Hudson Valley Thanksgivings, a time to reflect (and to bake!)

At no other time of year are ovens packed to the gills by home and professional bakers alike. The tail end of apple picking season combined with the urge to bake comfort foods like wholesome and delicious quick breads and pies takes over the hearts, hands, and kitchens of anyone with a passion for baking.

Thanksgiving table with turkey and sides

Baking is an art form, one who professional and amateur bakers alike will agree on. For people whose strengths lie in cooking like myself, being able to bake and go above and beyond a baking recipe which seems so confined by having to measure absolutely everything constantly amazes me. I have a huge amount of admiration for someone who can turn out consistently delicious baked goods, luscious tarts, heavenly pies, decadent cakes and moist quick breads. Our member innkeepers are in that category of talented people who bake!

To give you just a sampling of our member inn’s delights, the Barclay Heights Bed and Breakfast at Smythe House makes a fantastic banana cream pie, Inn at Twaalfskill has mouthwatering Maple cookies, WhistleWood Farm Bed and Breakfast bakes with their own eggs from their own chickens at the B&B, Hilltop House’s Scones has reports from guests that they are better than anything they have had back home in the UK, try some Baked Apple Puffs from the Inn at Green River, the Olde Rhinebeck Inn has a fabulous signature baked French pear pancake with a hint of raspberry.

That’s not all, try the Scandinavian Almond Coffeecake at Inn at Twaalfskill, Stonegate Bed and Breakfast’s moist Zucchini-Berry Bread, Inn at Silver Maple Farm makes fresh pumpkin muffins, and The Baker House Bed & Breakfast has luscious rich brownies with pecans and made with olive oil and flaky salt to mention just a very small sampling of the wonderful baked goods that accompany breakfasts at our member inns. Are you hungry yet?

In the spirit of the holiday, we would like to share a delicious Thanksgiving recipe developed by a friend.

Pumpkin pie garnished with whipped cream

Rum Pum Pum Pumpkin Pie
Makes two pies


  • Pastry dough (or you may use frozen pie shells)
  • 2 (15-ounces) cans of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Garnish with Rum Whipped Cream and Spiced Walnuts (our favorite is from Martha Stewart, substituting a good quality butter for the olive oil)

Rum Whipped Cream

  • 2 teaspoons Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream (whipped)
  • 1 tablespoon Agave syrup


  • Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round and fit into the pie plates.
  • Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang.
  • Fold the overhang under and lightly press against rim of the pie plates, then crimp decoratively.
  • Lightly prick bottom and sides all over with a fork.
  • Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (or freeze for 10 minutes).
    -Skip this step if using pre-made pie shells
  • Preheat oven to 375°F with the rack in middle.
  • Line the shell with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights (dried beans can be substituted for weights).
  • Bake until the sides are set and the edges are golden, about 20 minutes.
  • Carefully remove weights and foil and bake the shells until golden all over, about 10 to 15 minutes more. Cool completely.
  • Whisk together wet and dry ingredients and pour into cooled shells.
  • Bake until the edges of the filling is set but center wiggles slightly, about 45 minutes (the filling will continue to set as it cools).
  • Refrigerate before serving.
  • Pie is best served when it has come up almost to room temperate.

And don’t forget to make your upcoming Holiday reservations at our Hudson Valley Lodging Association Members soon, many book up for the Holidays. Many of our inns also offer holiday and New Year’s Packages, so check back frequently. And remember #BookDirect. Booking Directly with our inns assures you the best rates plus access to unadvertised special offers.

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