Apple Pie

Mrs J made enough pie dough for two crusts.  Her plan was for one peach pie with conventional crusts top and bottom but she was easily talked into making the Martha Stewart crumble topping.  That recipe makes enough for two pies.  You see where this is going.One peach pie.  One apple pie.  Two enter, none leave.  That is the Way of the Kitchen.


20161110_1937411600x1200I’ll start this off with a pie than should have been great but ended up only fair to poor.  It’s a Brown Butter Apple Pie with a Cheddar Crust.  Sound great!  It turned out to be a lot of effort for a disappointing result.  Mrs J swears that she will not try this one again.20161108_1511411600x1200This was a pretty good pie.  Somehow I got the water/flour ratio wrong on the dough – it ended up too wet and sticky.  I kneaded in more flour but gave up and poured it onto the pan.  It got an Awesome Sauce base for the mozzarella, onions, mushrooms, sausage, and ham.20161106_1055061600x1200I broke out my slicer for that big sous vide tenderloin I did, and also sliced some ham.  Most of it I vac-sealed and froze but kept some out for my midwestern version of the classic Cubano sammich.20161031_1357191600x1200More chili!  This is about half chorizo and half ground beef. I don’t usually put sour cream on mine but many people do.  I can take it or leave it.  It does make for a pretty picture, so there’s that.20161103_1701261600x1200I used the slow cook feature on the toaster oven, they got 2 hours on high and some more time on the low setting because we weren’t quite ready to eat.  I used a flat lid for the shallow pan and it touched the chicken quarter, that’s the black patch on the thigh.  The rest was quite tender, the leg came off as I plated it.20161105_1206141600x1200Here’s another sammich made with the pork and ham I sliced.  I need to make more slaw, bake more beans, and make another potato salad.20161109_1619231600x1200Classic spaghetti with meat sauce.  When the pasta drained after cooking, instead of spooning some sauce into it I used half a stick of butter that I zapped in the microwave with several cloves of garlic.  Add a little Parmesan and you can eat it just like that but I like a nice meat sauce.  Mrs J isn’t fond of mushrooms so I sauteed a few to top my plate with as a garnish instead of mixing them into the sauce.

Mmm… Apple Pie!

Gabe is showing some interest in the prep.  Mrs J is bringing him up right.20160811_150500(1600x1200)He likes apples, or maybe it’s just the cinnamon that has his attention.  It does smell good!20160811_155614(1600x1200)Mmm… apple pie!  We bought a bag of raw sugar that works as a sprinkle atop dessert pies and we really like it.  It has the same size granules as kosher salt.

Mrs J’s Famous Apple Pie

DSC_9061 (1600x1060)I asked the Missus if she had a link to her filling recipe and she said she just adds stuff until it tastes right.  Pretty much how I do things.  I do know she grates cinnamon and nutmeg and used apple cider.  I wasn’t watching very closely when she cooked it up, pretty sure she softened the sliced apples with butter in a saucepan to get it started.  She used the butter crust recipe from Smitten Kitchen.DSC_9064 (1600x1060)

The Official Festivus Pie

I proclaim it so.

Mrs J bought some apples a while back, huge Honey Crisps if I remember correctly, and two of them were still in the bowl last night when we decided to use them up before they turned on us..  I had a store bought pie crust so the bottom was easy but a crumb topping just sounded good so we went to the web for a recipe.  This one looked good.

I thought the two big apples may have been too much…We popped it into the preheated oven per directions for 25 minutes under a foil cap then looked at it.  I was afraid the crumb topping wasn’t working so I added another couple tablespoons of cold butter and let it go uncovered for another 40 minutes or so.  Maybe just a tad too much butter now.  LOL, too much butter?!  I kill myself.

We sat this bad boy out on the patio table to cool for a little while.  Mmm… I like pie!

Holiday Gift Ideas: Fruit Pie Cookies

I made these last year.  These cookies are so pretty they make a great addition to any holiday cookie platter or box.

The recipe is for apple filling, but I then did another batch using strawberry, blueberry and apple fillings. I made 3 dozen, 12 of each flavor.  Strawberry, Blueberry and Apple.  It took 1 cup of fruit for each dozen.  The only changes I made was to use a splash of lemon juice in the blueberries and strawberries, instead of cinnamon and nutmeg.

From Oct 2010 (click over for more pictures).

I’m going to declare this recipe a success.  These are really good, not too sweet thanks to the butter cookie base.  I made a half batch, my usual technique when working on a recipe.  I wish I’d made a whole batch.  Partly because they are really good, but also because they are time consuming to mix.

I’ve had the idea in my head for a while and it just took some time for the whole thing to kind of come together.  It’s part butter cookie, part apple pie, part apple crisp – I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Apple Pie Cookies

Butter Cookie Base:

  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour

Apple Pie Filling:

  • 2 Golden or Granny Smith, or other firm, apples – cored and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons water (as needed)

Crumble Topping:

  • 2 tbsp butter, soften
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)

Bowl, saucepan, min-muffin pan, wax paper

In bowl, cream together butter and sugar, add cinnamon and vanilla, mix well. Add flour, blend until well mixed, but do not over beat. Spread onto wax paper and roll into a long tube, about 1-1/2” in diameter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until chilled and firm.

Meanwhile, in saucepan, melt butter and add apples and simmer on medium to medium-low. Mix together brown sugar and spices, add to simmering apples, mix in well. When apples are softened, sprinkle flour over them, mix in, add water as necessary to create a thick syrup. Let simmer on low until you are ready to use.

In bowl, cut together butter, flour and oats until fine crumbles.

To assemble: spray muffin pan with oil, remove dough from refrigerator, cut twelve 1/4-inch slices from the dough, then replace remainder back into the refrigerator. Press each disk into the muffin pan, making a little bowl. Add apple mixture and top with crumbles. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool slightly before removing from the pan. They should slip out pretty easily – I used a knife to help slip them out. Makes 36 cookies.

You’ll have to let the pan cool just a bit before you assemble the next batch, as the butter cookies melt pretty quickly.

This and that

We were about to go out the door, heading for town and some errands, when I spotted this juvvy Mockingbird perched on a chair on the front deck.  Not the best photo, it was through two panes of glass, but the bird was probably looking at a reflection and so our presence went unnoticed or unseen.

We made a pass through the farmer’s market, Mrs J was set on peaches and a peach pie.  Alas, they didn’t have any, but the first local apples made an appearance.  We brought home a small sack of Galas.  Not the favored apple for pies but Mrs J was determined to bake one.

Mmm…the aroma from baking apple pie is one of those things I love about life.  We couldn’t hardly wait for it to cool enough to have some.

This morning was the usual, drinking coffee, catching up on the weather forecasts, reading my favorite comics online.  I looked up at the sunflowers growing right outside the window and spotted a hummer casing them for nectar.  Naturally the camera wasn’t set up for birding (apple pie!), but by the time I had changed lenses and fumbled the settings into order he was gone.  I sat tight and was rewarded when he returned.  It was a juvenile Ruby Throat male.

Not in the same class as a previous photo, but nothing to sniff at.