The Secret to an Extra Delicious Apple Pie

apple-pie-1

Happy October! By now you’ve probably gone apple picking, or at least popped into a farm stand for a bag of apples. Yes, we all like to trek to the apple farm for our annual family day out to apple pick, we just did it last weekend ourselves. And yes, the experience is wonderful, idyllic, tasty – a fall right-of-passage, if you will, but why REALLY do we do it every year? Three words: homemade apple pie. There is nothing better. I don’t make my own crust but still make pretty decent pies with fresh apples, except for one problem: sometimes they’re just a little too watery. Yours too? Especially the day after. You have apple for dessert on a Sunday, let’s say, and Monday morning you’re thinking it may be a good idea for a slice for breakfast. You get downstairs and your pie is liquid-y with a terribly soggy bottom crust. No good. I know apples are full of water, I always cut a steam vent hole into my pie crust, I sometimes use a pie bird, I always use the right variety of apple too, but the soggy phenomenon still happened every so often. And when you only make a couple apple pies all year, one soggy pie is a disastrous occasion.

apple-pie-5

So when I read this article in a recent issue of Bon Appetit, I was so intrigued (my husband happened to point it out, too). The article mentioned roasting your apples pre-pie with sugar and flour and then chilling them to not only remove the moisture but also create a caramelized flavor. Wow! What a great idea and yet so simple. So Sunday afternoon after our Saturday morning apple picking adventure, we did just that. I followed Bon Appetit’s roasting recipe of 4 lbs apples, 1C sugar, and 1/4C flour. I then used my usual recipe to make our pie (store bought refrigerator crust, we use this one, a bunch of cinnamon, 1/4C brown sugar, egg wash on the crust) and just look at this piece of pie!

apple-pie-4

And Monday morning it was still beautiful – not a soggy ounce of crust in sight (yes, Z helped me with the pie and we made our initials out of extra dough for the top of the pie). One note, the apples obviously reduce in size as they roast so definitely use a couple apples more than you think are necessary, apples are the star of this pie show after-all, right? Also, reduce (or increase if you want?) the sugar for roasting, this turned out to be a very sweet pie… Let me know if you try this method, I definitely recommend it.

It’s Fall, so we Went Apple Picking

‘Tis the season for PSL, cinnamon, vests, pumpkin everything, and….apple picking! We went to our local favorite Parlee Farm over the weekend to pick apples so I thought I’d share a few photos of our day with you. It was so nice that it was slightly cool when we went, the past few years have been very hot through mid-October and frankly, I like my apple picking with a chill in the air!

We like Parlee Farm because it has a little of everything – goats…a hay maze (that you can walk on top of, too)…

…pumpkins galore! They also have a huge field of wild flowers where (for a small fee) they give you scissors and you can go clip your own fresh flowers, how quaint is that? They serve amazing mini apple cider donuts that are covered in sugar and so, so good (these were eaten so quickly there are no photos to share).

And (last but not least) a hayride out to the apple orchards.


And then of course it’s time to actually pick the apples…

…and taste test a few, too. Have you gone apple picking this season?

Fall Breakfast Yogurt

I’m always on the hunt for new breakfast ideas that are healthy and filling. Since we had tons of apples from our apple picking adventure I thought about how good apples would be with Greek yogurt, right? Here’s what I threw together and have been eating now for a week – it’s the perfect combination of fall flavors. Try it, let me know what you think!

fall-breakfast-yogurt

Greek yogurt
Diced apples
Pistachios for crunch
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Drizzle of honey

Enjoy!

Apple Galette

apple-galette-7

To continue on our post-apple picking baking adventures we made an Apple Galette over the weekend. And what is a galette, you ask? According to Wikipedia, the term galette is used to describe French round or freeform crust cakes. In layman’s terms a galette is a pie with no top baked flat instead of in a pie pan. So anyways, I read through a lot of recipes and I liked the sound of this one from Epicurious the best. We always seem to gravitate towards recipes with the least amount of ingredients.

apple-galette-1

First, peel and core about 6 apples and cut into small wedges. Mix with 2 Tbs sugar, 1 tsp lemon peel, and a dash of cinnamon.

apple-galette-2

Roll out your pie crust (we totally used a Pillsbury pre-maid crust) and spread a thin layer of apricot jam around the dough, leaving an inch and a half free.

apple-galette-3

Then, arrange your apples to cover the jam overlapping the apples a little. Fold the border of dough on top of the apples.

apple-galette-4

Brush with a little milk (or eggwash) and sprinkle with a dash of sugar, about 1 Tbs. Bake at 425 for 20 mins. Reduce the oven to 375 and cook for another 20-30 until the crust is brown.

 apple-galette-5

Cool, serve, enjoy!

Apple Chips

apple-chips-9

Apple chips. Baked Apple Slices. Whatever you call them – they. are. delicious!

apple-chips-5

If you’re like us, then you’ll go apple picking at least once this fall and find yourself with a large amount of apples. I love to eat them as is but we were searching for a way to use our freshly picked apples above and beyond the standard pie and crisp. We love our mandolin so we thought we’d try making our own apple chips and boy did they come out great. It’s a bit of work to mandolin all your apples and then bake for 2 hours in batches, but the results are just so yummy I think it’s totally worth it.

apple-chips-1

Slice your apples with the 1/8″ size on your mandolin and place on a parchment paper or Silpat lined cookie sheet.

apple-chips-2

Remove any actual seeds but you don’t need to remove the core.

apple-chips-4

Sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar mixture (for 6 apples we used 2 Tbs sugar and 1 Tsp cinnamon).

Then bake at 225 degrees for 2 hours or more until they get crunchy. A few notes:
– You’ll want to use an “eating” apple for these like a Honey Crisp rather than a “baking” apple like Macintosh.
– We fit 3 cut apples on 2 baking sheets.
– 2 baking sheets don’t fit side by side in my oven so each sheet was on a different rack. To make sure the apple chips baked evenly, we rotated the baking sheets halfway through baking at 1 hour.
– You can use your own judgement on how much cinnamon sugar to add, or don’t use any at all!
– We used one baking sheet with a silpat and one with parchment paper and I would say the apples baked on parchment paper came out slightly better.

apple-chips-6

Enjoy!