Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Apple PIe

Apple Pie is the BEST pie.

Well...actually...my FAVORITE is Boysenberry Pie. And there was this one time, while visiting my Grandma Ewing in Washington, that I picked BOWLS of wild blackberries and she baked me TWO Blackberry Pies...which will live as one of the best days of my life in my memories FOREVER.

But Apple Pie is pretty much darn near the most perfect pie in existence. And much more easily attained than the two above mentioned variety's of pie...

I love apple pie, and wanted to share my very favorite, best EVER, Apple Pie recipe with you...

Now, you can make your own crust...and sometimes I do...but usually I just use Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust. It is easy and comes out great. So, the choice is yours...

Apple Pie

One pkg. Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust or enough pie dough to make a double-crust pie
8-10 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about 1/4-inch or so)
1-2 TBS lemon juice
1 cup sugar
2 TBS all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 TBS butter (chopped into chunks)
1 egg
Additional cinnamon/sugar mix to sprinkle

1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray your pie dish with Pam. Roll out half of pie crust and arrange it in pie pan, pressing gently to curves and walls of dish. Allow generous hang-over from edge of dish.

2. Toss apples into a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and stir until completely coated.

3. Transfer apple mixture to pastry-lined pie dish. Fill to HEAPING...apples should be spilling off. Try and get them all to stay put long enough for you to dot with butter and cover with second crust (which you may have to roll a bit thinner and wider to cover and overhang the apples.) If you can't fit all the apples in, that's okay...but make sure you get all the yummy cinnamon juice that has collected at the bottom of the bowl into your pie. If you have to, remove those excess apples and pour juice over what managed to stay put in pie. Pinch crusts together using thumb and fore and middle fingers to create "lace" at edge of pie. Trim excess, but save for later.

4. Cut vents in top of pie. Now...there are two ways you can glaze the crust...either using a WHOLE egg, or just the white. Depends on the look you're going for and the amount of golden-ness you want. So decide your look (I go back and forth...this year I used a whole egg), beat your egg in a cup, and with a pastry brush, GENEROUSLY glaze your top crust in an egg wash. Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture.

5. If you desire...you can use extra pie crust to make leafy cut-outs to decorate the edge of your pie. OR...you can use those extras to individually wrap some of the apples that just WOULDN'T STAY PUT in your pie for mini tarts. My mom always had mini pie dishes and made jelly tarts with the extra dough for us to munch on while we waited for the Thanksgiving Feast. OR - just throw it away and say: "Hey...I made an apple pie today...and that was enough!".

6. Rip aluminum foil into strips and spray with Pam, and cover pie edges so they don't burn. Bake about 30 minutes, remove foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes or until top is golden (mine got a little dark on top because I got distracted with laundry...but it is still gorgeous).

7. Cool on a wire rack and serve with ice cream. YUM!!!

(It is normal for pie to "fall" a bit as it cools...DO NOT FREAK OUT!!)

courtesy me!!!

Thanksgiving Stuffing

I love Thanksgiving. I'm awfully protective of it, too...like, I get very upset when the retail stores go straight from Halloween to Christmas decorations without even a nod to Thanksgiving (and all in July, too).

There are two things that I love MOST OF ALL for Thanksgiving, and they are Stuffing and Apple Pie.

This year, we went to friends for Thanksgiving dinner, and my friend asked me to bring my favorite thing...so I brought....STUFFING AND APPLE PIE.

Seriously...I was that predictable.

So I thought I'd share these amazing recipes with you...and you can try them out and see if they aren't just the best dad gum Stuffing and Apple Pie recipes out there!!!

I ALWAYS make a double batch of this...because I want to eat for 3 solid square meals for AT LEAST two days after Thanksgiving...so double if you're like me or are expecting a lot of holiday guests...

Thanksgiving Stuffing

1 bag Pepperidge Farm Cubed and Seasoned Stuffing (in a bag with red title)
a good cup and a half of chopped celery
a good cup and a half of chopped onion
Chicken broth (however many cups it says to have on the back of the bag of stuffing...I think 3)
1 STICK of butter (get the good salted sweet cream stuff)
a cup of whole button mushrooms, drained (about two jars worth)
One pound ground sausage (I usually go for the maple flavored)
3 Granny Smith or Liberty apples, peeled, cored, and diced (optional)

1. You're pretty much preparing the stuffing according to package directions, with a few minor adjustments. You're adding MORE celery and onion than called for, for example...so get that all chopped up...

You're also using a WHOLE STICK of butter. I think the guidelines call for 6 TBS...but you're just going to use the whole 8. So put that on a skillet and melt it, and add the onion and celery, and saute until onion and celery are almost soft. If you're lucky enough that your family will let you use apples, you cook them with the onion and celery, too. My family doesn't like apples in their stuffing, so I don't always get to add them. The beauty of doubling this recipe is that you can make one batch WITH apples, and one WITHOUT.

2. Meanwhile, brown up that pound of sausage.MMMmmmm....smells good.

3. When onion and celery are soft, add mushrooms and heat through.

4. Add sausage and remove from heat, stirring to combine flavors.

5. Heat your chicken broth to boiling, remove from heat and add bag of stuffing AND onion/celery/sausage/mushroom/possibly apple mixture. Stir/Fluff gently until moist.
6. Now...stuff your bird, but save some to stick in the oven, covered at 350, for about 30 minutes. If you want that yummy crispy top to your stuffing, remove the covering for the last 5 to 10 minutes, or after its had it's 30 minutes, put it under the broiler for a couple minutes.

This is so good...you'll never embarrass yourself by making Stove Top again!!
courtesy me!!!