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Perfect Pies for Thanksgiving, Special Blue Corn Dressing and Discount

By Jane Butel  November 20, 2019

Pies that can be made ahead and are not the "same old, same old", and yet are a notch or two up from the standard are great to treat your family with.  Here are two of my very favorites for you to try.

The Pumpkin Cheesecake Torte is beautiful and so  yummy.  If you like cheesecake and pumpkin pie--you will absolutely love this pie which artfully combines the two flavors and even has the special flavor of toasted pecans tucked into the pumpkin mixture.  The torte is marbleized and takes very little time to prepare.  And...it is best made the day or two ahead.

The Pecan Pie has the added kick of dark rum which pairs perfectly with the toasted pecans.  Toasting the pecans really heightens their flavor and takes very little time--just toast them as the oven is pre-heating.  And, of course whipped cream is a real plus.  You can whip the cream a day ahead to save time on the big day.

For a change of pace and a true tribute to your health, try making a blue cornbread based dressing for your turkey.  You can make the cornbread a few days ahead and then make it into the following dressing the day before.  Blue corn has all the essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids for perfect health--even if  you never ate anything else--totally amazing.  And to make it a bit easier to buy--we are taking 25% off the price until Friday, November 22.  We just got a freshly roasted batch of blue corn late last week.  So its the best of the best!  And a special flavor note to this dressing recipe is that it combines green chile and toasted pinon nuts in the recipe.

To truly get in the spirit of the holidays--join now--our December 12, Special Holidays in New Mexico class.  There are very few spaces left!

And don't forget--one of the very best gifts that just keeps giving for a lifetime is our  gift certificates for a class or the one remaining space on our Oaxacan tour!   Just class us at 505-243-2622 for more information or email us at info@janebutelcooking.com....or chat with us by going on our home page of our website at www.janebutelcooking.com. 


This torte is creamy and wonderful. And it’s best made a day ahead!

Yield: 8 servings

1 9-inch unbaked pie shell


1 8-ounce package cream cheese

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla, Mexican if possible

1 egg, beaten


1 ¼ cups cooked or canned, pureed pumpkin

1 cup evaporated milk

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

¼ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the cream cheese with the rest of the ingredients in the Cream Cheese Mixture and beat with a mixer or blend well in a food processor.

2. Spoon the mixture into the pie shell. Combine the pumpkin mixture ingredients, using a whisk, mixer, blender, or food processor. Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the cheese mixture. Using your finger or a rubber scraper, lightly mix through the two mixtures to marbleize them, running your finger or scraper in swirls.

3. Bake for 1 hour on the bottom shelf of the oven or until the pie is done, which you can tell by jiggling it. It should be firm and an inserted knife should come out clean. Allow to cool before cutting or serving.


This Southern specialty has a bit of a different take on ingredients—it has less syrup and has dark rum—however, you can substitute corn syrup for the rum if you prefer.

Yield: 1, 9 inch pie

1 unbaked pie shell

1 cup pecan halves, or somewhat broken, toasted*

3 eggs

1 cup dark brown sugar

¼ cup light corn syrup

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup dark rum or light or dark corn syrup

¼ cup melted unsalted butter

Whipped cream, recipe follows

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Toast the pecans in the preheating oven for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Beat the eggs until light-colored and fluffy using the medium speed on an electric mixer. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and rum or additional corn syrup. Mix until the sugar is dissolved. Remove bowl from the mixer.

2. Stir in the toasted pecans and melted butter until mixed. Pour into pie shell and bake in the middle of the oven until done about 40 to 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

3. Serve with the Whipped Cream Topping, recipe follows. 

Whipped Cream Topping

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup granulated sugar

3 Tablespoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla, preferably Mexican

1. Using the highest speed on an electric mixer, mix the cream until foamy. Then add the sugar and beat until stiff, adding the rum or vanilla when stiff and beat until just well blended.


I created this recipe for Cuisine magazine a few ago and it has become one of my most requested recipes. The dressing can be doubled or tripled for stuffing full sized turkeys.

6-8 pound bone-in turkey breast, with skin

1 Tablespoon salt

½ cup Spanish dry sherry

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 Tablespoons thinly sliced sage

Blue Cornbread Dressing, recipe attached

  1. Salt the inside of the turkey 2-12 hours before roasting. Try not to get salt on the skin as it may crack and release juices during roasting.
  2.  Preheat oven to 375. Place stuffing in a well-buttered, shallow casserole for roasting. Mold dressing into a football shape to accommodate turkey.
  3. Drizzle sherry over dressing. Drape boned breast skin side up over the dressing and mold to a nice, round uniform shape. Tuck sides and any loose skin under the dressing.
  4.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle sage over the breast. Roast for 45 minutes, then turn breast and roast for another 45 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast reads 165 degrees F.
  5. Let turkey rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Blue Cornbread Dressing

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup onion, diced

1 cup celery, diced

½ cup pinon nuts, toasted

Blue Cornbread, recipe attached

1 cup parched green chiles, chopped

2 Tablespoons minced fresh sage

½ cup chicken broth

Salt to taste

  1. Melt butter in sauté pan over medium heat. Saute onion and celery until celery is soft and onions begin to turn translucent.
  2. In large mixing bowl, break cornbread into large pieces. Combine with onion, celery, green chiles, and fresh sage. Blend gently.
  3. Add chicken broth and pinon nuts. Blend, but do not overmix. Salt to taste.

Blue Cornbread

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup blue corn flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 egg

1 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butter in skillet and place in oven while preheating to melt butter.
  2. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. In separate bowl whisk together egg and milk. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Pour melted butter into mixture. Stir just until combined. Pour batter into skillet and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick come out clean. Cool in skillet.




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