When I invite people over for dinner or plan a family meal, I often approach the menu backwards…what’s for dessert? That’s just my inner sweet tooth driving the get-together, but I often bake a pie or tart to feature seasonal ingredients that I want to share while they are at their peak. It keeps family and friends sitting at the dinner table as long as possible, sharing stories, sipping wine or coffee. However, to make menu planning a little easier and frankly more “straight forward,” here is a primer on matching some of our best Wilton main dishes to favorite pies, marrying flavors and textures to make simple meals worth repeating or improvising to suit your taste and pantry.
Cheesy Pasta Dishes (like our Beer & Bacon Mac and Cheese) scream for the classic apple pie, made with tart, crisp apples that are in abundance in the fall. It’s the perfect counterpart to this rich, cheesy favorite American entrée, made even more crowd-pleasing with smoky bacon. Any apple pie will do, but for a conversation piece dessert, try our Apple Pie with Fringe Crust.
Roasted Poultry (Chicken, Turkey and Duck), like our Oven Roasted Chicken with Rosemary, is a great front runner for spiced Pumpkin, Squash or Sweet Potato pies. Check out the Wilton website here for several to choose from. Or, if these custard options are not your favorite, try fruit tart speckled with cranberries, like our Cranberry Pear Tarts for a perfect sweater weather menu.
Seafood, like Citrus Salmon Fillets, calls for a brighter, fresher finish, like Lemon Peach and Basil Tart or Grapefruit Graham Tart. Accent the tender fish and creamy dessert with a bright, crisp green salad and you’ve got a date night meal or a simple entertaining menu.
For a Saturday night steak and potato dinner, like Broiled Strip Steaks with Garlic Herb Butter, serve a chocolate classic, like Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie, a chocolate silk pie or chocolate mousse tart. Chocolate is that go-to dessert that few can pass up!
Serve up a one dish tomato and pasta entrée, like Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Shells or Homestyle Meat Lasagna, for Sunday night suppers or pregame parties and finish with a peanut butter pie, like the Mini Peanut Butter Pie Bites. They are made ahead and easy to serve, adding just the right bit of sweet after a pasta party.
There are definitely those who love a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream atop their pie and others who like their pie simply with a fork. I know that my husband always asks for a slice of sharp cheddar cheese with his apple pie. However you embellish, pie is a perennial favorite that is fun to make and hard to pass up!