Pies

Apple Pie

This makes quarantine a little better! Recipe #15 on kingarthurflour.com‘s Best Basic Recipes Collection. This is a really good apple pie, not too sweet not too tart. In our family we usually have Cherry Apple Pie, it is a heavenly combination. It is always a nice treat to have pie!

Apple Pie 1

Apple Pie 2 Apple Pie 3

Apple Pie 4 Apple Pie 5

Crust
2½ cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold butter
7-10 Tbl ice water

Filling
8 cups peeled, sliced apple (from about 3 1/4 pounds whole apples)
2 Tbl lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbl flour
2 Tbl cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 cup boiled cider or undiluted apple juice concentrate
2 tsp vanilla, optional
2 Tbl butter, diced in small pieces

To make the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Work in the shortening until mixture is evenly crumbly. Dice the butter into 1/2″ pieces, and cut into mixture until you have flakes of butter the size of a dime.

Add water 2 Tbl at a time, mixing with a fork as you sprinkle water into the dough. When the dough is moist enough to hold together when you squeeze it, transfer it to a piece of wax or parchment paper. It’s OK if there are some dry spots in the pile. Use a spray bottle of water to lightly spritz these places; that way you’ll add just enough water to bring the dough together without creating a wet spot.

Fold dough over on itself three or four times to bring it together, then divide it into two pieces, one about twice as large as the other. The larger piece will be the bottom crust; the smaller piece, the top crust. Pat each piece of dough into a disk about 3/4″ thick.

Roll each disk on its edge, like a wheel, to smooth out the edges. This step will ensure your dough will roll out evenly, without a lot of cracks and splits at the edges later. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a 9″ pie pan that’s at least 2″ deep. This will make serving the pie easier after it’s baked.

To make the filling: Combine the sliced apples and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt, and spices. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples, and stir to coat them. Stir in the boiled cider (or apple juice concentrate) and the vanilla, if you choose to use it.

To assemble the pie: Roll the larger piece of pastry into a 13″ circle. Transfer it to the prepared pan, and trim the edges so they overlap the rim of the pan by an inch all the way around. Spoon the apple filling into the pan. Dot the top with the diced butter.

Roll out the remaining pastry to an 11″ circle. Carefully place the pastry over the apples. Bring the overhanging bottom crust up and over the top crust, pinching to seal the two and making a decorative crimp. Prick the crust all over with a fork, to allow steam to escape. Or cut decorative vent holes, if desired. Alternatively, you can weave a lattice.

For extra crunch and shine, brush the top crust with milk (or an egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon of water), and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place the pie in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up the crust while the oven finishes heating.

Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 40 minutes more, until you see the filling bubbling inside the pie (and perhaps dripping onto the parchment). Check the pie after half an hour of baking time, and cover the edges with foil or a pie shield to keep them from browning too quickly, if necessary. When the pie is done — you should see the filling bubbling vigorously, either around the edges, or via any decorative vents — remove it from the oven.

Cool the pie completely before slicing — really. Cutting any fruit pie that’s still warm is a messy business. The filling continues to thicken as the pie cools, and if you cut it too soon it will run out all over the place. It’s better to bake the pie in advance, cool it completely, then warm each slice as needed after it’s been cut. Store any leftover pie, lightly covered, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

My Favorite Pies!

Lemon Truffle Pie

Brownies & Bars

Apple Walnut Blondies with Butterscotch & Cream Cheese

I know, that is quite a long name, but that is what they are. These blondies are moist and full of flavors, Fall flavors!

Apple Walnut Blondies with Butterscotch & Cream Cheese

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, & cut in chunks
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3 Tbl butterscotch sauce (ice cream topping)
2 oz cream cheese, cut into little chunks

Preheat oven to 350°. In large bowl, mix butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla by hand. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Fold in apple chunks and walnuts. Spread in sprayed 9″x9″ baking pan. Drizzle butterscotch sauce over batter. Evenly distribute cream cheese chunks over batter. Using tip of knife, drag through butterscotch, cream cheese and batter to swirl together a bit. Bake 35 minutes. Cut when cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

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Dessert, Pies

Mini Apple Pies

Two of my favorite people are coming for dinner, Mom and Dad. We are eating fairly light because after dinner we are going on a long walk. I do know that my parents would love a little something sweet after our meal, so here is a little something sweet!

Mini Apple Pies

Mini Apple Pies 2Mini Apple Pies 3Mini Apple Pies 4

Pastry:
1 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter flavor shortening
3 Tbl ice water

Stir together flour, sugar, and salt.  Cut in the shortening.  Add 1 Tbl of water at a time, mixing with fork until dough holds together.  Make into a disc (handle as little as possible), wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour.

Apple Pie Filling:
1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored, cut in mini chunks (about 1½ cups)
lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbl flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375°. Roll out pastry dough , cut out 8 rounds about 3½” in diameter. Gently fit down into mini muffin cups in mini muffin pan. Put tiny cut apple chunks in bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice, toss. Stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle over apple chunks and toss to coat. Spoon apple filling into pastry cups. Gently pressing down to fill cups completely up to top. Cut out desired shape of pastry dough to place on top of each mini pie. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or sugar crystals or both. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden and filling is bubbling. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, remove and cool completely on cooling rack. Makes 8 mini pies.

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If you are interested in Demarle bakeware such as the Mini Muffin Tray and Perforated Sheet please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

Cakes

Strawberry Apple Spice Cake

This is an incredibly flavorful moist cake.  There are many different flavors, but all work so well together.  Inspired by a tasteofhome.com recipe, I made a few adjustments to suit our family.  Delicious!

                       

Cake:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
1 cup strawberry jam
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/3 cups flour
1½ tsp baking soda
1½ tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp each ground allspice, cloves and cinnamon
1½ cups buttermilk
3/4 cups mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup chopped peeled apple

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour bundt pan.  In large bowl with electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Mix in strawberry jam, egg, and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking soda and spices; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.  Stir in mini chocolate chips, pecans, and apple.  Pour into prepared bundt pan.  Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.  Cool completely then glaze.

Glaze:
2 Tbl strawberry jam
1/2 cup powdered sugar

In small bowl, microwave jam for  a few seconds to thin.  Stir in powdered sugar and spread over top of cake.

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware and kitchen tools please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

Brownies & Bars, Dessert

Apple Pastry Squares

These apple squares are amazing, just like picking up and eating a mini apple pie.  They have a flaky pastry crust bottom and top with heavenly apple filling inside.  But, they are labor intensive, and take quite a bit of time to prepare.  So, here is my shortcut, canned apple pie filling.  I know, there are purist out there, so I will include the filling recipe, and it is nice to make when you have the time.  But, when you want these decedent apple squares and you don’t have all day, this shortcut is the answer!

                       

                       

Pastry:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1/4 cup cold water
1 Tbl lemon juice

Combine flour and salt.  With pastry blender or two knives, cut shortening into flour until crumbly.  Mix egg, water, and lemon juice, mix into flour mixture to form a ball.  Divide pastry dough in half.  On floured surface, roll one piece of dough out to fit in bottom and slightly up sides of 13″x9″ pan.  Ready for filling.

Apple Filling: (homemade recipe below)
1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling
3 Tbl sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400°.  Pour filling into bowl and with pastry blender or two knives cut apples in filling to make small pieces.  Spread filling out evenly over pastry in bottom of pan.  In small bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Sprinkle about 2/3 of mixture over filling.  Roll remaining pastry piece to fit completely over filling, and gently lay over filling.  Fold bottom pastry edge over top pastry and press to seal or use pastry wheel to roll around edge to seal top and bottom together.  Cut a few slits in top crust to vent, sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, may need to cover with foil during baking to prevent from over-browning.  Cool completely.  Drizzle with glaze.

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbl milk
1 Tbl butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients and drizzle over top pastry.

Homemade Apple Filling:
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbl cornstarch
1 cup cold water
5 cups small chunks thinly sliced peeled apples
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbl lemon juice

Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, and water in saucepan.  Add apples, heat to boiling, stirring constantly until thickened.  Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice, cool.

One Year Ago Today:  Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware and kitchen tools such as the Roul’Pat & Beechwood Rolling Pin please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

 

Cakes, Dessert

Cinnamon Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

This is a favorite of mine.  Warm cinnamon apple cake with wonderful gooey caramel sauce served with cool cinnamon spice whipped cream or a scoop of french vanilla ice cream!  I have to admit I had this (a lot of it) for lunch today, that is why I am having a bowl of very healthy low-calorie cereal for dinner.  If I wrote down what I eat and a dietician took a look at it I believe they would faint.  I just ate some grapes, feeling pretty healthy right now.

Cinnamon Apple Cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1½ tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 cups apples, peeled, cut into small chunks
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, mix well.  Mix in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Fold in apples and pecans.  Spread batter in sprayed bundt pan and bake for 40-50 minutes.  This is the tricky part…as it bakes it looks dark so you think it’s done, be careful it is cooked through, you don’t want the center gooey and raw.  Test in center to make sure it is set.  Make individual cakes in muffin pan, makes about 20-24, baking time 25-30 minutes.

Caramel Sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt

In saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add sugar, brown sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt.  Bring to boil slowly, stirring constantly.  Continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes until thickens.

Cinnamon Spice Whipped Cream:
1 cup whipping cream
2-3 Tbl brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
Whip cream to soft peaks, then whip in brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Note:  This recipe is from a Demarle Cookbook.

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware such as the Muffin Tray and Perforated Sheet please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

 

Muffins

Apple Pie Muffins

These muffins are so moist and full of flavor, hard to eat just one!

Topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbl butter, melted

Batter:
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (or use 1 tsp vinegar in 1 cup milk)
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup packed brown sugar
2¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups small diced apples

Preheat oven to 375°.  Mix all topping ingredients until mixture forms crumbs, set aside.
Whisk together egg, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla.  Stir in brown sugar.  Without mixing, add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and diced apples.  Stir just until combined.  Do not over mix.  Scoop into muffin cups, sprinkle each with heaping Tbl topping.  Bake for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch.  Cool on wire rack.

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware such as the Muffin Tray and Perforated Sheet please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.