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Traditional Thanksgiving Desserts

Cooking CornerOakbrook Terrace, IL – One thing most people are thankful for each Thanksgiving is a variety of desserts including pumpkin and pecan pies.

Pumpkin pie dates back to at least 1621, when Native Americans introduced the crop to the early American settlers of Plymouth. Hollowed-out shells were probably mixed with milk, honey and spices and then baked in hot ashes, as the early colonists did not have ovens.

Tradition says the French were introduced to pecans by Native Americans and invented pecan pie soon after settling in New Orleans, but no recipes have been found that date before 1925. Karo knows from its history that the popular corn syrup version of pecan pie was a 1930s “discovery.”

Karo syrup has long been an essential ingredient in classic pecan and pumpkin pies. Typically, light corn syrup is used when a delicately sweet flavor is desired, such as in fruit sauces and jams.

With its more robust flavor and color, dark Karo syrup is ideal for many baked goods. Karo corn syrups used in baking contain 0 grams of high-fructose corn syrup.
Both varieties are gluten-free. Here are two crowd-pleasing recipes for your Thanksgiving feast:

Classic Karo Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and Spiced Whipped Cream

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 55 to 65 minutes
Cool time: 2 hours
Yield: 8 servings
Classic Pumpkin Pie:

  • 1?2 cup sugar
  • 1?2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1?2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1?8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1?2 cup Karo Dark (preferred) or Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 can (15 or 16 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 fluid ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 (9- to 9.5-inch) unbaked deep-dish piecrust
Spiced Whipped Cream:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1?2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1?4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425° F.

For the pie: Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together in a large bowl. Add eggs and beat slightly. Add corn syrup, pumpkin, and evaporated milk; blend well.


Pour filling carefully into piecrust. Do not overfill crust. The amount of filling prepared may exceed the capacity of a 9-inch piecrust. Bake for 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350° F and continue baking for 40 to 50 minutes, or until knife inserted in center of pie comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours before serving.

For the whipped cream: Pour cream into a medium-sized bowl. Beat cream for 3 to 4 minutes until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually add brown sugar, being careful not to overbeat. Fold in vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Classic Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie
Pecan Pie

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 60 to 70 minutes
Chill time: 2 hours
Yield: 8 servings

  • 1 cup Karo Light or Dark Corn Syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 11?2 cups (6 ounces) pecans
  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked or frozen* deep-dish piecrust

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter, and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into piecrust.

Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes (see tips for doneness, below). Cool for 2 hours on a wire rack before serving.


*To use prepared frozen pie crust: Place cookie sheet in the oven and preheat oven as directed. Pour filling into frozen crust and bake on preheated cookie sheet.

Recipe Tips: Pie is done when the center reaches 200° F. Tap center surface of pie lightly—it should spring back when done. For easy cleanup, spray the pie pan with cooking spray before placing pie crust in the pan. If piecrust is over-browning, cover edges with foil.

For more recipes and information, visit www.karosyrup.com

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