Another fun¬†project, courtesy of Pinterest! ūüôā ¬†This was the “silly” project I had in mind the other day, that I never got around to making, and honestly, it wasn’t nearly as tricky as I thought it’d be.

For starters, I used pre-made crust, which takes out all the usual pie-making nonsense.  Next, the pies are super-small, so the lattice work is really easy to do!

Anyway, the recipe in the link above is for caramel apple pies- I just made apple.  Cut up about two small apples, mix w/a little bit of sugar, some cinnamon, the smallest dash of nutmeg, and sprinkle w/lemon.  Tada!  Then, cut out circles for your pies (I used one of the kids snack containers bc it was bigger than a glass), and press it into a cupcake pan:

Press the dough into the pan, and add the apples:

Next up, the lattice work.  I made another circle in the dough, and then just cut tiny strips into it. Assemble the strips to cover the apples, and just weave them together:

A little egg wash, and then into the oven (350-degrees) for about 25 minutes.

All done- and, yum! ¬†I only made one, as a tester, and now I’m off to make more! ¬†So cute! ūüôā

(Just be sure to really let it cool before trying to take it out of the pan- I lost a bit of the bottom by being too impatient!)

 

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Since I have an insane amount of pumpkin pur√©e filling my freezer, I’ve started in on the pie making!

I decided to try a new recipe, since I wasn’t that happy w/the one I had been using. ¬†I just Googled “pumpkin pie recipe,” and came across one from Paula Deen‘s site. ¬†I have so much confidence that this one will work out, especially since it uses cream cheese, half-n-half, and loads of sugar. ¬†How could it not, really?!

Anyway, I made a crust, rather than buying one- I’m still really happy w/the addition of butter into my old pie recipe, it’s so good!

Next came the blind-baking: ¬†baking the crust a bit before adding the filling. ¬†Also, this is when I encountered the weirdest baking term ever: ¬†pie weight. ¬†Sorry?? ¬†No idea. ¬†I followed the recipe, bc it said to use pie weights or dried beans (opted for dried beans), and went ahead. ¬†But, immediately after, I Googled “pie weights.” ¬†(Love Google!) ¬†Apparently, one uses pie weights (which look like dried beans, actually) to ensure that, when blind-baking, the crust doesn’t bubbled or curl. ¬†Interesting…

After that, I followed the recipe for the filling- using 2 cups of my pur√©e, which after I got rid of the excess water, needed to use a third bag from the freezer! ¬†At this point, though, I have a hard time believing that it’ll actually taste like pumpkin pie, bc…it’s yellow, for one thing, thanks to the cream cheese, and for another…meh, I don’t know. ¬†I’m sure it’ll be good, but just kinda doubt that it’ll taste…right. ¬†Why am I doubting this- it’s Paula Deen! ¬†ūüėČ

Into the oven for 50 minutes:

I’ll be back when it’s ready!

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Just took it out of the oven, and…it looks great! ¬†Also- the house smells really good, which is always nice.

I stuck a butter knife into the center of the pie, just to see if it seemed done- needed about 5 more minutes, bc there was a lot of sticking, but after that…perfect! ¬†Can’t wait to try it- I’ll have more of a verdict after the taste test, but so far, seems great!

Yum!

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I have to say that, despite its yummy appearance, that I am not a huge fan of this pie! ¬†It’s just…ugh, it’s like a pumpkin pie for people that don’t like pumpkin pie! ¬†I mean, there aren’t really any of the traditional pumpkin-pie flavors in it, and those are the ones I love- flavors like cloves and allspice.

But, this has been pretty helpful- I think the next time I make pumpkin pie, I’ll merge the two recipes. ¬†For instance, I think I might use the half-n-half instead of regular milk as I had w/the old recipe, and I think I’ll use the 2 cups of pumpkin, instead of the one, as I had before. ¬†But, I will definitely use the spices from my old recipe next time!

Oh well- this was just a first attempt! ¬†I have plenty of pumpkin to keep practicing with! ūüôā

* On the upside, the kids loved it! *

I bought way too many apples the other day (bc I fall for the cuteness of those little bags that are loaded down w/apples at the grocery store), and have decided to make an impromptu apple pie. ¬†Nothin’ wrong w/that! ūüėČ

Anyway, I use a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, from a cookbook that I got as a wedding gift. ¬†I tried to look up “apple pie” or “apple pie recipe” on the Better Homes website, but…wow, they need a new site bc it’s sooo confusing! ¬†My allegedly-simple search yielded results for all sorts of apple concoctions, none of which was a standard, classic apple pie! ¬†Lots of tips on how to improve your pie-making experience, but no actual recipes for a regular ol’ pie!

So, I’ll include the recipe here, typed out from my cookbook:

Pastry for Double-Crust Pie

2 c. all-purpose flour

2‚ĀĄ3 c. shortening, chilled

1‚ĀĄ2 t. salt

6 to 7 T. cold water

(I add in 2 T. of chilled butter, as well, just to make it taste better!)

1.  Stir together flour and salt.  Blend in shortening until pieces are pea-size.

2.  Sprinkle 1 T. of the water over part of the mix; gently toss w/fork.  Push moistened dough to the side, and repeat using 1 T. of water at a time, until the dough is moistened.  Divide dough in half, and form each half into a ball.

3. ¬†On a lightly-floured surface, flatten 1 dough ball into a 12″ circle.

4. ¬†To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin; unroll into a 9″ pie plate. ¬†Add filling.

5. ¬†Roll remaining dough into a circle about 12″, as well; cut slits to allow steam to escape. ¬†Place remaining pastry over filling. Trim ¬†1‚ĀĄ2″ beyond the edge of the plate. ¬†Fold top pastry under bottom pastry; crimp edge as desired.

I'm a sucker for these bags!

Off to get started on the crust- be back soon! ūüôā

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The crust:

Pea-size bits

Rolled out and ready!

Now, the filling:

Apple Pie

6 c. thinly-sliced, peeled apples (about 2 1/2 lbs.)

1 T. lemon juice (optional)

3/4 c. sugar

2 T. all-purpose flour

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/8 t. nutmeg

(Starting at the point where your pastry is already rolled out into the pie pan)

* ¬†Preheat oven to 375ňö.

1.  If desired, sprinkle apples w/lemon juice.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add apple slices, and gently toss until coated.

2.  Transfer apple mix to the pastry-lined pan.  Trim pastry.  Cut slits in the remaining pastry, and place over filling; seal.  Crimp edges as desired.

3.  To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie w/foil.  Bake in a 375-degree oven for 25 minutes.  Remove foil.  Bake for 25-30 minutes more, or until top is golden.  Cool on a wire rack.

Apple bits

Sugar 'n spiced apple bits

Into the pastry

Lid's on!

Sealed and decorated

Into the oven w/the edge-protector thingy

So, the pie’s in the oven, and it looks great! ¬†Sometimes I feel like I don’t have enough dough, and it takes a bit to make it work, for the edges to come together, but this time it seemed to work out alright- I even had a teeny bit of dough leftover, and I used it to make little leaves for the top of the pie.

Now, just have to wait for the pie to cook!

Be back!

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It’s done! ¬†And, my house smells fantastic now! ūüôā

Yum!

Happy beginning-of-Autumn, everyone! ūüôā

The whole idea of this recipe makes me happy! ¬†Chicken stew stuffed into a little half-moon pastry can’t possibly be bad! ūüėČ

There’s a bit from Maya Angelou before this recipe, talking about a woman walking through town, selling homemade meat pies to her faithful customers. ¬†This really brings back memories of living in the French Quarter in New Orleans- there was a lady who would appear daily, at about lunchtime, pushing a small shopping cart through the Quarter yelling “Pie Lady, Pie Lady.” ¬†She sold all sorts of pies, ranging from fruit to meat to even tamale. ¬†I bought one of her apple pies once, and it was fantastic- probably because I could taste all the homemade goodness as it was still fresh and warm.

Anyway, I’m going to start working on the pastry part of the recipe while the kids are asleep- keep y’posted!

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Wow, these were delicious! ¬†So bad for us, calorie-wise, but wow, just delicious! ūüôā ¬†This definitely goes into the “make-again” stack I’m compiling!