No doubt about it, bird is the word. Be ready for queues around the block next year—once your guests have tasted one of these babies, they'll be back for more (with Tupperware dishes hidden under their coats).
At RICARDO, we prefer to cook our stuffing outside the bird—it's a good way to ensure even cooking, plus you'll get that crispy crust some might say is the best part.
For larger gatherings, Ricardo rarely serves a first course, preferring instead to skip straight from appetizers to the main event. On most occasions, he opts to place everything on the table and dine family style. By the same token, the salad isn't served as a starter but right alongside the turkey.
If the weather permits, enjoy the last days of fall by taking things outdoors after dinner. Have a few cozy wool blankets ready to go. Otherwise, a pile of pillows in the living room creates a cozy environment to enjoy a warm slice of pie.
Mix the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the cubed butter.
Pulse until the butter is broken down into pea-sized pieces.
Slowly pour in the water and process until the dough just comes together. If needed, add more water.
Crimped or fluted edges don’t just look great, they’re functional, too: They reduce shrinking, keep the edges from burning and minimize leaks. Using a pair of clean kitchen scissors, cut the excess dough, trimming the overhang to about ¾ inch (2 cm). Fold the dough under to make it flush with the edge of the pie plate. Then, use your thumb and forefinger to pinch a small section and another finger to gently push the dough. Finish by pressing the edge with the tines of a fork.
Don't overwork the dough and use just enough water to bind the flour. This will minimize gluten formation, which is a major culprit that makes for tough pastry crusts. Once your dough is rolled out, drape it over the pie plate without stretching it. Instead, gently push it in place with your fingers.
To our surprise, canned pumpkin produces superior results to the homemade puréed version. Its smooth texture is silky, nearly creamy, while the made-from-scratch attempt was too watery (the moisture separated from the flesh).