egg and simply brush the fries with water to help the sugar and spices stick.

Cranberry Apple Filling

  • 2 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (about 4 ounces)
  • 3 ounces cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) dark brown sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Cinnamon Pastry Cream

  • 1 (13.5 oz) can Thai style coconut milk
  • 5 tablespoons (2.5 oz) water
  • pinch salt (increase to 1/4 teaspoon if using unsalted margarine)
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup (3.75 oz) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) margarine
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla

Preparation Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350. Divide the dough in half. Roll out each half into a 10 inch circle on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. The crust should be ¼ inch thick. If the circles are slightly smaller than 10 inches that is fine as long as the thickness is right. Spread the filling evenly over one pie crust, leaving a ¼ inch border around the edges. Top with the second crust.

Using a pastry cutter (or sharp knife) cut the dough into ¾ inch strips. Cut the strips in half to make fry shapes. Transfer the fries to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Combine the egg and one tablespoon of water and beat with a fork to mix. Brush the fries with the egg wash and sprinkle with the pumpkin pie spice if using the pumpkin filling. Generously sprinkle the fries with coarse sugar.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the fries are golden brown. Let cool before serving.

Dip in this flavorful Cinnamon Pastry Cream if you like.

Cranberry Apple Filling

Combine the apples, cranberries, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a small sauce pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cranberries have burst and the apples are soft. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Cinnamon Pastry Cream

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and set aside.

Place the coconut milk, water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, corn starch, cinnamon and eggs until smooth. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the custard thickens.

Remove from heat and pour through the strainer into the bowl. Let cool for 10 minutes and then incorporate the margarine, one tablespoon at a time, whisking gently just until smooth .

Cover the surface with plastic wrap, directly touching the cream, let it cool completely in the refrigerator.


  1. Do you think I can use this dough for pumpkin pie crust? Or would it be too sweet?
    It is my first time cooking a thanksgiving meal. I appreciate your help.

    • I am so sorry I didn’t see this in time, there was a glitch with my comments. I hope your pies turned out ok! I would use this crust recipe instead for the pie.

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