When we turned the clocks back an hour, it feels like we went through some sort of time warp that far surpasses changing time by just 1 hour. Now that it is pitch black out at 5:30pm, I feel out of whack and I surmise that other people do too because I swear everyone forgot how to function (mostly drive) in the dark. Either way with the shorter days, I find myself going to sleep, more like falling asleep on the couch, much earlier than I usually do. The entire family is also having a really hard time getting out of bed in the morning. I told my husband I really do think we are bears, hibernating for winter.
With hibernation comes eating a lot more comfort food so I am also baking a lot more than usual. I figure why not, the oven serves as a great heater. In preparation for Thanksgiving we have been making Pie. This week we made an Apple Pie and a few weeks ago tested out a new Pumpkin pie recipe and even made chicken Pot Pie for dinner (I’ll share that recipe soon).
Let’s talk pie dough. You can certainly make it from scratch. Maybe you have a great recipe passed down from your great aunt that never fails you? If so, go ahead and use it. You can make a few batches and freeze them so you always have crust ready to go. I, on the other hand, will use store bought pie crust for week night dinners and reserve making it from scratch for grander occasions like the holidays or when I have time to really get involved in the kitchen with my girls. I often rely on Pillsbury pie crust because it is the easiest to handle and when you cook with thousands of kids a year, you want a crust you can trust, a crust that will not flake or fall apart between their little fingers. Pillsbury is the most reliable for this. If you are looking for a a good store bought flakey crust, I would suggest Trader Joe’s or Sprout’s refrigerated crusts that you can roll out. They are definitely harder to handle and might fall apart a little more easily so I reserve these for projects without the kiddos.
Classic Pie Dough
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 TB sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, sliced into Tb pieces
¾ cup ice cold water
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt until well mixed. Use a pastry blender or 2 cold butter knives to cut in butter until the mixture is coarse crumbles. Slowly stir in water until a dough forms. Cut the ball into 2 pieces and wrap in saran, refrigerate until ready to use.
Will make 2, 9” pie crusts.
When ready, dust a cold, clean flat surface with flour and roll out dough into a 9” circle. I spin the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the counter.
Simple Apple Pie
4-8 Apples (Granny Smith & golden delicious), sliced
2/3 cup sugar (option to add 1/3 brown sugar)
1/3 cup AP flour
1 TB cinnamon
Dash (1/2 tsp) of Salt
Splash of lemon juice
*Optional: dash of ground nutmeg or cloves
Preheat oven to 425º
Mix the filing ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into prepared pie dish.
Bake for 15 minutes, reduce to 350º, bake for additional 30 minutes.
15 oz pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 TB flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 350º
Mix together all ingredients and pour over favorite BAKED pie crust. Bake for 50 min or until the center is only slightly wiggly.
*I cover the edges with aluminum foil to protect them from browning too much,
I hope these pie-spirations help to get you in the kitchen to make a flour-ey, fun, mess just in time for Thanksgiving so you can show up and show off your beautiful creations or at least enjoy making them over next few months, when you can benefit from warming up in the kitchen with extra oven use and hide your pie eating under the cute sweaters.
Don’t forget to head to Instagram to enter to win a $200 Whole Foods gift card from Wilson Homes. The winner will be announced on Monday.