Thanksgiving In Lanka

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in Canada, the United States and some of the Caribbean islands. One thing that is common no matter where or when it is celebrated is the delicious food the people feast on during this holiday.

Since food is the name of our game, we at Cake Katha took to the internet to find out how we can try some of these dishes in our homeland.

We thought we would show you recipes for Pumpkin Pie, Snickerdoodles and Fried Apple Hand Pie. There are fairly easy to make and can be enjoyed right here in Sri Lanka.

1. Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is a dessert pie with a spiced, pumpkin-based custard filling. This isn’t typically found in Sri Lankan households so we thought we would put it in there for you to try and be amazed.

Pumpkin Pie

What you will need

For the dough

  • 1 1/4 cups of 7 Star all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick), diced
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Flour for rolling the dough

For the Filling

  • About 2 cups of unsweetened pumpkin puree (soft boiled pumpkin made like mashed potatoes)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

How its made

First, to make the dough, In a medium bowl whisk together 7 Star flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before proceeding.) Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.   

Form the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.  

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough with a rolling pin into a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a pie pan and trim the edges, leaving about an extra inch hanging over the edge. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath itself to form a thick edge that is even with the rim. Freeze the pie shell for 30 minutes.  

Set separate racks in the center and lower third of oven and preheat to 200 degrees C. Put a piece of parchment paper or foil over the pie shell and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake on a baking sheet on the center rack until the dough is set, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and lift sides of the parchment paper to remove the beans. Continue baking until the pie shell is lightly golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Cool on a rack.

Lower the oven temperature to 175 degrees C.  

While the pie shell is cooling make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, half-and-half, spices, and salt until smooth. Return the pie shell to the baking sheet and pour in the filling.  

Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges of the filling are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 50 to 60 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil.) Cool on a rack. Serve room temperature or slightly warm. 

2. Snickerdoodles

A snickerdoodle is a type of cookie with a cinnamon sugar dusting on the outside. This cookie isn’t commonly found in the mouths of the Sri Lankan eaters so we though we will show you how it’s done to get them there.

Snickerdoodles

What you will need

For the topping

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the cookie dough

  • 3 1/2 cups 7 Star all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

How its made

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon and set aside. 

To make the cookie dough, stir together dry ingredients.

Next in a bowl with a paddle attachment cream the butter, add sugar and continue to mix. Then add the eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. Now add the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Chill dough 1 hour if it’s sticky or difficult to handle. 

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. 

Roll balls of dough about the size of a walnut then roll them in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Place on an ungreased sheet pan 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until puffed up and the surface is slightly cracked. Let cool on the sheet pan a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. Serve with milk for a delicious snack.

3. Fried Apple Hand Pies

These pies are perfect for people who love deep-fried food. These pies can be made days, weeks, even months ahead of time and just fried up after the big meal.

Fried Apple Hand Pies

What you will need

For pie dough

  • 2 1/2 cups 7 Star all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold butter, diced
  • 4 to 8 tablespoons of ice water
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar

For the filling

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (about 1 pound)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (about 1 pound)1/4 cup sugar
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Oil, for frying
  • 1 egg

How its made

For the pie dough: Combine the 7 Star flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the shortening and butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add in the ice water and vinegar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the mixture just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and press into a large disc. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

For the filling: Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and then saute the apples, stirring, until just starting to soften. It should take about 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the sugar and stir. Add the cinnamon, salt, ginger and nutmeg, and cook, stirring, until some of the apples start to break apart (but most are still whole). THis should happen at the 4-minute mark. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 minutes. 

Fill a deep pot halfway with oil and heat to 185 degrees C. Roll the dough out 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut out eighteen 4 1/2-inch-diameter circles, gathering and re-rolling the dough if necessary. Beat the egg in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of water. Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of the apple filling into the center of each dough round. Brush the edge with some egg mixture and fold the dough over to make a half-moon shape. Press out the air and seal the edges with a fork. Repeat with the remaining filling and dough. 

Place 4 to 6 pies at a time into the hot oil and cook until golden brown, flipping as needed. They should be done in about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

So there you have it, Cake Katha’s  Thanksgiving desserts that you can make right here in Sri Lanka. There are easy to make and sure to make you happy in your tummy. So if your thinking of hosting a party any time soon, you can thank us later for the recipes. Make sure to make them for yourself too and share some with us.

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