Mayflower Society Staff Thanksgiving Recipe Share

This tradition of coming together in unity and sharing celebration is strong within our community - the first Thanksgiving in 1621 was a feast prompted by a good harvest and shared by the Pilgrims with a party of Wampanoag Indians!  To make the season of giving a little bit more special, the staff and several officers of the Mayflower Society have come together and collected our favorite recipes shared by our families. We will be posting single recipes on our Facebook and encouraging members and followers to share their own personal renditions. We will also be adding to this blog throughout the month of November, so please check back often!

Our Executive Director Susan Belekewicz and her mile-high apple pie! Recipe taken from Better Homes and Gardens in 2013, but made by Susan and enjoyed by her family countless times!


Snow-capped Pie

Prep: 40 min. Freeze: 20 min.
Over 350 degrees Bake: 1 hr., 8 min.

Bottom crust:
½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. lemon zest
2 egg yolks
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt

4 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and sliced into ¼ inch thick wedges
3 ripe pears, such as Anjou, peeled, cored and sliced into ¼ inch thick wedges
1 cup grated frozen purchased pound cake
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. finely shredded orange zest
3 ½ Tbsp. instant vanilla pudding mix
½ cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. orange juice

Top pastry:
1/3 17.3 oz. package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed (1 sheet)
1 egg

3 to 4 Tbsp. Milk
½ cup powdered sugar

1. For Bottom Crust, in a large bowl beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium0high speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and lemon zest; beat until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add egg yolks; beat until combined. Add flour and salt; beat until dough just comes together. Using your hands, knead dough until flour is fully incorporated.
2. Coat a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray. Press dough into bottom and sides of pan. Cover with plastic wrap; freeze 20 min.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake crust, uncovered, 18 minutes or until edges just start to brown and the bottom appears dry. Remove from oven, Cool on wire rack.
4. For Filling, in a very large bowl, toss together apples, pears, cake crumbs, cranberries, flour, brown sugar and orange zest. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together instant pudding mix, cream and orange juice for 1 minute or until well blended. Let stand three minutes until thickened. Stir pudding mixture into apple mixture. Mound filing into prepared crust, leaving about ½ inch around edge to tick in pastry top. (Your pie will be about 5 inches high)
5. For top pastry, unfold puff pastry. On a lightly floured surface roll out pastry to a 12-inch square. Drape pastry over filling. Tuck edges of pastry between filling and bottom crust; trim excess. In a small bowl combine 1 egg and 1 Tbsp. water. Using pastry brush, brush pastry with egg mixture. Transfer pie to a foil lined baking sheet. Bake 50 minutes or until top crust is golden brown. Remove from oven. Cool completely on wire rack.
6. For icing: whisk together powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Spoon half the icing over the top of the pie; let stand for 2 minutes, spoon remaining icing over. Top with a maraschino cherry, if desired. Makes 10 servings.
Note: To make mounding the filling easier, prepare the filling in an 8-cup measure. Place crust over measuring top and invert.

Connecticut Society Governor Mary Brown stopped by our offices with the October 2014  booklet “Maize”  which is full of corn recipes from the Connecticut Mayflower Society! Tried and true, some a bit more traditional and others a bit more modern, here are a few of our favorites:

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Sweet Corn Fritters by CT Member Bev Warner:
6 ears of sweet local corn
1 ½ cup medium cornmeal
1 ½ cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp sugar
6 large eggs, yolk and whites separated
1 ¼ pint buttermilk
4 stalks scallions finely diced
2T melted butter
oil for frying fritters
Crème Fraiche or sour cream to serve with cooked fritters

Boil corn, cool and remove from the cob.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Mix the egg yolks and the butter milk together.
Make a well in the center of the dry mix and add the buttermilk and egg mixture.
Mix until combined.
Fold in whipped egg whites to lighten the batter.
Add the corn, scallions and melted butter.
Season with salt and pepper.

Heat skillet with the oil, place a spoonful of mixture in the pan and cook for a total of about five minutes. Should be golden brown on each side.
Hold in warm oven while you cook the rest.
Serve with crème fraiche or sour cream.

Absolute Mexican Cornbread by CT Member Marg Studley
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1 can 15 oz. cream style corn
½ (4oz) can chopped green chilies – I use mild!
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300, lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish
In a large bowl beat together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in cream corn, chilies, and both cheeses.
In a separate bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to corn mixture, stir until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Corn Chowder by CT Member Mary Wassung
4-6 pieces of bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups diced potatoes (I leave the skin on)
2 cups chicken broth
corn – either 2 lb cans corn or 2 packages of frozen or 2-3 cups fresh/frozen
1 qt milk or half milk and ½ and ½
1 to 2 tsp salt – to taste
¼-1/2 tsp pepper – to taste
¼-1/2 t dried rosemary – crumbled – to taste
½ shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Brown bacon, move aside, crumble and reserve
Add onion to drippings, saute until soft.
Add potatoes and broth. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add corn, milk, salt and pepper, rosemary and bacon bits.
Heat until steaming hot. Don’t boil. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle cheese and parsley on top.

Our new Treasurer General Liz Gaudreau from Colorado’s Mayflower Society sent us this well-loved scan of her favorite recipe – her sister-in-law’s Broccoli Casserole! She handwrote this 20+ years ago.

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Linda Wood’s Famous Broccoli Casserole
2 boxes of frozen chopped broccoli OR 2 bunches fresh – cooked prior
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 sm/med. Onion – chopped
1 cup shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
2 beaten eggs
Cook broccoli, mix rest til well blended
Put in buttered casserole dish
Bread crumps on top
Top w butter
Bake 45 min. 350 degrees

Cheesey Corn in the Crockpot by Mass Mayflower Member and Head Docent of the Mayflower Society House Judy MacDonald
3 – pkg. frozen corn (16 oz. each!)
8 oz. cream cheese (cubed)
¼ cup butter (cubed)
3 TBsp. water
3 TBsp. milk
2 TBsp. sugar
6 slices of American cheese (cut into small squares)
Put all ingredients in a crock pot and cook for about 4 hours on low. Stir frequently once it is all melted. Judy recommends using a crockpot liner.

Executive Assistant Kathy Liolios’ Corn Pudding, she makes it every Thanksgiving:
4 Tbsp flour
2/3 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla 
1 c milk
2 TBsp butter
3 eggs
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 can cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
Mix flour with sugar, then mix all ingredients together. Pour into greased baking dish and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Mass Mayflower member and Mayflower Society House docent Janette Somerville’s Cranberry Surprise:

Cranberry Surprise:
2 cups fresh or frozen* cranberries
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 eggs beaten
1 cup flour 
¾ cup melted butter
1 tsp almond extract

Melt butter in 10 inch pie plate, then pour out into measuring cup (this greases the pie plate!)
Put cranberries into bottom of pie plate, springle with ½ cup sugar and the nuts. Beat eggs with remaining 1 cup sugar. Add flour, butter and almond extract. Beat well! Pour over cranberries and nut mixture. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until top is nicely browned!

*If using frozen berries, do not thaw! Add 5 to 10 minutes to baking time.

Executive Director, Susan Belekewicz - her dear friend, Nancy Moore, made this cute turkey appetizer for Thanksgiving two years ago and it was a show-stopper! (And the kids just loved it, too!) Enjoy!!!


Cheddar-Ranch Turkey Cheese Ball
Cheese ball:
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups shredded white Cheddar cheese, about 8 oz.
¼ cup buttermilk
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1/3 cup minced red pepper
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill

3 mini cucumbers (each about 5” long)
2 whole cinnamon cloves
2 very small mini peeled carrots
2 Tbs. sliced natural almonds
Dill sprigs
1 red pear, cored, cut into thin wedges
2 large carrots, diagonally sliced
1 Gala apple, cored, cut lengthwise into thin slices, then halved crosswise
Assorted vegetable chips, such as carrot, from Terra Exotic Harvest, and beet and sweet potato, from Terra Exotic Stripes & Blues

Cheese ball: Line 6” diameter bowl with enough plastic wrap to overhang side by 4”. In separate bowl on medium-low speed, beat cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, buttermilk, lemon juice, Worcestershire, paprika, garlic salt and pepper until well blended. With spoon, stir in red pepper, scallions, parsley and dill. Spoon into lined bowl. Cover with overhanging wrap and refrigerate for atleast 3 hours.
Garnishes: Uncover top of dip. Top with platter; invert and remove bowl and wrap. For turkey head, lengthwise cut thin slice from 1 cucumber. For eyes, insert cloves into cucumber slice. Press head onto cheeseball. For waddle, cut tip from 1 mini carrot; attach to cucumber with dot of cheese ball mixture. Press 2 rows of almonds and dill sprigs into cheese around head. For feet, cut remaining min carrots lengthwise in half and press into bottom edge of cheese on either side of head.
For feathers: Thinly slice remaining cucumbers. Alternately arrange cucumber slices and pear wedges along outer edge of platter. Arrange carrot slices on top of cucumber and pear. Arrange apple slices on top of carrot slices. If not serving immediately, cover with damp paper towels and refrigerate. Before serving, arrange vegetable chips around cheese. Serve with crackers.


Captain General Jeff Stark of the Wisconsin Society shares with us his family's Pumpkin Chiffon Pie:
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
  2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  1/4 c. cold water
  2 eggs, separated whites and yokes
  1 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  3/4 c. packed brown sugar, divided 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
  2 t. pumpkin pie spice
  1/2 t. salt
  1/2 pt. (1 cup) whipping cream, whipped
  9" in. graham cracker crust
  Soften gelatin in cold water.
  Beat egg yokes in saucepan.
  To yokes, add pumpkin, milk, 1/2 c. brown sugar, spice and salt
  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Remove from heat.
  Add gelatin, stir until dissolved.
  Chill until whole mixture thickens.
  In medium bowl, beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks.
  To beaten whites, add 1/4 c. brown sugar, and continue beating until it holds stiff peaks.
  Fold into pumpkin mixture, then fold in whipped cream.
  Pour into crust.
  Chill until firm-- 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
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Originally printed in the March 2000 issue of the Mayflower Quarterly and then reprinted in the Mayflower Quarterly Diamond Jubilee Edition in 2012, Fr. Robert J. Goode Jr. presented this list of Pilgrim and Early New England Recipes at a Compact Day program in Hawaii.
Here are a few that were potentially made at or around the first Thanksgiving in 1621 to compliment our more modern staff recipes.
Indian Pudding
This could have been made at first Thanksgiving using honey or maple syrup. It is unlikely however due to the numbers and the initial attention required. It was certainly used in families by 1630.
5 C milk
2/3 C molasses
1/3 C supar
1/2 C cornmeal
3/4 t cinnamon
3/8 t nutmeg
1 t salt
4 T butter
Heat 4 cups of milk, reserving one; add rest of items. Cook 20 minutes (stir) til thickens. Pour into baking dish. Add rest of milk. Put in slow oven (300 degrees) for 3 hours. Do not stir. Serve warm with cream or hard sauce, ice cream, etc.
The beauty of this recipe is no eggs, long time to do other things and ease of preparation!
indian pudding wide 1
Salt Rising Bread
1 C milk scalded
5 C flour
3 T melted shortening
1 C warm water
1-1/2 t salt
4 T cornmeal
2 T sugar
Scald milk, add meal, 1/2 t of salt and sugar. Stand overnight til fermenting. Stir in shortening, water, rest of salt and 2 cups flour. Let rise til sponge is very loght. Add rest of ingredients. Knead shape and put in two greased pans. Cover, let rise to 2 1/2 original bulk. Bake 10 min at 375 degrees, Lower to 250 degrees and bake 25 minutes.
Not a light bread - moist. Ddesigned for yeastless homes. Fermentation can speed up by placing "yeast" in a jar covered in a bath of hot water. If no fermentation - start over - 1/3 yeast needed in hot weather.
Boiled Cod
Wrap whole (gutted) fish in cheese cloth. Place in kettle of boiling water. To one quart water add 1 t salt and 4 t vinegar. Simmer 8 min. per pound. Add pickling spices or dill or bayleaf if you like.
This was definitely on the menu of the first feast.

Insignia Chair Deb Yingst’s Swiss Corn Bake:
Swiss Corn Bake
Cook 3 cups fresh cut corn in 1 cup boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until tender or cook two 9 oz. packages frozen corn according to package directions and drain well. 
Combine corn, one  6 oz. can of evaporated milk, 1 egg (beaten), 2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, dash of pepper
and 3/4 cup of shredded Swiss cheese. 
Spread in baking dish. Toss 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs with 1 Tablespoon melted butter and 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese. Sprinkle on top. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serves 6. 

8 Corn Recipes That Go Beyond Corn on the Cob

Executive Assistant Kathy Liolios and her Swedish Apple Pie:
Spray Pam in a glass pie dish
Peel, core and slice 3 medium size apples. Place in pie dish.
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Sprinkle over apples

1 c sugar
1 c flour
1 beaten egg
¾ c melted butter or margarine
½ c chopped walnuts
Pinch of salt

Spread over top of apples
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 50 minutes until top is brown.
She highly suggests serving with ice cream!

photo Swedish Apple Pie 1

Member-at-Large Jane Schleinzer's Sour Cherry Cobbler - It's a family favorite!

In a large bowl gently toss together the cherries, the reserved cherry juice, the sugar, the cornstarch, the lemon juice, the cinnamon, the lemon rind, the cloves, and the nutmeg and let the mixture stand for 15 minutes. Arrange the mixture in a buttered shallow 3-quart baking dish and dot it with the butter.
Make the biscuit dough: Into a bowl sift together the flour, the sugar, the baking powder, and the salt. Add the butter and the shortening and blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in 1 cup of the cream and form the dough into a ball. On a floured surface gently press the dough or roll it into a round just large enough to cover the cherry mixture and arrange it over the cherry mixture, crimping the edge decoratively. Brush the dough with the remaining cream, cut steam vents in the center with the point of a knife, and bake the cobbler in a preheated 425-degree F. oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is pale golden and the filling is bubbling. Serve the cobbler warm with the brown sugar sour cream sauce if desired.

Brown Sugar and Sour Cream Sauce
Mix the sour cream and brown sugar. Serve over the Sour Cherry Cobbler.

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Communications Manager Christina Scott and  her Crisp Fall Slaw Salad.
Salad!? FOR THANKSGIVING? Sounds crazy, but tastes delicious and makes the perfect compliment to a warm plate of heavy, comfort food!

1/2 cup broccoli, finely chopped
1 medium beet (Sliced into matchsticks)
1/2 cup radish (Sliced into matchsticks)
1/2 cup yellow raisins 
1 1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/3 red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup sunflower seeds (these can be roasted, salted, raw, etc. anything works!)
A small bunch of fresh parsley 
(Optional: sometimes I like to add a chopped apple and/or shredded red cabbage, it's a salad that you can really mix up the ingredients as long as you have a little bit of sweet and a whole lot of crunch!)

2 1/2 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 large lemon, juiced
1 - 2 Tbsp honey
Pinch each sea salt + black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive or grape seed oil
Water to thin

Prepare veggies and add to a bowl. I suggest using a mandolin! Otherwise, a sharp knife and some patience would work brilliantly. 
Whisk dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl and taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Add dressing to veggies, along with sunflower seeds, raisins and chopped fresh parsley. Toss to coat. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving, preferably 2-3 hours or up to overnight.
Store in the fridge covered for a few days, though best within the first 24-48 hours.

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Membership Services Manager Georgi Hess shares with us her favorite cranberry recipe – simple but delicious!
Homemade Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and drained

Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. 
Makes 2 1/4 cups.

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