Apple Pie and Salted Caramel Hamantashen

It’s that time of year again! That time when kids set off fireworks non-stop, that time when every girl is a princess and every boy is a ninja, that time when something cool and awesome better make its way to me wrapped up in a bow. That’s right! It’s my birthday! Oh yeah, and Purim, that too. I guess that’s what everyone else is celebrating. Me? I have my priorities.

The cast of characters.
The cast of characters.

It’s the time of year when we can get most creative with our religious food – hamantashen for the masses y’all! In previous years I have made lemon meringue hamantashen which were a big hit. I have also made your run of the mill jam-filled hamantashen – Rocker Dude will not have Purim without them. And last year I tried a brownie-speculoos version – needed work so when I have it down I will post it here. But this year we are doing something a little different. We are combining two of my favorite foods – apple pie and hamantashen.

The process.
The process.

At first it may seem like an obvious pairing, delicious fillings in dough always are, and yet, it’s not too common. And just to dress it up, caramel shards on top.

Apple Pie and Salted Caramel Hamantashen
Apple Pie and Salted Caramel Hamantashen

I am always looking for something different to do with my hamantashen and while I know that tradition has its place, so does deliciousness. So let the baking begin! (Pesach is in a little over a month and here I am bulk buying flour for Purim – #ridiculoustiming – but there you have it. We have to have cinnamon rolls for mishloach manot!)

Nom nom nom nom.
Nom nom nom nom.

For the first time ever, we decided (read: I agreed) to dress up for Purim as a family, with themed costumes and everything. But not for us some Disney Princess with the rest of us as supporting characters, no, we do it properly. Superheroes all the way. The Little Rocker will be defending the city as Batgirl, with Squeaker as her loyal sidekick Robin from Rocker Dude and I as The Joker and Harley Quinn. It took a bit of planning but we got the costumes together and we are all set. I don’t know if we will do this every year, but it is fun to do once in a while. Also as Purim falls out on my birthday this year, we have to do something special. (Pictures to come soon!)

Recipe:

Cookie:
I used a double batch of this recipe from our sugar cookie adventures in December

Filling (based on this recipe from King Arthur):
3 cups peeled, cored, finely chopped apples – I prefer Gala, Pink Crispy or Pink Lady
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate

Caramel Shards (based on this recipe from Epicurious):
1 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Make your filling first. You can make it a few days in advance and leave it in the fridge until you are ready to make your cookies. Mix all of the ingredients and stir until the filling begins to bubble and thickens considerably. You want to make sure that the filling bubbles so that you don’t taste the flour afterwards. Continue cooking until the apples reach your desired tenderness. It’s nice to have a little crunch still in the apples for texture. Set aside and cool. You can refrigerate for up to four days.

Follow the directions to make the sugar cookie dough until the refrigeration stage. You can keep the dough for a week in the fridge and for two months in the freezer.

When you are ready to make your cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and roll out the cookie dough to a 1/8 inch thickness. Using a drinking glass or a circle cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can. Place 1 tsp. of filling in the center of each one. Pinch each side together to make a triangle. (See here for instructions). Place cookies two inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cookies are very lightly browned. Let cool.

To make the caramel shards, lightly oil a 12-inch square of foil. In a heavy saucepan boil sugar, water and salt over moderate heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Boil syrup without stirring, washing down sugar crystals on side of pan with a brush dipped in cold water, until pale golden. Continue cooking syrup without stirring, swirling pan, until deep golden. Immediately pour caramel onto foil and cool completely, about 20 minutes. Break caramel into shards. Place a few small pieces into the center of the cooled hamantashen. Serve immediately or soon after. (Shards keep, layered between sheets of wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day.)

These are best served slightly warm – like real apple pie, but are also good at room temperature.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

 

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Starry Apple Pie

It is now actually cold. Winter has set in, at least for the week. It was actually cold enough to warrant turning on the heat. We’ll see how long it lasts. In the meantime, it is perfect for enjoying the winter desserts that we all love. Rocker Dude asked for Apple Pie, with whipped cream. So though it had been a while, I pulled out my trusty dusty apple pie recipe and whipped up a nice comforting pie.

Starry Apple Pie
Starry Apple Pie

I have been making this pie for years. It’s a combination of a few recipes and it always comes out awesome. The filling has a little spice and the apples are not mushy and the crust is so delicious.

I have always used my standard 9 inch Pyrex pie plate to make all my pies, but last summer I treated myself to a deep dish pie plate with a fluted rim. This has made such a difference to my pies. The filling/crust ratio now feels more balanced, the rim holds the crust edge much better and overall, the pies come out more aesthetically pleasing.

I had filled the pie and was rolling out the top crust when I decided to make a lattice top instead of a solid top. With the extra dough, the Little Rocker and I cut out little stars to stick on top of the pie crust.

It looked great – the Little Rocker is really good at scattering the stars ;).

I added vanilla bean paste to the whipped cream so it made quite a treat when served – warmed, spiced apple pie with a pile of vanilla whipped cream on top. Perfect winter dessert.

The original Rocker Dude Family
The original Rocker Dude Family

In other news, we were witness to a lightning visit made by Rocker Dude’s sister and her youngest kid. They came to Israel for a week and we had to make the most of it. She came for the weekend as did the grandparents and we all had a great time – complete with trips to the emergency room. (What kind of trip would it be without one?)

A nice picture
A nice picture
Rocker Dude and his sister - their true selves.
Rocker Dude and his sister – their true selves.

You would think that because the Little Rocker went through all the effort of helping me with making the pie that she might actually eat it, but no. When dessert came, all she wanted was some whipped cream :). You win some, you lose some.

Apple Pie
Apple Pie

Recipe:
I used a double recipe of this pie crust recipe.

Filling:
6 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced, I like to use Gala, Fuji, Pink Crispy, or Granny Smith apples
1/4-1/2 cup sugar (depends on the sweetness of the apples)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 egg white

Whipped Cream:
1 250 mL pareve whipped topping or heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Mix all ingredients for the filling together, except the egg white, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Roll out half of the dough after it has chilled and line a 9 inch pie plate, leaving a 1 inch overhang.
Place pie plate in the refrigerator and roll out the top crust.
Brush the bottom crust with egg white and pour in the filling, including all the juices. Lay the top crust over the filling and crimp the edges. Alternatively you can cut the top crust into thin strips and weave a lattice over the filling. If you have a solid top, make sure to cut some vents to allow steam to escape.
Brush the crust with egg white. Stay away from the edge as it will brown faster on its own.
If you have extra dough after you crimp the edges, feel free to cut out shapes to place on top of the crust. Brush the shapes with egg white. You can sprinkle some sugar over the top if you want.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the filling bubbles. If the crust browns before the filling is done, tent the pie with some tin foil.
While the pie is baking, whip your whipped cream ingredients together until fluffy.
Let the pie cool for at least an hour before eating.

Fresh Apple Pie on a Diet

Who loves apple pie but always feels guilty for wanting more than two pieces? Definitely me.  Anyone else out there?  Well for all you people, here is the perfect recipe.  It’s also really quick so you have no excuses. And after you’ve eaten the cinnamon buns from the previous post, you may be ready for these.

Baked Apple Pie

The idea came from a picture that E. pinned me? pinterested me? what’s the verb for using Pinterest? She found it on Pinterest and sent it to me. You can check it out here.  We are talking apple pies with no bottom crust!  Just baked apple! What an ingenious idea.  You still get that pie crust flavor from the top crust and you don’t have to worry about a soggy bottom crust because it is an apple – if it is not soggy then you are in trouble.

We decided to use Granny Smith apples for the base and then fill them with apple pie filling made from Jonathan apples.  This was the perfect treat for movie night, put into the oven right before the movie started and ready 30 minutes later.

Conveniently I had a small amount of pie crust left over from a previous pie-making session (recipe here), and it was the perfect amount to cover these apples.

While waiting for E. and A. to make it over, I prepared my all-purpose pie filling (something else that needs to be posted) which is basically sliced apples, a tad of cinnamon and sugar and a bit of lemon juice.  You can also add other spices such as cardamom or nutmeg or allspice if you want.

When E. came over, I quickly cored the Granny Smith apples that she brought  and left a small border of apple under the skin.  Then I stuffed them with the apple pie filling.  I rolled out the dough and cut it into thin strips to make a lattice. Bear in mind that this whole process took about 8-10 minutes.  After latticing the top – into the oven they went! And 35 minutes later – fresh baked apple pie!  It’s like the best of both worlds – baked apple and apple pie. This is the perfect TV watching snack for the winter.

Apple Pies all in a Row (please ignore the cookies next to the pan, they are for another post on linzer cookies - stay tuned!)

Also, something I noted while eating the apple – Mission Impossible 3 has almost nothing to do with the other Mission Impossibles and the story line is so not Mission Impossible. Sorry to throw that in here, just something I noticed.

Enjoy!

An Apple Torte for Winter

Here we are, in the dead of winter, at probably the coldest day of the season so far (50 degrees F during the day), and it is time for an apple dessert.  Apples are at their best in the fall and winter and they deserve their day in the spotlight.

This recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my Home to Yours and is absolutely delightful.  It combines the elegance of a tart with the double crust of a pie.  So basically you have a double crusted apple tart=a torte.

Apple Torte
Apple Torte

This torte is filled with applesauce.  I made it once with store bought apple sauce (oh the horror!) and added some vanilla and nutmeg and no one noticed that it wasn’t homemade.  This time I decided to go all the way and make the torte as it deserved to be made, with homemade applesauce and nuts. Yes that is right Rocker Dude – ground almonds in the filling. Rocker Dude has a a fear or maybe just a distaste of eating anything involving nuts, but I figured that because we would be having other people at the meal I could add in the nuts and I wouldn’t get too many vocal complaints ;).

I made this dessert during my usual Friday cooking rush, but made sure at least to spread out the prep so I had my crust ready and chilled in the morning, made the applesauce and chilled that so by 2 pm I was ready to assemble and bake the torte.

Apple Torte Filling

After everyone had eaten the dessert (which would probably be great with some vanilla ice cream) I got certain looks from a certain person about the nuts in the filling.  The comment made was that when you take a bite of the torte, you expect a soft filling and suddenly there is some crunch from the nuts.  I actually liked the texture it added to the torte, but a promise was extracted from me to not make it with nuts again.  So I probably won’t, at least for a while ;).

Recipe (From Baking: From my Home to Yours):

1 double recipe Sweet Tart Dough

Filling:

2 lbs. (about 5 medium) tart or tart-sweet apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp. apple cider, apple juice or water
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup ground almonds (apparently optional)
pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt

Divide prepared tart dough into two parts.  Refrigerate one half and press the other half over the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch tart pan.  Butter a piece of aluminum foil and press is lightly against the surface of the dough.  Refrigerate for at least two hours. (Or freeze if you are in a hurry).

When the second half of the dough is chilled, roll it into a circle that is between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough into a 10-inch circle and then using a shot glass as a guide, cut a hole in the center of the dough to act as a steam vent. Slide the dough onto a cookie sheet a refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Fill the foil over the crust with beans or pie weights and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and weights and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.  You don’t want it to get too brown because you will be baking it again. Cool to room temperature.

Put the apples, brown sugar, cider and nutmeg in a medium saucepan, cover and bring to a boil.  You want the mixture to stay at a medium bubble.  Continue to cook for about 10 minutes until the apples are so soft that you can almost mash them with the back of a spoon.  Remove the cover and boil for five minutes more.  Add the almonds, if you are using them, and the rest of the spices.  Pour the filling into a  bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Cool. The filling can be made up to two days in advance.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Fill the cooled crust with the applesauce filling. Lightly moisten the edges of the crust and lay the chilled top crust on top of the filling.  Press the edges of the crust to seal. Run a rolling pin over the top  to trim off the excess dough.

Bake the tart for 20 minutes.  Lower the oven to 350 degrees F. and cover the tart loosely with a foil tent. Continue to bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and cool.

Quince and Pear Sauce – Just in time for Chanuka

This time I am going to be organized.  I am going to post the holiday recipe before the holiday before the holiday is over, so that all you people can actually use it :).

Recently I found myself with some quinces in my fridge.  They were sending “Eat Me” messages and I really didn’t want them to go to waste.  On top of that, I have been feeling rather lazy lately and all I want to do when I get home from work is – nothing.  Yup, that’s right people, nothing.  I just went through a crazy busy time at work while I covered for the two department heads (congrats to both – one on a baby girl and the other on getting married!) and after working anywhere between 10 and 15 hours a day – all I want to do is, yes you guessed it, nothing.

Fruit Sauce
Chunky fruit sauce

Working against this force of laziness is Rocker Dude.  Well, not exactly against it so much as diverting it to laziness of another sort.  He keeps loading up episodes of our favorite tv shows on the computer for me to watch.  We are trying to catch up on Chuck and keeping updated with The Big Bang Theory.  And best of all, now that Shabbat ends early enough to actually do something afterwards, we have been watching movies again Saturday night.  The other week, Rocker Dude sat me down and told me that it was time for me to watch Captain America.  As our house is full of comic books, and Rocker Dude’s goal in life is to one day own all comic-related movies, it was obvious that when Captain America came out in the summer, he would be the first in line to see it.  Well he wasn’t the first, but he made sure to see it shortly after it came out. I feel less strongly about seeing movies in theaters (it’s kind of a waste of money) so I waited until we had a copy of it before I saw it.  Rocker Dude downloaded a copy (oh no he didn’t!) and has been waiting for a while to be able to watch it with me.  Apparently now was the time.

I decided to not waste time (for once) and take advantage of the time that we would spend watching the movie.  I took the two quinces that were getting old and lonely in the fruit bin and the red pear that was not quite sweet enough to be appetizing.

Quinces are notoriously hard to deal with – they are really hard – like a pain in the neck to cut  and peel – and you can’t eat them without cooking them first. But, due to the fact that these quinces were a bit old, they had softened and I could peel them and cut them off the core pretty easily.

I cut the quinces up into chunks and threw them into a saucepan (I know, boiling on the fire is not technically baking, but it ends up as a dessert so it  counts.)  I peeled and cut up the pear and threw that in the pot.  Added some water and boiled the fruit.

Then I sat down to watch Captain America.

About halfway through the movie (around the part where the Red Skull is revealing his plan to destroy the world) I remembered that the fruit was simmering on the fire.  Whoops.

I quickly took it off the fire, drained out some of the extra liquid and mashed everything up. I guess if I was less lazy I could have thrown it all in the food processor and gotten a much smoother sauce, but again, lazy.

I added some cinnamon and some agave syrup (keep the glucose levels down).  Then I let the sauce cool until after the movie was over.

Captain America saved the day but was frozen in a glacier and my fruit sauce was awesome.

So for all you people who are planning on having plain old boring apple sauce with their latkes this year during Chanukah – we at the Casa de la Smoj will be indulging in a different condiment this year.  (If I have time to make more, I already ate the first batch.  What?  It was really small!)

Little Rocker the Chanuka Candle
Little Rocker the Chanuka Candle (from her preschool party).

Recipe (from what was left in my refrigerator):

fruit from the apple/pear family (apples (not red delicious), pears of different sorts, asian pears, quinces, etc.)
water for boiling
cinnamon
agave syrup or honey or brown sugar
nutmeg (optional)
allspice (optional)
cardamom (optional)

Peel and cut all the fruit into big chunks. Put them into a saucepan with enough water to come halfway up the pile of fruit.  Boil for a while until everything is soft.  Drain some of the water (leave a bit so that you have an easier time mixing). Mash the fruit and add the agave syrup/brown sugar/honey.  Start with a little bit and taste the mixture to make sure that it is not too sweet.  Then add the nutmeg, and/or allspice and/or cardamom.  It’s probably a good idea to add some salt too, so that the flavor really pops.

Let it cool and then eat with your favorite latkes!

P.S. I made version 2.0 with quinces, pears, Jonathan apples and Yellow Delicious apples this week.  Added some cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.  After cooking the fruit I blended it all with an immersion blender to make a smooth sauce – yum!

Apple Cranberry Pie

I know it is a bit late, but I promised you all Apple-Cranberry Pie.  So here it is.  I had intended to make it for Sukkot, but transporting a pie on the bus to be eaten a few days later is just not a good idea.  So I made it for Shabbat last week and it was delish.

 Apple-Cranberry Pie

The reason it has taken me so long to make this pie is because we have been busy over Sukkot and just now are getting back to normal.  Also, now that the holidays are over, people have come back from their travels overseas and we can see them again.

We spent most of the holiday in Jerusalem at Rocker Dude’s parents because they have a big sukkah and holidays are about family right? (Yes, yes, and food).

Being based in Jerusalem does have it’s advantages, though most of the attractions are outside the city.  We spent Shabbat of Sukkot in Beit Shemesh at our friends’ parents and had a great time there.  Thanks so much W.’s!  The Little Rocker especially loved the little fish pond outside the house and had so much fun deciding which fish belonged to which families. (Because every family has a father, mother and one baby right?)  Then on Monday we went to the Monkey Park in Ben Shemen.  I’m not sure who was more excited to go – Rocker Dude or the Little Rocker.  Rocker Dude has always had a thing for monkeys and somehow he managed to pass it on to the Little Rocker.  We obviously made sure to bring Momo, her constant simian companion, so that he could meet his cousins.  There was a section at the end where 30-40 squirrel monkeys were running loose all around the people walking through and the Little Rocker made sure to lift up Momo so that he could meet all those little monkeys.  She was most excited when she saw a baby squirrel monkey riding piggy back on the mommy monkey – now she knows I’m not crazy when I want to carry her piggy back.

We spent the last day of Sukkot, actually Simchat Torah, at our friends in Ginot Shomron and had a wonderful time.  The Little Rocker made sure to get her fair share of treats (though I have to admit that I hid most of them afterward when she wasn’t looking – saving them for prizes and things).  There was even a small horse ranch outside the town and we took the Little Rocker to go and feed the horsies.  She had a lot of fun, even if she fell down on a rock on the way and scraped her nose.  And then we came back home – finally.  It ain’t easy to be away for a week and living out of suitcases, but somehow we managed it.

We were invited out to friend’s for both Friday night and Shabbat lunch last week.  Now that the Little Rocker is older and Shabbat  comes in earlier, we can take her out at night and pretend that we have a life too ;).  I was asked by H. to bring a dessert.  Immediately I thought – “Apple-Cranberry Pie!  This is my chance!”  Now cranberries are usually a problem to find here in Israel as they are a cold weather fruit – something that doesn’t exist here (the weather I mean).  When I looked at the recipe though, one of the comments made was that the filling had a lot of liquid and the author was worried that the crust would get soggy.  So I decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to use dried cranberries – problem solved!

Instead of using the pie crust that came with the recipe , I used Dorie’s Good For Almost Anything pie crust recipe.  I have used it before and we have an understanding.  I will make a good filling for it and it will behave and stay light and flaky.  It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.

The cranberry layer

The hardest part for me is always making the crust.  I love making pies and tarts but when I think about making the crust, all of a sudden I start getting lazy and I put off making whatever I was going to make.  That’s the point when I rethink my plan of making a pie and start looking for one-step recipes that don’t require chilling.  In my dream mansion (which will have a hover golf-cart so that we can get around all the land without messing up the gardens) I will have a huge freezer where I can make tons of pie dough and have it frozen in single-use size packages.  Then I never have to feel lazy again.  But until that magical future (hey – it could happen!) I just have to deal with what I have – i.e. a small freezer and no time.  So last week, in order to prevent the Friday afternoon laziness, I made the crust dough on Thursday night.  Go me!  Advanced preparation – woo hoo! And then when I woke up on Friday morning, I had a crust that was ready to be rolled out and used.

The apple layer

I knew that H. and Y., well especially Y., like fruity desserts, so this pie would be perfect.  The hardest part was waiting for the filling to cool before I could put it in the pie shell.  I solved that problem by watching three episodes of Pan-Am.  It is not such a bad show – kind of Mad Men-esque in that it takes place in the sixties and the characters do and say things that would get them sued today, but otherwise it is a lighter show.  They don’t deal with some of the heavy things that Mad Men deals with.  Of course, that may be because the show is only about 6 episodes in.  Rocker Dude thinks that I only like fake shows, meaning shows that don’t make you think.  But I ask you, does How I Met Your Mother really make you think? And besides, we watch Castle together and that makes you think, sort of.  The point is, that by the time the three episodes were over, it was time to pick up the Little Rocker from nursery (her first day back after vacation) and when we came home, she helped me fill the pie and cover it with the top layer of dough.  What a helper!

The pie baked really nicely and the crust came out nice and flaky and flavorful, even if I did use margarine instead of butter.  Such is Jewish life.

Thanksgiving is coming up and I encourage everyone to try this pie for their Thanksgiving meal.  It has the quintessential fall flavors of apple and cranberry and tastes delicious!

This recipe comes from Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures who took it from Cook’s Illustrated.

Recipe:

2 cups dried cranberries
1/4 cup apple or orange juice
1 cup (7 oz) sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 1/2 pounds sweet apples (6-7 medium), peeled, cored & cut into 1/4″ thick slices
1 double crust pie dough (recipe here)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon sugar in the raw

To make the cranberry filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, juice, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries have plumped and absorbed almost all the liquid, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat, add the water, and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

To make the apple filling: In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt and cornstarch.  Add the apples and toss to coat thoroughly.  Microwave the apple mixture on high power for 8-10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes with a rubber spatula, until the liquid is thick and glossy and the apples have started to turn translucent around the edges.  Let the apple filling cool to room temperature.  You can microwave the apples for less time if you want more of a bite to your filling.  (Note: both fillings can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated.)

While the fillings are cooling, preheat oven to 425 F.  Place a rack in the lowest position and place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack.  Roll one disk of dough into a 12-inch round on a floured surface.  Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough.  Spread the cooled cranberry filling in the bottom of the dough-lined pie plate.  Place the cooled apple filling on top of the cranberry layer, mounding it slightly in the center.  Roll out the second disk of dough to a 12-inch round on a floured surface.  Transfer it to the top of the pie plate.  Use kitchen shears to cut through both layers of pie dough, leaving about 1/2-inch overhang.  Fold the dough under itself so that the edge of the fold is flush with the outer rim of the pie plate.  Use your fingers to create a fluted edge or use the tines of a fork to seal the dough.  Brush the top and edges of the pie with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with the sugar in the raw.  Use a sharp paring knife to cut slits in the top crust.

Bake the pie on the preheated baking sheet until the top is light golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and continue to bake until the crust is deep golden brown, about 25-30 minutes longer.  Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool for at least 2 hours before serving.

Tuesdays with Dorie: All-American All-Delicious Apple Pie

I am so behind on my posting, and I apologize to everyone out there.  Things have been busy at work and even busier at home.  I have been involved in planning three different wedding-related celebrations, we went to one wedding and still have two more this week.  It’s a busy time, and I have been baking, I promise, I just haven’t had time to post it.  So let this post be the first drop in the bucket.

A little apple pie

This week’s recipe was the All-American Apple Pie.  It was chosen by Emily of Sandmuffin.  She chose it because she loves apple pie.  Of all the fruit combinations in the world, I LOOOOOOOVE apple pie!  I think that apples are my favorite fruit to bake with and I love baking with fruit.  I was looking forward to this recipe as soon as it was chosen, and I finally made it last week.

Margarine for the pie crust.

Rocker Dude had been nudging me for a while saying that I haven’t ever made a pie with a lattice crust and why haven’t I made one and is it because I can’t make one.  After reminding him that I have made pies with a lattice crust before (he still doesn’t believe me), I decided that just to prove him wrong, I would make this pie a lattice-topped pie.

Pie crust dough ready for refrigeration.

I made this pie a week and a half ago, on Friday, so because Little Rocker came home from daycare early and I needed to entertain her, I decided to make this a joint project and we had a ton of fun with it.

Ready to be rolled out

I made the dough while she was napping, so it was all ready to be rolled out when she woke up.  For her birthday, J. and M. had gotten her a mini kitchen set – but with real tools, not toys.  It has a mini whisk, a mini rolling pin, a measuring cup, a mini sifter and some little cookie cutters.  I gave the Little Rocker a 4 inch pie plate and we were in business.

Rolling out the dough

We rolled out the dough together, and made sure there was enough flour.

Flouring the dough

Then we placed the bottom crust in the pie plate and put it in the refrigerator while we got the filling ready.

Pressing the dough into the pie plate.

I did not have tapioca, and I had no idea where to get some, so I just added some cornstarch to the mix.  This is the first time that I have used lemon zest in an apple pie, but I can promise that it won’t be the last (even though Rocker Dude complained that he could taste lemon and it made the pie too tart).

Apple filling

We filled the crusts with the filling, and then I rolled out the top crust.  I cut it into lines, and the Little Rocker helped me put the “stips” on the pie.  We crimped the edges and then went to work on her little pie.

Elephant Cookies

We rolled out a top crust and carefully pressed it over the apples.  Because there was some extra dough, and the Little Rocker has developed a total obsession with elephants (or ephelants), I used one of her new cookie cutters, which conveniently was an elephant, and we made little elephant cookies.  Some we put as decoration on top of the crust and the others we baked plain.

Pies ready to be baked!

The pie came out looking beautifully.  I got to prove to Rocker Dude that I could make a lattice-topped pie and the Little Rocker got to make her own little apple pie.  Okay, I will admit, she didn’t really eat the pie, she just gobbled down all the elephant cookies while doing her elephant impression – it was really cute!

The Little Rocker is a little possessive of her apple pie.

This pie tasted delicious.  The apple filling wasn’t gooey and it didn’t make the pie crust soggy at all.  Unlike commercial apple fillings, you really taste the apple and it makes eating the pie so much more enjoyable.

All-American All-Delicious Apple Pie

For the recipe go to Emily’s blog here, and see what other TWD bakers did here.