10 Recipes That Are Completely Genius

Smarter, better versions of all your favorite things.

1. Meta Given’s Pumpkin Pie

This is perfect, classic pumpkin pie made in 25 minutes. You don’t have to pre-bake the crust, and since it can handle a 400-degree oven, that’s what you give it.

Serves 6

1 3/4 cups canned or fresh cooked pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
2 eggs
1 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
Unbaked, unpricked, chilled 9-inch pie shell

Turn pumpkin into saucepan and stir over direct heat for 10 minutes until somewhat dry and slightly caramelized, stirring frequently. Remove from heat but keep hot.

Mix thoroughly together the sugar, salt, and spices, and stir into hot pumpkin.

Beat eggs, add cream and milk, and beat into pumpkin mixture until smooth.

Pour immediately into unpricked pastry-lined pie pan and bake in a moderately hot oven (400°F) for 25 to 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and only an inch circle in the center of the filling remains liquid. Cool thoroughly on cake rack before cutting.

Note: Perfectly baked pumpkin pie has no cracks on its surface. Baking hot filling in a chilled crust at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes produces a smooth, shiny, good-textured custard and a well-baked crust free from soaking. But if your pie dish is thicker glass or ceramic instead of metal, or you loathe underdone bottom crust, you might still want to blind bake it a little. Here’s what we’d recommend: Blind bake at 350°F lined with parchment and filled with baking beans/weights until sides are dry and firm, about 10 minutes. Remove weights, then bake until completely dry and firm and starting to turn golden, 5 to 10 minutes more. Cool thoroughly. Then watch the pie closely as it bakes — it might be done early, since the cold, raw crust isn’t there to protect it. And if the edges are starting to look wrinkled while the middle is very jiggly, turn the heat down to 350°F.

2. Al Forno’s Penne with Tomato, Cream & Five Cheeses

You won’t meet a faster or better baked pasta. This recipe works any time of year, and with whatever forgotten ends you have lying in the cheese drawer. For fall, go pumpkin and pancetta.

3. April Bloomfield’s Lemon Caper Dressing

This dressing seems scary at first: whole lemon segments and more mustard than could possibly seem like a good idea. But April Bloomfield knows what she’s doing. Trust her.

4. Deb Perelman’s Mushroom Bourguignon

Here’s a quick, vegetarian stew you don’t have to wait until the weekend to make. You won’t wonder where the boeuf is, promise.

5. Nigel Slater’s Extremely Moist Chocolate-Beet Cake

Step aside, red velvet. Turns out earthy beets are the perfect match for bittersweet chocolate and make a cake so moist, it’s almost molten.

6. Roy Finamore’s Broccoli Cooked Forever

If you ever think you’ve overcooked broccoli, keep cooking. You’ll find yourself with a miraculous substance that’s basically broccoli confit. Toss with pasta, top pizza, repeat.

7. Jean-Georges’ Ginger Fried Rice

Addictive crispy bits of garlic and ginger + fried egg = easy dinner you can make, whether you’ve got leftover rice or not.

8. Edward Giobbi’s Spaghetti alla Foriana

Here’s a genius pasta sauce for every season, made from your pantry, spice rack, and cheese bin in the time it takes water to boil. Oh, and did we mention it’s vegetarian and easily made vegan?

9. Paul Bertolli’s Cauliflower Soup

A magical soup made of three (count ‘em, three) ingredients: cauliflower, water, olive oil.

10. Russ Parsons’ Dry-Brined Turkey

This is the simplest, most forgiving way to cook a perfectly crisp, juicy turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!

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