The Barefoot Contessa has two Thanksgiving dessert recipes that we'll definitely be adding to our holiday menu: Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream and Applesauce Cake with Bourbon Raisins

Karla Walsh
November 13, 2020
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Getty / Noam Galai / Contributor
| Credit: Getty / Noam Galai / Contributor

Holiday meals generally involve large gatherings, travel and getting dressed up...or at least getting out of your PJs. But with health pros like Dr. Fauci and the experts at the CDC recommending that we celebrate in our own homes with our quaran-teams, it might be a good year to start some new traditions. We'll miss seeing our friends and relatives, of course, it's not all bad: you can add or eliminate any recipes you choose and you can spend the whole day in your robe, if you like. And you can spend it barefoot with THE quarantine queen, Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten.

We've already taken inspiration from the Food Network star and have added this 5-ingredient baked ricotta recipe to our Thanksgiving repertoire. Now, we're taking notes from the menu she shared with Williams Sonoma as part of her virtual book tour for Modern Comfort Food ($21, amazon.com) and are trading traditional pecan, pumpkin and apple pies for some beautifully boozy desserts.

For her Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream, Garten explains, "I've filled the prebaked crust with a lightly spiced pumpkin mixture that tastes more like a mousse than a dense custard. Dark rum and grated orange zest are my secret ingredients."

With 2 tablespoons of dark rum hiding in the filling and 1 tablespoon of dark rum in the whipped cream, the spirit lends a lovely hint of complexity without making this pumpkin pie recipe too overpowering.

As far as the rationale behind the 2 tablespoons of bourbon in the cake and 1 tablespoon of bourbon in the frosting of her Applesauce Cake with Bourbon Raisins, Garten says, "I love the earthiness of old-fashioned cakes but I often wish they had more flavor. Apples and raisins are great together in a cake, but I thought some bourbon would give it more depth, so I infused the raisins with bourbon before adding them to the batter. A splash of bourbon in the cream cheese frosting didn't hurt either."

We love how each of these use a common cocktail ingredient in a unique yet easy way—or without making you as tipsy as one of Garten's supersized cosmos.

While your holiday might be smaller than usual, these treats prove it can still be spent in good spirits. We can't decide which of the two we want to make more, so we'll be baking both during Thanksgiving week, savoring a slice or two of each, then packaging up the rest to safely deliver to nearby friends and family.