PieHarvest Pie from The Estes Pie Shop and Bakery (credit: Deborah Flomberg)

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means you are probably hard at work planning your menus, inviting your guests and making pretty centerpieces. Of course, you’ll want your food to be reflective of your traditions with recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. However, don’t be afraid to sneak in a new recipe or two to keep things interesting and to enjoy some new flavors. If you aren’t sure where to start with something different, why not bring in the one thing that everyone always loves – pie. There are so many amazing and creative pie recipes that you can offer one or two different pies each year and they are sure to be a huge hit with everyone. Here are two that you simply must take the time to try.

Valerie Thompson
Estes Park Pie Shop and Bakery
509 Big Thompson Ave.
Estes Park, CO 80517
(970) 577-7437

Known by locals as the “you need pie” diner, the Estes Park Pie Shop and Bakery is more than a full-service diner and pie shop. It’s the kind of place that adheres to a very important mission – “Would Grandma be proud?” Everything this local pie haven does lives by that advice, from the recipes to the atmosphere and even the service. If it wouldn’t make Grandma proud, then they don’t do it.

The Estes Park Pie Shop and Bakery is owned by Valerie and Rick Thompson and has been going strong since 2008. It’s grown a strong reputation for amazing pie recipes, and has won several awards over the years including “The Best Place Along the Front Range to get Pie” from The Denver Post in 2011. Here, Valerie Thompson offers two of her favorite pie recipes for you to try at home. Give it a shot, or take the drive to Estes Park and enjoy the beautiful fall colors while you pick up a couple of pies to go.

Related: Top Tips And Recipes From Denver Chefs For Thanksgiving Meals And Leftovers

Carmel Apple Pie from The Estes Pie Shop and Bakery (Credit, Deborah Flomberg)

Caramel Apple Pecan Pie
Pecan pie is always a holiday staple, but why not jazz up your usual pecan pie recipe with this delicious alternative? This one is always a huge hit at the pie shop and it uses a combination of oats, brown sugar and butter to create a moist and crumbly topping that everyone will love. You can make your own caramel sauce from scratch, or to save some time, you can also use your favorite prepared caramel sauce to add even more sweetness to this delectable pie.


  • 1 pie crust (use your favorite but we prefer a salty crust rather than a sweet one for this recipe)


  • 6 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced (7-8 apples)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg


  • 1/2 cup butter soft
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup flour


  1. Mix all of the filling ingredients in a bowl and pour into an unbaked pie shell. Set aside.
  2. Mix all topping ingredients in a bowl. Cut in butter with your hands until crumbly.
  3. Sprinkle topping over apple mixture in pie shell.
  4. Bake at 350 degree F for 1-1.25 hours until the pie drips thick syrupy drips from the sides. If it doesn’t drip, it’s not done!
  5. Topping will get dark brown. Cool 2 hours.
  6. Coarsely chop 1 cup pecans over the top, and drizzle with your favorite prepared caramel sauce. Enjoy!

Related: Ask A Denver Chef: Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes

Harvest Pie


  • 2 pie crusts – salty or sweet works here (one for the bottom, one for the top)


  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 4 pears (we like Bosch) peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup whole fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour into unbaked pie crust.
  2. Top with additional pie crust.
  3. Brush top with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Cut a slit in the top for venting.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1-1.25 hours until drips are slow and syrupy from the side and vent hole in the pie.
  6. Cool 2 hours and serve!

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.