I want you guys to know YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVED THANKSGIVING BREAK.Â That part where I baked and I hung out and I watched TV and I was lazy. OH BOY THAT RULED.Â The parts where I drove a zillion miles, the parts where plans didn’t go as they were originally planned, the parts where I yelled at everyone…those parts weren’t that great. Basically, internet, I was supposed to spend Thanksgiving with my family and The Boyfriend got too busy with his family to remember my family and I almost missed it.Â I had to get The Republi-Dad and The Sister to drive out and get me but all was well when I ate like 6 helpings of cranberry salad and wowed The George’s family with my baking skills.
Are you ready? ARE YOU READY TO BE WOWED?!
This was my Thanksgiving pie spread.Â I made 2 apple pies and an apple custard tart.Â I’ve showed you the tart on here before… HERE.Â It turned out just as tasty as ever, even after it had to survive a couple of days in cars before it made its final destination.
That pie. OOH THAT PIE.Â That apple pie has made The Boyfriend’s family stop hating me. They’ve finally accepted me into their hearts, but only if I bring along that apple pie.Â I got fancy this year and made my very first pie crust (that has come out right) and my very first (EVER) lattice pie crust.Â I thought I’d probably ruin things trying to get that thing laid out correctly, but it was surprisingly easy.Â I did, however, use a recipe straight out of my gigantic collection of cookbooks and didn’t even begin to try to wing it. NOT EVEN A LITTLE.Â Now, these pies were not nearly as tasty as my pies usually are because I did them as a double batch because I’m LAZY, but I’ll tell you what I do for a single pie so that you can be impressive.Â I like to call this…
Caramel Apple Pie (with a crust straight from the pages of Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Pies)
Let’s start with the crust. This recipe is listed for a double crust pie, but I used it and made my lattice pie and didn’t really have any left over crust.
You will need:
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp shortening (or lard…The Republi-Dad has offered up some lard from the pig he had slaughtered, so I’ll be using that next time, this time I used shortening)
6 Tbsp butter
6 – 7 Tbsp ice water
Here is my first very important bit of advice.
You hear me? FREEZE IT. Your pie crust will be tastier, flakier, and more awesome if you just freeze your fat. SO DON’T FORGET.Â This is what my fat looks like:
That’s my fat. That’s my fat on top of the coffee that The Seattle Friend sent me away with when we moved.Â Basically, she’s awesome and so is my fat. FAT FAT FAT. MY FAT! LET’S SEE HOW MUCH LONGER I CAN AMUSE YOU WITH TALK OF MY FAT.
Basically, you want everything to be so cold. So basically have the fat frozen and use a big ol’ bowl of ice and dump some water in there, you want that water to be super cold.
Because what’s cooler than bein’ cool?
Just trust me on this. It took me years and years of trying to get a pie crust to come out tasty and not nasty (also, The Repuli-Dad is an excellent critic and he even said the pie crust was good, this comes from the man who told me this weekend “uh, so I was looking at your senior pictures earlier and, man, you were pretty fat in high school!” to which I responded “uh, Republi-Dad, that’s after I lost 50 lbs. THANKS!”)
So, here’s how I do this, I put half my butter and half my flour/salt mixture into my cuisenart (but only because it’s too small to put all of it in) then pulse it until it looks chunky.Â Don’t mix it too long, don’t let it look cornmeal-y like some recipes suggest, I have decided that is just TOO mixed, you want chunks of fat a little smaller than pea sized.
Once you have all that mixed, use a fork to mix in your water 1 Tbsp at a time.Â you may not need all of that water, both crusts I made I did use 7Tbsp of the ice water, just check to see if your crust is sticking together, if it is, you don’t need any more water. TRUST ME. Then just split it into 2 balls of dough and roll them out to fit your pie pan, and later to make your lattice.
If you’re me you mixed your apple mixture up before so you did all of this quickly, if you’re not me, put your other crust mixture into the freezer until you’re ready for it.Â You wouldn’t want to unfreeze that fat!
For your apples:
you need about 1 lb of apples, I used about a pound because I used a shallow pie shell, my family enjoyed that, you just look at your pie shell and decide how many will fill it up.Â Peel, core, and slice those apples and throw them in a bowl.Â That’s when the fun starts!!
on the stove melt a stick of butter with 1 cup of brown sugar. Let that do it’s work while you mess with the apples.
So, I used a mixture of Jonagolds and Jonathans, I liked that mixture, not too bad. About the time I got ready to do all the work with the apples I discovered a mouse in our garage which put a little bit of a damper on my day.
HERE IS MY STORY WHICH GETS MY RECIPE ALL OFF TRACK BUT NEEDS TO BE TOLD:
So, when we moved into this place the Landlord’s son gave us the impression that WE MUST ACT QUICKLY OR WE WILL LOSE THIS HOUSE.Â This was probably not the case because if I’ve learned one thing about this family, they are full of … bologna (that is the absolute nicest word I could come up with.Â This is not at all close to the words I would like to use to describe the family we rent from.)Â I call Landlord (who we now deal with instead of JR.) and tell him “Oh! HI! I am in your rental! The Boyfriend is out of town and I’m home alone and well, I discovered a mouse in our attached garage, could you come set some traps and get rid of him?”
his response? OH I WILL TELL YOU HIS RESPONSE.
“Uh, well, I lived in the other side of that duplex while we were building our house and we NEVER had any mice.”
“oh, well, we have one…”
“Well, you live so close ot the country that’s pretty typical”
TYPICAL!? TYPICAL?!#%@ YOU ALREADY SAID YOU LIVED IN THE OTHER HALF AND NEVER HAD A MOUSE, OBVIOUSLY THIS IS NOT TYPICAL OLD MAN MCGEE.
This is the same old man who seems to think it is okay for us to live in mold city and that we should just DEAL WITH THAT.Â I think old man needs get ready for the meltdown that is FTHW when she’s stressed out. You hear me OLD MANLORD?! IT IS COMING.
I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL HE FINDS OUT THE THINGS I SAID TO OUR OLD LANDLORD, RON PAUL, THINGS LIKE
“IF YOU WANT TO BE A SLUMLORD THAT’S YOUR PROBLEM, DON’T DRAG US DOWN WITH YOU” and “SEE, THE THING IS, I DON’T TRUST YOU BECAUSE YOU HAVE ALREADY STOLEN A $200 CLEANING DEPOSIT FROM US WHEN WE MOVED INTO UTTER FILTH.”
We also moved into filth in this place.Â Apparently no one thinks that vacuuming is important, ever. Plus Old Manlord was all “THIS PLACE IS SO CLEAN!” and the fact is, the carpet is stained all over, the walls were NASTY and we discovered all sorts of fun things under the burners of the stove.Â And among the things I don’t expect to be cleaned, we found like 25 cat toys under the fridge when we vacuumed the inches of cat hair off the fridge coils.Â Old Manlord and JR are pretty much idiots anyway considering we asked if they would hook up the ice machine in the fridge and JR told us “uh, there is no water hookup for that!!” and a day later we pulled the fridge away from the wall and hooked up the ice machine with the CONVENIENTLY LOCATED WATER HOOKUPS RIGHT BEHIND THE FRIDGE WITH THE CONVENIENTLY LABELED WATER SHUT OFF VALVE IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM WHICH SAID “ICE MACHINE/FRIDGE.”Â So really, we rent from morons.Â MIDWESTERN MORONS no less.Â The Republi-Dad is pretty convinced they’ve ignored the mold/water damage in the bathrooms so long that the wood behind the tub surround is probably rotten clear through.Â I hope he’s right, because I think anyone who won’t help a sweet little 25 year old girl get rid of a mouse deserves the worst levels of hell, the levels in which you find that your house is full of rotten wood and mold!
Use your favorite spices to spice up your apples, I happen to use
1 Tbsp of each of these:
cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg and SOMETIMES ginger.Â Also throw about 2 Tbsp of sugar on top of those.Â let it mix up all nice and throw it in your pie crust.Â THEN you get to pour your butter/brown sugar mixture on top of those apples.
Weave your lattice top on there and flute the edges:
A while back The Boyfriend purchased me one of these great pie covers:
This thing makes me so much happier than all those times I tried to wrap foil over the crust, it was such a pain.Â You can feel free to cover this thing in foil your you can feel free to purchase one of THESE BABIES from Amazon. And if you’re a prime member it even is available for free shipping.
Toss this thing in the preheated to 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.Â You’ll notice I put mine on a foil covered cookie sheet to catch any dripping and there will be plenty, trust me. After 25 minutes take off your shield (or foil) and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes.Â Just watch for it to become golden brown.Â Mine took some extra time, about 35 minutes I think.
In closing, Old Manlord will not be getting an homemade pies in his mailbox any time soon, lattice pie crusts are not as hard as expected, and Thanksgiving was delightful.
Stay tuned for some new fangled whoopie pies. Totally worth it!