I used to ask for lemon meringue pie every year for my birthday instead of chocolate cake. The reason: My mother made great pies.
If birthdays make me think of lemon pie, Thanksgiving makes me think of pecan pie. Every Thanksgiving feast at our house ended with a warm slice of sweet, crunchy pecan pie topped with cool whipped cream.
My mom’s is the best pecan pie I’ve ever had. When I was a teenager and spending more time helping her in the kitchen, I learned her secret: a pinch of orange rind. Such a simple adjustment to create such a mysteriously wonderful flavor. “Just enough for people to wonder what makes it taste so good,” she told me, “but not enough to give it away.”
Following my mother’s advice, I developed my own version of her pecan pie, with, of course, just a hint of orange. I’ve also come up with a chocolate pecan pie in homage to her. She is a chocolate lover, and the combination of chocolate and pecans is amazing.
Take your pick this Thanksgiving. Better yet, make both.