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Holiday Pies and Treats to Make Ahead

Updated on November 6, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty collects recipes from past generations among ethnic groups, the 13 Original Colonies, the American Civil War & the 19th century.

Let's Freshen Our Meals With Make Ahead Recipes

The following are delicious recipes that I have collected over the years from the Midwest and near- southern states. While they can be used all year, they are handy during the harvest season and its feast days. Some of them are great for Mother's Day, Father's Day and the 4th of July as well.

These recipes include dishes they can be - or must be - stored at least overnight in the refrigerator to blend flavors and/or to set up to a required firmness, and others that can be kept up to 7 days in the refrigerator, and still others that can be frozen.


Traditional Midwest Pecan Vinegar Pie (A Spice Pie)

Provides 8-10 servings

This recipe is much like the Southern Vinegar Pie of the American South, but with the addition pecans. You may prefer English or black walnuts.


  • 1.5 Cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice
  • 1.5 Tablespoons powdered cocoa or 1/2 cup chopped pecans – or both
  • 4 Whole eggs, well beaten
  • 1/4 Cup butter, melted and cooled a bit - don't allow it to congeal
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 9-inch pie shell – your own recipe or purchase from the market freezer case. Some stores sell pie shells in a package in the baking aisle as well.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the sugar and all the spices until mixed thoroughly.
  2. In another bowl, combine the beaten eggs, butter, vinegar, and vanilla and beat together
  3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well mixed.
  4. Pour the batter into the pie shell and bake until set, for 45 - 50 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack. Store overnight in the refrigerator, covered tightly, if required.


Make Ahead Grape Salad - Takes 10 Minutes or Less

Use a combination of two or three varieties of grapes - my favorite includes seedless green, purple, and black grapes.

This salad needs to refrigerate at least overnight and can be kept for a total of 2 days in the refrigerator in an air tight container.

Provides 6-8 servings for a meal or a great holiday celebration. Try it for a potluck!

5 stars from 1 rating of Make Ahead Grape Salad

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: A family meal or celebration dinner


  • 1 Cup low-fat sour cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature and softened
  • 1 Cup Cool Whip or whipped cream
  • 1.5 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 Pounds of seedless grapes
  • Nuts and crunchies for toppings.

Easy Fast Directions

  1. Rinse grapes and Place everything all at once into a large mixing bowl and stir until the grapes are coated.
  2. Place salad in an air tight container and refrigerate overnight.


Kentucky “Transparent Pie”

Serves 8

This is nicknamed Transparent Pie for its light, almost translucent color of the batter.


  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup cream
  • 4 Whole eggs, well beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell


  1. Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl, then add in the cream and mix again.
  2. Beat in eggs a little at a time and make sure all is well blended.
  3. Stir in the flour and vanilla, mix well and pour the better into the pie shell.
  4. Bake in a 375 F oven for 35 -40 minutes, until golden brown.


Chocolate Candied Apples - No Cooking!

Serves 10 and can be made 1-2 days ahead of time. Keep covered in a plastic container in the refrigerator.


  • 10 of your favorite "eating" apples, sweet or tart
  • 10, 6-inch wooden apple skewers or Popsicle sticks
  • 1, 13-oz jar of a good chocolate hazelnut spread like Nutella
  • Assorted edible decorations - chopped peanuts, raisins, dried cranberries, colored sugar sprinkles, powdered sugar, small chocolate chips, slivered almonds, crumbled cookies, crumbled waffle cones, etc.


  1. Remove all of the stems from the apples and wash them, then pat dry with a clean towel.
  2. Insert a stick in the stem end of each apple. With a spatula, cover the apples with chocolate-hazelnut spread.
  3. Next, roll the choco-covered apples in the decorations of your choice and place them carefully on a plate covered with waxed paper.
  4. Place dessert into the refrigerate until chocolate is set firm. Store in a plastic Tupperware-type container with the lid on of not serving the same day.

A Creamy pumpkin dip. Add some pimento or chopped sweet peppers, if you like a little savory additions.
A Creamy pumpkin dip. Add some pimento or chopped sweet peppers, if you like a little savory additions. | Source

Pumpkin Dip - Good for 7 days!

This flavorful dip can be made up to one full week ahead of time.


  • 8 oz brick or tub of cream cheese at room temperature & softened
  • 2 Cups powdered sugar 1, 15-oz or 16-oz can of pumpkin (not the pie filling or pumpkin pudding)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Cookies and fruit slices for dipping. Try sliced apples!


  1. Put the cream cheese and powdered sugar into a mixing bowl and beat well.
  2. Next, add in the pumpkin, cinnamon, and ginger and beat again.
  3. Pour the dip mixture into an airtight container, cover it, and chill at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.
  4. When ready to serve the dip, sit it on the kitchen counter until it reaches room temperature. Place dip in a serving dish and surround it with gingersnaps, vanilla wafers, apple slices, pear slices or whatever else you might like.
  5. Keep remainder refrigerated up to 1 week.


Pumpkin Loaves

This recipe makes two loaves that can be frozen


  • 2, 15- or 16-oz Cans of pumpkin <OR> 1, 26-oz can (bread will not be quite as moist with this size can, so add another Tablespoon of oil)
  • 3.5 Cups flour
  • 3 Cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 4 Whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 Cup Spring water
  • 1/3 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Cup chopped almonds or pecans or walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and cooking spray and dust with flour, two 9- by 13-inch loaf pans.

  2. In a mixing bowl, mix the pumpkin, flour, sugar, cinnamon, soda, and salt well. Then add the eggs, water, oil, and nuts of your choice.

  3. Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans and then bake for one hour or until a knife blade inserted in center comes out clean.


Stove Top Turkey Bake

Serves 6 and is great for the days after a holiday and can be frozen.


  • 3½ Cups leftover cooked turkey
  • 4 Cups spring water
  • 2 boxes (about 6 OZ each) of quick-cooking long grain and wild rice mix
  • 1 can reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ Cup skim or 2% milk
  • ¾ Cup of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


  1. Coarsely chop the turkey and set it aside.
  2. In a deep nonstick skillet with a lid, stir the water, rice mix, and seasoning packets, cream of mushroom soup, and the milk.
  3. Next, put the skillet over medium heat and bring it to the boil.
  4. Just as the mixture boils, cover the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 5 minutes.
  5. Uncover the pan and cook 5 minutes, until nearly all liquid is absorbed. Add in the turkey and stir briefly.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese over the new mixture and cover again -- cook on low heat for 2 - 3 minutes until the cheese melts and turkey is heated through.


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Yes, it is a funny name isn't it. But a GOOD taste!


    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 9 years ago

      Another GREAT Hub Patty!!

      I must admit I thought you had lost your mind when I read the title of this Hub!!?? &quot;Vinegar Pie!!?&quot; Sounds just awful!! I had never heard a spiced pie referred to this way!!

      Your other recipes look positively delicious as well!!

      Blessings always, Earth Angel!!