I keep saying it but it's shocking how fast time has flown since I had my Baby Strawberry. She's getting so big (10 weeks tomorrow and 11 pounds already) and I'm loving every minute. Thanksgiving is here already and that means some serious cooking with the holidays starting. We'll be enjoying a good ham (with some turkey on the side, I'm not the only person who much prefers ham, right?), hot homemade rolls (my assignment), and plenty of pies from the woman who taught me how to crimp a crust- my Aunt CarmaLee. It's going to be wonderful and a holiday I look forward to every year.
If you haven't planned your menu yet, I'd really recommend this beautiful and delicious Apple pie from Dorie Greenspan. I've never been a huge pumpkin fan, except for that sugar and chocolate loaded bread, and will take an apple pie over that any day. Apples are a buck a pound around here right now and you can bet this will be gracing our table. Pile in those apples, don't think about the calories, and enjoy the time of year. There's a lot to be thankful for (especially, for me, the people in my little strawberry patch!)
Don't forget to come back next week for a special giveaway...
All-American All-Delicious Apple Pie
adapted from Dorie Greenspan (and casually typed- buy the book already to enjoy her beautiful writing, photographs, and recipes of course!)
Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough for a double crust, chilled (see instructions below)
4 pounds (about 6 very large) apples - I used a mix of Pink Ladies, Fujis, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious - whatever looks good and a nice mix of textures and sweetness
3/4 cup sugar
Grated zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca or 1 tablespoon Ultra Gel
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs (or dried bread crumbs, unseasoned)
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
milk and sugar for the optional glaze
Preheat the oven to 425. Peel, core and slice the apples. Put the apples into a large bowl and add the sugar, lemon zest, tapioca (I used Ultra gel), cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Toss together and let sit for five minutes.
Remove the pie crust from the fridge and sprinkle the crumbs over the bottom of the crust (to help prevent sogginess) and then turn the apples and the juices into the crust. The apples will heap over the top of the crust. Pat them into an even mound. Dot the apples with the bits of cold butter.
Lightly moisten the rim of the bottom crust with water, place the top crust over the pie, and crimp together after cutting overhang.
Use a sharp knife to cut slits into the top crust. Brush the top crust with a little milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake the pie for 15 minutes (at 425). Reduce the heat to 375 and bake for another 50 to 60 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the juices are bubbling. Check on the pie after a half an hour or so to make sure it’s not browning too quickly (use a foil tent in that case).
Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and let it rest until just warm. Serve with ice cream.
Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough
adapted from Dorie Greenspan
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks very cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
3/8 cup very cold (frozen is even better) Crisco (plain, not butter flavored), cut into 4 pieces
About 1/2 cup ice water
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don't overdo the mixing—what you're aiming for is to have pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley.
Pulsing the machine on and off, add 3 tablespoons of the water—add a little water and pulse once; add some more water and pulse again; and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn't look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. If you've got big pieces of butter, that's fine. The dough is ready and should be scraped out of the work bowl and on to a smooth work surface. (be careful not too add too much water- if the dough looks dry after adding most of the water, pinch it with your hands to check if it's coming together, and finish combining it by hand)
Shape the dough into a disk and wrap it. Refrigerate the dough at least 1 hour before rolling. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.