Classic pumpkin pie is delicious, but there are plenty of inventive twists you can give this quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. Or start a new tradition with chocolate or fruit pies.

HillJ substitutes coconut milk for evaporated in the classic pumpkin pie recipe, or uses eggnog in place of eggs and milk. shaogo uses a tablespoon each of cinnamon and Chinese five-spice powder in place of the spices called for, and adds 1/4 cup molasses. cinnamon girl puts a smear of mincemeat on the pastry before pouring in the pumpkin filling for a double dose of holiday flavor.

middydd‘s favorite is pumpkin pie with ginger streusel. “The contrast between creamy filling and crunchy topping is really nice,” she says. heypielady likes this pumpkin chocolate tart, with a chocolate crumb crust, pumpkin filling, and chocolate drizzle; the key is to use a good chocolate, says heypielady, who favors Valrhona.

another_adam is a fan of Paula Deen’s pumpkin pie recipe, which includes cream cheese and butter and is very rich. “It had something of a cheesecake taste and a nice smooth texture,” he says, “but not a true cheesecake consistency.” It’s best at room temperature rather than cold. chowser recommends a double-layer pumpkin cheesecake.

If pumpkin doesn’t do it for you, try a fruit pie. heypielady calls the gingersnap topping on this pear-cranberry pie “amazing,” and loves the addition of lemon zest to the crust. cheesecake17 calls Key lime tart and lemon meringue pie “light and refreshing after a heavy meal.” Divamac goes the opposite direction, serving “stunningly good” double-chocolate tart with dulce de leche.

Oh, and by the way, if you have a pizza stone, by all means bake your pies on it. Doing so “does a stellar job of keeping the bottom crust from getting soggy when the pie contents are likely to exude quite a bit of liquid,” says JoanN, who uses a Pyrex pie plate.

Board Links: Super-duper pumpkin pie?
Non-traditional pies that are worth it… Thanksgiving
Baking pie on pizza stone? Yay or nay?

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