Thanksgiving 2012 + Apple Pie

We started Thanksgiving off with baking and cooking and a fridge clean-out to make room for the goods.  Greta was a big helper to Eric’s fridge cleaning.  She wanted to carry the salad dressing bottles.
We gathered at a friend, Mary Elise and David’s house with Julie and Dipesh for a noon-time meal.  This was a perfect time since all three families have children.  These gatherings are always a hoot – my family away from Iowa home.
There was plenty of time to sit around and watch football.
The table was a work of art in itself.
Mary Elise was, as always, a gracious host.
Greta had her own Thanksgiving plate that was not family heirloom wedding china.
The spread was incredible – Apple Raisin stuffing, ham scalloped potato casserole, fruit, turkey legs, ginger cranberry relish (described as exploding rainbows and unicorns, I might add!), rolls, balsamic roasted carrots, green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes.  Most of these items were vegan – you would never have even guessed though.
The green bean casserole and balsamic carrots were the most popular dishes.
We all gathered around to eat, even Greta sat in a big girl chair.
We wrapped up the meal with apple pie and vegan pumpkin pie.

 

Oh yes, best one yet.
Check out the flaky crust on this baby.
The final part of this gathering was the obligatory group photo.  Had this photo been taken 8 years ago when I first met Julie and Mary Elise, it would have been just the 6 adults.  My how time flies!
For my apple pie, the recipe is as follows.  I am giving away major secrets here, so I hope to hear that all of you are making apple pies soon.
For the filling, peel and slice 3 lbs of apples (about 5 medium to large), mixed variety.  I heard this secret from a friend, who spoke to an apple grower at farmer’s market about apple pie secrets.  I used Fuji, Granny Smith, and Braeburn for this pie. 
 

 

I saved my apple peels, spread them out on a baking sheet, sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar and baked at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or til dried.  They make a great snack!
 

 

Place apples in a large mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons lemon juice1/4 cup sugar3 tablespoons nutmeg1 tablespoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.  Set aside.
For the double-crust, in a medium mixing bowl, cut 1/3 cup cold butter into 2-1/4 cups flour.  Use a pastry blender until the pieces are pea sized. 
 
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon ice cold water or vodka over part of the flour mixture, toss with a fork.  Push aside moistened dough, repeat using 1 tablespoon of water/vodka at a time (8-10 tablespoons total) until all flour is moistened.  Do not over moisten.  Divide dough into two balls, dough should be crumbly and semi-dry.
I used 4 tablespoons ice water and 4 tablespoons iced vodka for the perfect crust.   I put ice cubes in a bowl and keep the vodka in the freezer to keep the crust as cold as possible.  The other key to a perfect pie is working fast so the dough does not get too warm.  Take a break and refrigerate the dough if it gets too warm.  

 

On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten 1 dough ball.  Roll from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.  Transfer to a pie plate by carefully wrapping dough around a rolling pin, being careful not to stretch the dough.   Trim extra dough.
Transfer apple filling to pie plate.
 
Roll remaining dough ball into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.  Place on top of filling, press edges together, trimming extra.  Cut steam vents in the top of the dough.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. 
 
Cover edges in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. 
 
 
 
Remove foil, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 35 to 45 more minutes.  Filling should be bubbly and hot and top of pie slightly golden.  Cool on a wire rack.  

 

Mommy’s Medley Apple Pie
1. For the filling, peel and slice 3 lbs of apples (about 5 medium to large), mixed variety.  Place in a large mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons nutmeg, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.  Set aside.
2. For the double-crust, in a medium mixing bowl, cut 1/3 cup cold butter into 2-1/4 cups flour.  Use a pastry blender until the pieces are pea sized.
3. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon ice cold water or vodka over part of the flour mixture, toss with a fork.  Push aside moistened dough, repeat using 1 tablespoon of water/vodka at a time until all flour is moistened, 8-10 tablespoons total.  Do not over moisten.  Divide dough into two balls, dough should be crumbly and semi-dry.
4. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten 1 dough ball.  Roll from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.  Transfer to a pie plate by carefully wrapping dough around a rolling pin, being careful not to stretch the dough.   Trim extra dough.  Transfer apple filling to pie plate.
5. Roll remaining dough ball into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.  Place on top of filling, press edges together, trimming extra.  Cut steam vents in the top of the dough.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. 
6. Cover edges in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove foil, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 35 to 45 more minutes.  Filling should be bubbly and hot and top of pie slightly golden.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s