December 3, 2012
December 3: National Apple Pie Day
We would eat a classic apple pie as an All-American dessert on the Fourth of July. But we also like to eat it on Thanksgiving as an additional choice to pumpkin pie. Served à la mode, this comfort food makes a holiday or any day extra special. We are glad that National Apple Pie Day gives us another excuse to prepare this pie so we can eat it in celebration of this food holiday!
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Pies)
For the double-crust pie pastry dough
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable shortening (we used Crisco brand)
- 6-7 tablespoons water
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Cut in the shortening and mix until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough is moistened.
Divide the dough into two pieces. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to form a circle large enough to cover the diameter of the pie pan with a little overhang. Repeat for the other dough ball.
Without stretching the pastry dough, carefully place one of the circles on a pie plate. Trim the edges with a sharp knife before adding the filling.
For the apple pie filling
- 6 cups apples (we used Granny Smith apples)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tabespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- dash ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon butter
Peel, core and slice the apples thinly and place in a large mixing bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle this over the apples and toss to mix well.
Place the apples in the pie pan lined with the pastry dough. Dot with butter. Cover with the other pastry dough. Flute the edges to seal.
Cut some slits to vent. Brush with milk or an egg wash and sprinkle a little sugar on top (optional). Place foil around the edges to prevent from overbrowning and burning. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for 20-25 more minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven. Cool completely to allow the apples to gel together. Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (optional).
- Make delicious dokeyanas/pets de sœurs with the leftover pie pastry dough. We posted the recipe on National Pastry Day on December 9.
- Search our blog for other pie recipes.
October 5, 2012
Apple Brown Betty
October 5: National Apple Betty Day
We like to eat fruit pies and cobblers for a down-home dessert on occasion. So when we have a hankering for something similar yet simple, we bake a Brown Betty with a fall fruit: apples. The dessert is nothing fancy—just fulfilling for our sweet tooth. And the ingredients are most likely in our pantry already, which makes a Brown Betty a cooking convenience.
Apple Brown Betty was a favorite of former President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, when they lived in the White House (1980s). It is also sweet enough to serve in our humble house.
For an All-American autumn treat, bake an Apple Brown Betty for National Apple Betty Day.
(Adapted from Gourmet)
- 3 cups coarse bread crumbs (French bread or baguette)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, divided use
- 4 large apples (Granny Smith or Gala)
- 1 ¼ cups water
Coarsely grate or finely chop slices of bread to make crumbs. In a saucepan, melt the butter slowly then remove from heat. Mix in the cinnamon, salt and one tablespoon of brown sugar.
Stir in the breadcrumbs and mix well. Sprinkle about a cup of crumb mixture over the bottom of a 1-quart baking dish or casserole.
Meanwhile, peel the apples. Coarsely chop two of the apples. Cut the other two apples into ¼-inch thick wedges.
Cook the coarsely chopped apples with the water and two tablespoons of brown sugar over medium heat in a covered saucepan. Stir occasionally. Puree the cooked apples with the liquid. Arrange the other apple wedges over the breadcrumb layer in the baking dish or casserole.
Pour the pureed apples over the wedges. Cover the top layer with the remaining breadcrumbs. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve hot with whipped or ice cream.
- Prevent cut apples from browning by soaking them in water or sprinkling with a little lemon juice. Drain well before using in the recipe.
- Search our blog for fruit pie and cobbler recipes.
October 31, 2011
October 31: Halloween
An apple a day keeps the (mad) doctor away! Nibble on some nutrition and snack on “apple smiles” for Halloween. The fruit is filled with peanut butter (protein) and fat-free marshmallows, which makes it a healthier alternative to the sweet treats and candies that the kids are collecting in plastic pumpkins today. These delicious dentures are another freaky yet fun food for Halloween.
- Apple slices
- Peanut butter
- Miniature marshmallows
Wash, dry and slice the apples to ½ inch thick. Spread a little peanut butter on one side of two apple slice. Arrange a few miniature marshmallows on top of the peanut butter. Sandwich with the other apple slice. Continue assembling the “apple smiles.” Serve as snacks immediately.