Ancho Chile & Apple Cider Brined Turkey

Ancho Chile & Apple Cider Brined Turkey and Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping
Fall colors at my house in the hills and two of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping

Brining seasons the bird all the way through and makes the meat tender and moist while the skin is nice and crispy.

Ancho Chile and Apple Cider Brined Turkey
Brining Bag
20 pound turkey, giblets removed, washed and drained
Heaping 1/3 cup ground ancho chile (about 8 stemmed and seeded dried chiles)
12 large garlic cloves
4 cored and chunked golden delicious apples
1 gallon water, divided
1 gallon organic apple juice or cider
2 cups kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar or molasses

Put chile, garlic, apples, a cup of water and two cups of cider in the blender.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into a larger bowl and add the water, apple juice, salt and brown sugar or molasses: stir until salt and sugar dissolve.
Pour into brining bag or non-reactive pot that turkey just fits in.  Add turkey.  Brine in refrigerator for 20 hours.  Rinse and dry.  Continue to refrigerate if not roasting right away.  Turkey may be brined two days before roasting.  Remove from refrigerator an hour before putting in the oven.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Place turkey in large, low sided baking pan, tie legs together if desired, tent with aluminum foil and place in oven.  Bake for one hour and remove foil and finish baking until a thermometer reads 155 degrees in deepest part of thigh (USDA recommends 165 degrees for safety.)  Let turkey rest at least twenty minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping

1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 Tbs. Cornstarch
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp. Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves
2 Cups Pumpkin Puree
3 eggs
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/3 Cup Milk

Pre baked and cooled deep-dish piecrust

In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.  add the pumpkin, eggs, cream and milk and whisk to combine.

Pour the filling into the pre baked piecrust and bake until the center is set, 60 to 65 minutes at 350 degrees, covering the edges of the crust with aluminum foil after 30 minutes if they brown too quickly.

Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least 2 hours, before serving.

Praline Topping

3 Tbs. Butter

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
1/4 tsp. Salt

Melt butter, then add the other ingredients.  Bring to boil then lower to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Cool, then pour over pie while topping is still warm.  Spread to cover the pie, then let sit for 30 minutes until topping is totally cooled before cutting pie.  Serve with Whipped Cream.