Filed under: Pies & Tarts
November 21, 2020

10 Non-Traditional Pies to Bake for the Holidays

Holiday pie ideas that go beyond traditional pumpkin and apple pie; this list of ten pies features funky meringues and curds, cheesecakes that push the envelope and the yummiest cookie dough pies.

Here’s round up of some of the best pies & tarts on buttermilk, just in time for the holidays. I’ve got pies with curds and meringues, pies made from cookie dough, pies that are all about chocolate, and a few recommendations if you are going the traditional route of pumpkin, pecan or apple. Whatever your needs, desires for your holiday feast, you’ll find something on this list!

Semi-Traditional Pies

Brown Butter Chocolate Pecan Pie with a Chocolate Meringue: part brownie, part chocolate chess pie, this rests in an all butter crust. The brown butter taste shines alongside the chocolate, and if your family need a no-nut version you can easily do without the pecans. Topped with a giant cloud of chocolate marshmallow this is the best pie for chocolate lovers.



Easy Apple Galette: This one couldn’t be easier and is for those who want apple pie without the hassle of peeling and slicing +8 apples. To make it, make halve the all-butter crust from this recipe, and toss 3 sliced apples (pick ones that are oven-friendly) with 1/4 cup brown sugar, some spices, salt and a squeeze of lemon. Or, toss the apples instead with some caramel sauce. This apple cider caramel sauce would be a wonderful addition. Roll out the dough and place the apples in the center (both calculated rainbow and piled up messy are fine designs!) leaving a 1 inch border. Fold the border over, brush the top of the crust with heavy cream and sprinkle on some sugar. Bake at 400 F for about 40 mins. Voila!



Apple Cider Meringue (aka the best pumpkin pie topping): an Italian meringue made by cooking sugar and apple cider until it ‘candies’ and then beating it with egg whites. It’s a giant apple cider marshmallow and nothing, absolutely nothing makes more sense on thanksgiving day than this fluffy situation on pumpkin pie.


apple cider meringue

Unique Curd & Meringue Pies

Pomegranate Meringue Pie: a crumbly lime shortbread, a tart curd that truly tastes like pomegranate and a pile of pomegranate meringue on top make this the most unique pie on my site. Truly nothing like it! Bonus, it can be made ahead of time and makes use of a fruit that is only in season for a few months a year.





Blueberry Lemon Bars: lemony shortbread carries a lemon blueberry curd here. This can be made a day in advance (or days) and will brighten up any holiday dessert table with its bright purple hue and its wonderfully tart taste. Recipe here.


Fancy Cheesecakes


Apple Cider Cheesecake: buttermilk’s 2019 crown jewel recipe was a tall, unimaginably creamy cheesecake that was seasonal without including pumpkin. Fresh apple cider is boiled down to a thick syrup and added to a cream cheese and sour cream filling.


apple cider cheesecake


Pistachio Butter Cheesecake: no cheesecake ever tasted like real pistachios until this one came along. Made from processing actual nuts into a paste, this uber creamy cheesecake is equal parts pistachio, cream cheese and sour cream. Bonus: it’s made in a food processor and terribly easy.



Cookie Dough Pies


Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pie: for the chocolate lovers in the house who aren’t interested in the fruit pies and want to feed the inner child, a dutch cocoa edible cookie dough with chunks of milk chocolate housed in a cookie shell and topped with a salted milk chocolate ganache topping.



Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pie with Dark Chocolate Ganache: a beloved recipe, this is three layers of chocolate and cookie heaven. An oreo crust, a brown sugar whipped edible cookie dough filling with chunks of dark chocolate topped with a salted dark chocolate ganache. Nobody, and I mean nobody, would turn down a slice of this.


whipped cookie dough pie tart

The odd one out, but perfectly seasonal

Brown Sugar Pavlova with Whipped Cream Apple Cider Caramel. Not quite a pie, but each perfect slice tastes like fall from top to bottom. This is a stunning dish with lots of components and the toppings can be adapted to your needs and whatever fruits you find in the store. The caramel can be made ahead of time, the meringue the night before and it’ll take 15 minutes to assemble.

sliced apple pistachio caramel pavlova

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