This Thanksgiving, gather round a tea-infused table. Baking and cooking with tea this holiday will give classic Thanksgiving dishes extra flavor and interest. From main dishes to dessert, tea can be used as an ingredient to spice things up:
THE MAIN EVENT
It’s not a law per se, but just about everybody agrees that you must eat turkey on Thanksgiving. If you’re looking to try something a little different this year, add tea to your brine with one of these tea-spiked turkey recipes:
1) Roasted Tea-Brined Turkey Breast
This recipe from Thirsty For Tea uses Lapsang Souchong tea, known for a flavor the author describes as “smokey, savory, [and] fiery.” Here, the tea is used in a low-salt turkey brine application, and is “savory enough to add a wonderfully deep layer of meaty flavor to the brined meat that will leave you so happy to have eased up on the sodium.” Use any leftovers in Thirsty For Tea’s recipe for Tea-Brined Turkey and Roquefort Baguettes.
2) Orange-Tea-Bourbon Brined Turkey With Honey Mustard Butter
This recipe from The Food Network calls for black tea bags, orange juice, and bourbon for its brine. The turkey is also slathered in a butter made with Dijon mustard, spicy mustard, and honey, the leftovers of which are combined with gravy to top the turkey. Talk about flavorful!
3) Grilled Tea-Brined Turkey with Tea and Lemon Gravy
This recipe from Epicurious calls for a turkey to be brined for 36-48 hours in a mixture of earl grey tea, lemon, rosemary sprigs, salt, and sugar. The gravy also calls for earl grey tea, which joins chicken broth, celery, carrots, onion, rosemary, lemon, butter, flour, and whipping cream.
Classic sides like cranberry sauce and stuffing are traditional, but that doesn’t mean you always have to prepare them the same way. Remix your favorite recipe by adding your preferred loose leaf tea, or try one of these recipes:
1) Spiced-Tea Cranberry Sauce
This sweet and spicy recipe from My Recipes calls Earl Grey its secret ingredient. Early grey tea joins cranberries, sugar, cardamom, whole star anise, and cinnamon sticks in this twist on a classic side dish. The author cautions cooks not to over-steep, which could turn the product bitter.
2) Green Tea-Infused Vegetable Stuffing
This recipe from The Washington Post calls for green mint tea and a symphony of vegetables that includes spinach, yellow onions, fennel, mushrooms and artichokes. Feel free to add more for extra nutrition!
3) Tea-Infused Vegan Sweet Potato Soup
Instead of classic mashed potatoes, try serving a healthier sweet potato-based dish, like this tea-infused sweet potato soup. The sweet potato and black tea share the spotlight with apple, onion, paprika, cinnamon, salt, and lime. Bonus: it’s vegan!
Turn to these tea-infused desserts to satisfy sweet tooths as Thanksgiving gatherings come to an end:
1) Roasted Pumpkin Pie with Earl Grey Whipped Cream
This pumpkin pie recipe from Humble Dish has two twists: roasted pumpkin puree filling and tea-infused whipped cream dollops. The author promises that a roasted filling is not a lot of extra work: “You can roast the pumpkin whole, no cutting required at all. Then you scoop out the seeds, remove the skin, and blitz the pumpkin flesh in the blender.” And for the tea-infused whipped cream, simply steep loose earl grey tea and whipped cream in a container for 24 hours ahead of time, then strain through a mesh sieve when it’s time to plate dessert.
2) Pumpkin Earl Grey Tea Cakes
This recipe from Food52 is vegan and gluten-free, so it’s a great choice for a large Thanksgiving soiree sure to be attended by guests with dietary restrictions. Almond and oat flours combine with ground flaxseed and pumpkin puree, with extra help from loose earl grey tea, almond milk, sugar, and orange zest. Light and flavor-forward, this cake is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
3) Matcha Shortbread Shots with Pumpkin Milk
Milk and cookies is an American classic, which makes it a great choice for Thanksgiving dessert. Matcha cookies with pumpkin milk? This recipe is the perfect twist for any on-trend baker. These cookies come in the unique form of a shooter that’s coated with chocolate, then filled with pumpkin milk that’s made from almond milk, pumpkin ice cream, and pumpkin puree. Adorable to behold, these sweet treats make for a delectable dessert and a fun visual.