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Thanksgiving Desserts Using Fresh Produce

As the holiday season approaches, it's time to start planning your Thanksgiving feast. While traditional desserts like pumpkin pie and apple crisp are always a hit, why not take it up a notch this year by incorporating fresh produce into your sweet treats? As NYC’s leading produce expert, we at 3 Guys From Brooklyn are here to share some fantastic dessert ideas that will wow your guests and add a healthy twist to your Thanksgiving spread. Plus, I'll provide tips on how to prepare in advance, taking the pressure off the host.

Recipe 1: Scrumptious Pumpkin Cheesecake


- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs

- 1/2 cup melted butter

- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

- 1 cup granulated sugar

- 1 cup pumpkin puree

- 3 eggs

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

- Fresh whipped cream and cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C). In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan to form the crust.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and continue beating until well combined.

3. Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the cream cheese mixture. Beat until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour the mixture over the crust in the springform pan. Smooth the top with a spatula.

5. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the cheesecake is set but slightly jiggly in the center.

6. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

7. Before serving, garnish with fresh whipped cream and cinnamon sticks for an extra touch of elegance.

Recipe 2: Classic Apple Pie with a Twist


- 2 pie crusts (homemade or store-bought)

- 6 cups thinly sliced apples (use a mix of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp for the perfect balance of tartness and sweetness)

- 1/2 cup granulated sugar

- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

- 1 tablespoon lemon juice

- 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

- Turbinado sugar (for sprinkling)


1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C). Place one of the pie crusts into a greased 9-inch pie dish, pressing it gently against the bottom and sides.

2. In a large bowl, combine the sliced apples, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Toss until the apples are evenly coated.

3. Pour the apple mixture into the pie crust, spreading it out evenly.

4. Place the second pie crust on top of the apple filling. Trim any excess crust and crimp the edges to seal the pie.

5. Brush the top crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar for a golden and slightly crunchy finish.

6. Cut several slits on the top crust to allow steam to escape during baking.

7. Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

8. Remove from the oven and let it cool for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra treat.

Preparing in Advance: To take some pressure off the host, both the pumpkin cheesecake and apple pie can be prepared in advance. You can make the pumpkin cheesecake up to two days ahead and refrigerate it until needed. The apple pie can be baked the day before and stored at room temperature. Just reheat it in the oven at a low temperature before serving to restore that freshly baked flavor.

Conclusion: This Thanksgiving, elevate your dessert game by incorporating fresh produce into your sweet creations. The pumpkin cheesecake and apple pie recipes provided will delight your guests and add a healthy twist to your holiday spread. By preparing in advance, you'll have more time to enjoy the festivities and take some pressure off the host. So, head over to 3 Guys From Brooklyn to get the freshest produce and get ready to impress everyone with these delectable Thanksgiving desserts. Happy cooking and happy Thanksgiving!


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