I’m participating in The Nester’s 31 Days Challenge, so for the month of October I’ll be writing each day about 31 Days of Christmas: plan a little now to enjoy it more later. You can see all of the posts here.
Today I’m going to share a delicious recipe for apple pie. I know that this is a change of pace from the last 3 days of posts, but this series is about finding things I can do now to have more relaxed and special Christmas; if I feel comfortable that I have some good go-to recipes under my belt, then I’ll feel more confident about what I’ve got ahead of me in December. Does that make sense? If I feel comfortable that I can make an apple pie because I’ve done it a handful of times, then I’m confident when I sign up to bring a dessert to an office party or family gathering. I know that it’s probably silly, but having recipes like this that I have made multiple times just make me more confident and less stressed.
Besides, I’m approaching this series of posts like we’re two friends sharing with each other and if I was talking to a friend about getting ready for Christmas, I would definitely say “Oh my gosh! If you’re making a pie around Christmas, you should try this apple pie that Matt and I have been making! It’s so good!” (Actually, I’m pretty sure that this has happened.)
Last weekend my brother was here and I thought that it would be a fun weekend to bake a dessert so that we could share it with him… and not be able to eat it all ourselves! We decided to bake the apple pie recipe that we got from this book (a wedding gift that we received last year) -
We first made this apple pie around this time last year and oh my goodness – it is GOOD! We ended up baking it for Thanksgiving… and Christmas… and the 4th of July…and several times since. It has quickly become a favorite dessert in our house. It’s is very easy and super yummy! It’s so delicious that we have yet to try any other recipes from the cookbook; we always want the apple pie!
The ingredients are pretty simple:
- 4 cups peeled and thinly sliced or diced apples
- We dice them because we like the texture better.
- We used one Granny Smith tart apple, and 3 Braeburn apples. The cookbook recommends using specific combinations and this wasn’t one of them, but we had no complaints!
- 2/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- We used dark brown sugar and I think it gives it a warmer, richer flavor.
- 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- I used the kind in the little lemon-shaped bottle…nothing fancy.
- 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Definitely use the whole teaspoon
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- I think that I split the difference – I used a 1/4 tsp measuring spoon but didn’t fill it up all the way.
The directions are literally 3 sentences: “In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Let stand until apples start to give off their juice – 15 to 30 minutes. Use immediately.”
Matt helped me get the pie ready on Sunday, and I snapped a few pictures -
Y’all… quick side note. I have an easy way of packing and measuring brown sugar. This may be obvious to the rest of the world, but it took me a long time to figure it out so I thought I’d share. If you keep the brown sugar in a bag, you can just open the bag and put the measuring cup inside, and then (keeping your hand outside the bag) press the sugar into the cup until you get as much as you need! It’s so much easier and cleaner than the way I used to spoon out brown sugar a little bit at a time; I’m definitely glad to know that there’s an easier way.
How yummy does this look??
Instead of using a regular pie pan, we used this awesome mini-pie pan set that we also got as a wedding gift; it’s from Crate & Barrel but it looks like they don’t carry it anymore.
Each of the four mini-pies is about 2 servings. The pie pan has worked great for us and it has removable disks in the base that make it easier to remove the pies. Unfortunately, one of our bases is MIA but we’re just using folded aluminum foil and it seems to work fine.
We just use the Pillsbury pie crust from the grocery store.
It comes with two crusts that are rolled up like a long, thin tortilla.
Our crust process is slightly trickier than it is with a regular pie pan. After I unroll the dough onto a cutting board, I use the “dough cutter” that came with the pie pan as a template to get four circles of crust to line the four sections of the pan. From experience, I’ve found that it’s easier to cut 3 circles as close together as I can, and then combine the leftover dough and flatten it into the right size to create the 4th circle. It’s a lot easier than what I did the first time – dividing the dough into fourths and putting each circle together piecemeal. Since we wanted a top to the pie, I just repeated this process with the second crust.
You can’t tell which one was rolled out and put back together into a circle, right?
We let the apples sit in the fridge for 30 minutes, and then spoon them into the pies. We always end up with extra that we bake in a little Pyrex pan rather than making the pies overflow.
After the pies are filled, we put the 2nd set of crust circles on top.
The reverse side of the dough cutter tool is a stamp that you can use to press the top crust down and imprint a design.
The pies bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes; the crust will start turning golden brown and look DELICIOUS. The pies looked so yummy when they came out of the oven that we started topping them with homemade ice cream and digging in before I had a chance to take a real picture! Here’s what was left after my brother, Matt, and I each got some pie!
Do any of y’all have go-to recipes that you make every Christmas? I’d love to hear about them!
I’m linking up with A Bowl Full of Lemons, Glued to My Crafts, Home Stories A to Z, Homemade Ginger, It’s Overflowing, DIY Show Off, Ginger Snap Crafts, Snap Creativity, Sew Woodsy, Stacy Embracing Change, The Girl Creative, Thirty Handmade Days, Truly Lovely Blog, Serenity Now, Diana Rambles, Practically Functional, Shaken Life Together, Two Yellow Birds Decor, Seven Thirty Three, The Mandatory Mooch, Katherines Corner, Lamberts Lately, All Things with Purpose, The Pin Junkie, and Link Party Palooza (Today’s Creative Blog), Your Homebased Mom, Carrie This Home. By Stephanie Lynn, and Vintage Gwen.