The Best Thanksgiving Side Dish You’ve Never Heard Of
Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. It is, after all, entirely focused on food. Not only that, there’s no pesky burden of gift-giving to get in the way of just enjoying the company of family and friends. It’s a bit of a shame that Thanksgiving is between Halloween (with its emphasis on buying too much candy) and Christmas (with its emphasis on buying, well, everything) – especially since the Christmas retail season has bled so far that I’m no longer shocked to see Christmas decorations in October…
At any rate, Thanksgiving in my mother’s house is completely traditional in some ways, and decidedly not in others. There’s family, of course, and also adopted family (there are often 20+ people around the table). There’s an enormous turkey, yes, and also curried fruit – a side dish I’ve never seen anywhere else.
Since curried fruit goes so brilliantly with turkey as well as ham, I thought it was a good time to let y’all know about it. And please fight the urge to think it sounds odd, because once you try it you’ll no longer feel like Thanksgiving is complete without it.
Sara’s Curried Fruit
This is a dish that’s served warm, but it’s actually better if you make it in advance (a day or two before) and reheat it. This gives all the flavors a chance to get to know each other better. Plus, then it’s one less thing you need to do on Thanksgiving, which is always a blessing.
- 1 large can sliced pineapple
- 1 large can (or 2 small cans) halved peaches
- 1 large can (or 2 small cans) halved pears
- 1 small-medium can plums (be sure to remove the pits!)
- ½ – ¾ stick of salted butter
- ¾ – 1 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Drain all canned fruit & pat it dry with paper towels. It doesn’t need to be bone dry, you just want to absorb most of the excess syrup.
- Layer the fruit in a baking dish. The dimensions of the dish aren’t critical, as you’ll just keep layering until the fruit is gone, but you don’t want something too big or you won’t get the layered effect of the fruit.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
- Add the brown sugar & curry powder to the melted butter & stir constantly for a few minutes. The mixture should be fairly thick (it won’t be a pour-able liquid). Take care not to burn this mixture.
- Spoon the butter/sugar/curry mixture over the fruit in the baking dish, letting some of it go between the cracks to the layers below.
- Bake uncovered for one hour.
- Remove & cool, then refrigerate (covered) overnight. (Unless you’re serving it immediately, of course.)
- When you’re ready to serve the dish, reheat it uncovered for one hour again in a 350° oven.