Ina Garten Is Sharing a Dessert Recipe Each Day for Thanksgiving—Including This Pie That's "Actually Better" with a Store-Bought Crust
Savory dishes tend to have the starring role on the Thanksgiving menu, but that doesn't mean a dessert can't sneak in and steal the spotlight. That's especially true if you choose a dessert recipe that looks as delicious as it tastes—and there's only one person to call for an easy dessert that will make your guests stop in their tracks: Ina Garten.
The Barefoot Contessa herself is always sharing dishes that are impressive but simple, so you can actually enjoy Thanksgiving instead of letting all of the cooking frazzle you. This year, Ina has taken to Instagram to inspire us with a week's worth of desserts—though she's only shared two so far, Garten plans to share a favorite recipe each day, starting with a new pecan pie recipe from her latest cookbook.
"Is it already Thanksgiving next week?!! Yikes!," Garten wrote on Instagram. "This week, I'm posting a favorite Thanksgiving dessert each day, starting with the Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie from my new cookbook Go-To Dinners. It's decadent and delicious and the best part is that it's actually BETTER made with store-bought pie crust!"
With a frozen (but defrosted) pie crust on your side, this pie recipe is pretty darn easy. It's as simple as combining the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another, then combining them together and pouring the filling into your pie crust to bake. The pie gets lots of signature sweetness from semisweet chocolate chips, brown sugar and granulated sugar, and ingredients like good bourbon, vanilla and pecans level up the flavor. Serve the slices with your favorite vanilla ice cream, and you've got a winner on your hands.
If, however, you're more interested in something you can make in advance, portion out and pull out of the fridge as soon as dinner is over, Ina has something ideal for you, too. Tuesday's recipe was for a fleet of decadent Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits, which you can pile into glamorous little single-serving trifles and serve at a moment's notice.
"I love a Thanksgiving dessert that you make a day ahead so it's ready whenever the turkey is cleared," Garten shared in her caption. "My Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits have all the flavors of the holiday - creamy pumpkin mousse, crumbled ginger cookies, and of course whipped cream makes everything better, right? It's a great way to end your Thanksgiving celebration."
This recipe, from a 2006 cookbook, is a great option for non-bakers who need to contribute a dessert to the Thanksgiving spread. There's very little cooking to be done in this recipe, unless you count heating up gelatin in a makeshift double-boiler. Most of the work can be done with a good mixer, since you can even use store-bought ginger cookies for this recipe.
Fans of these parfaits gave rave reviews in the comments section, with one person noting that they first made these parfaits when they were just 9 years old—aw!—and have been thinking about them ever since. Others cosigned the dessert as a foolproof Thanksgiving favorite. "One of my all-time favorites!!!" Ina expert Trent Pheifer wrote. "It's perfection!"
Whether you choose to go with cozy pie or cool parfaits—or something else entirely—taking the time to enjoy something sweet and time with the people you love is a great way to end Thanksgiving Day. With these prep-ahead desserts on your side, it might just be easier than ever.