In the unlikely event every American limited themselves to just a single slice of pie on Thanksgiving Day, total consumption would top 40 million pies. Conservatively speaking, I bet we can count on most of our countrymen and women to have at least two pieces. I know for a fact from my own recipe testing, that the dough for a 9-inch single crust pie weighs just about 10 ounces and that 1 to 2 of those ounces typically gets trimmed off in the pie-making process. The excess dough amassed from making 40 million pies would, collectively, leave enough dough to make 5 million more. That’s a whole lot of wasted butter and flour.

We’d likely have a food safety issue on our hands if we attempted to bring all that discarded dough together in one place to make those extra pies. So the most practical thing to do would be for each of us to do our own part to use up the trim in myriad sweet and savory ways to be served before, during and after Thanksgiving dinner.

Cookbook author Cathy Barrow in her recently published “Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet and Savory Slab Pies” (Full disclosure: I was paid to test the recipes in this book), suggests that if you are in a savory mood, dip the small shard or strips of uncooked pie dough in egg wash, then roll them in grated cheese, sprinkle them with smoked paprika or dredge them in “everything bagel” mix of equal parts granulated onion, kosher salt and poppy, sesame and caraway seeds. You can keep these bits flat to serve as crackers with cheese. Or you stretch and twist the dough into rough corkscrew shapes. The twists can be served as is as appetizers or served as dippers with soft-boiled eggs (see recipe) on Black Friday. In either form, bake them on parchment paper in a hot oven between 350 and 425 degrees (alongside your pie to conserve energy) until they are toasty brown, about 20 minutes.

Holiday pie dough scraps can be used to make sweet and savory nibbles.

If you have a sweet tooth, Barrow suggests using your fingertips to tap pie dough scraps into a flat shapes, spread honey on top and roll the dough up into a loose jelly roll. Or press pieces of the dough into the bottom of mini-muffin tins to make jammy tarts. If chocolate is your thing, pinch a piece of pie dough around a chunk of chocolate, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar before baking. If you’ve already got the cinnamon and sugar out on the counter for an apple pie, coat the scraps with egg wash, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, bake and crush them to be used latter as an ice cream topping.

If you’re pressed for time to get Thanksgiving dinner on the table or don’t have the oven real estate to accommodate this extra baking because the 20-pound turkey is in there, know that pie dough scraps will keep well in the fridge for 48 hours or up to 3 months in the freezer.


CHRISTINE BURNS RUDALEVIGE is a food writer, recipe developer and tester and cooking teacher in Brunswick, and the author of “Green Plate Special,” a cookbook from Islandport based on these columns. She can be contacted at [email protected]

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