After all the Thanksgiving cooking and baking shenanigans, I was looking for something easy to make yet delicious. Flipping through my handy dandy Ashley English Pie cookbook, I discovered “Salted Pecan Mini Tarts”. Seven basic ingredients and a 1/2 recipe basic pie dough. Done.
Such an easy recipe! Nothing more to it than rolling out your pie dough, cutting out a few tart shapes, and whisking together a quick filling. Bake off and viola! Cut, tiny little tartlets that taste just like a full slice of rich, sweet pecan pie.
I even used dough hat I had frozen (gasp!) from last weekend when I realized I wasn’t going to need it for Thanksgiving, and it turned out just fine. Granted, the final product isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as a full pecan pie but if you’re short on time or just exhausted from the holidays, these are perfect!
Next time, I might add a whole pecan on top of each one just to make them a little prettier to look at. Also, I didn’t sprinkle the salt on top before I baked them (oops,) so I had to do it after. Make sure to add it before so it sticks to the tartlets!
Tablespoon or so of coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
Prepare the crust: Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch or 14-inch circle.
Cut out 36 rounds, using a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter. You may have to re-roll the dough scraps several times to cut out all of the rounds. Do so quickly, as the more the dough is rolled, the more it activates the gluten in the wheat, which can result in toughened dough.
Place one dough round in each mini tart pan. Press the dough flat against the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Press the dough flat against the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place each tart pan as it is prepared on one of two large baking sheets.
Put the baking pans with the mini tart pants in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325˚F.
Bake the chilled mini tart crusts for 8 minutes.
Remove the baking sheets from the oven, leaving the oven on and raising the temperature to 375˚F. Set aside to cool while you prepare the filling.
Prepare the filling: Combine the brown sugar, butter, egg, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and salt in a medium-size bowl.
Whisk to blend thoroughly, then stir in the chopped pecans.
Assemble the mini pie tarts: Spoon 1 teaspoon of the filling into each mini tart shell, then sprinkle each with several granulated of coarse sea salt.
Bake in the 375˚F oven for 25 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned.
Cool the mini tarts at least 15 minutes before serving.
Now I know you’re probably wondering…what on earth is a “slump”? Well first of all its delicious. It’s also very similar to the “sonker” I made over the summer. Basically a fruit cobbler with biscuits on top instead of sitting inside a pie crust, this slump uses our favorite cranberry and apple, to make a delicious holiday treat.
I was sorely tempted to add some corn starch to this recipe but it turns out, no need! It thickens up in the oven just fine after cooking on the stove for 10 minutes.
However, I did use buttermilk instead of milk for the biscuit topping and added about 1/4 cup more of it to give the dough a little more moisture. I’m sure milk would have been fine, I myself am just partial to buttermilk biscuits. Also, the orange zest really gives them an extra zing of great flavor!
Very similar to my recent Caramel Cherry Apple Cranberry Pie, it’s a little more simple in flavor but has that same tart yet sweet taste. Also, much easier to make; cooked and served in the same skillet! A straightforward, delicious dish for your holiday get togethers!
Cranberry Apple Slump – Recipe from Williams Sonoma Baking
You will Need:
10-inch skillet or 9-inch pie pan
1 1/2 lb Granny Smith or other firm tart green apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (about 4 cups)
2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
Grated zest of 1 orange
Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
In a large bowl, combine the apple slices and cranberries. Add the sugar and toss to mix.
Scatter the fruit mixture evenly over the bottom of a large ovenproof frying pan.
Place over medium heat and cook, uncovered, until the juices are bubbling, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the topping: Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
Add the butter, and using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut it into the flour mixture until it is the consistency of coarse meal.
Gradually add the milk, stirring with a fork just until the flour is incorporated. Do not overmix.
For cut biscuits, roll out the dough 3/4 inch thick on a lightly floured work surface. Using a biscuit cutter or a glass inches in diameter, cut out the biscuits. Place atop the apples and cranberries, arranging them evenly on the surface.
Alternatively, if you prefer dropped biscuits, drop the flour mixture by heaping tablespoons onto the fruit.
Bake until the biscuits are golden and the fruit is bubbling, about 35 minutes. Serve immediately, or let cool on a wire rack and serve at room temperature.
Just in time for thanksgiving, a pumpkin pie with a twist! Gingersnap crust and candied pumpkin seeds add a bit of a kick and a crunch to a more traditional pumpkin pie.
The candied pumpkin seeds were a breeze to make. A quick toast in the oven, add all the ingredients to the bowl, stir to cover, and then sprinkle on top of the pie. I did walk away for a second too long when I had the ginger in the food processor and instead of a mince it turned into a paste! (Game of Thrones was on, it was imperative the volume be turned up immediately…) Even so, the seeds turned out wonderfully despite that little whoopsies.
The gingersnap crust was also very simple. Crush up a bag of gingersnap cookies, melt some butter, stir together and you’re good to go.
This pie gives off the most delectable, buttery scent while baking. The filling itself is very rich, creamy and delicious. Also, the candied pumpkin seeds are amazing. Don’t skimp on them, they’re worth it!
Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pumpkin Seeds – Recipe by Ashley English
You will need:
Gingersnap Crust (see recipe below)
2 cups pumpkin purée
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pumpkin Seed Topping:
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (to taste, bake at 275˚F for 4 to 5 minutes)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Prepare the filling: Combine all the filling ingredients in a medium-size bowl and whisk to blend well.
Prepare the pumpkin seed topping: Combine all the topping ingredients in a small bowl. Using a large spoon, stir until the pumpkin seeds are evenly coated with the butter, sugar, and spices.
Assemble the pie: Pour the filling into the prepared gingersnap crust and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven, leaving the oven on. Sprinkle the pumpkin seed topping evenly over the pie, then return it to the oven and bake another 20 minutes, until the pumpkin seeds have browned slightly and the filling has set.
Cool at least 1 hour before serving.
You will need:
9 – inch pie pan springform pan
10 ounces gingersnap cookies (about 2 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly butter the 9-inch pie pan or springform pan set aside.
Crush the gingersnaps either by pulsing them in a food processor or placing them in a plastic freezer bag and rolling over them with a rolling pin.
Combine the crushed gingersnaps and melted butter in a medium-size bowl. Stir until fully mixed.
Press the mixture into the pan, covering the bottom fully and pressing the crumbs halfway up the sides.
Bake the crust 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool completely before filling.
Whew! That was a mouthful. Cranberry Apple Cherry Caramel Pie. Lot of things going on in this one! I saw this pie on the cover of a Better Homes and Garden’s magazine last fall and ever since then I have wanted to make it. I tracked it down on their website by going through quite a few apple pie photos and immediately set out to create this perfectly autumn dessert.
Since there are two different fillings for this pie and a lot of cut outs required for the crust, definitely set aside a good sized chunk of your day to complete it. Although, the cranberry compote and the caramel apple mixture can be made up to a day in advance in order to spread out some of the steps.
As for the cut outs, make sure to use chilled dough to start and once they’re on the pan, put them back in the fridge before placing them on the pie. They are much easier to work with if the butter is cooled. I used a maple leaf cookie cutter and a knife to try and get a little line pattern on each one.
Note: I didn’t follow the pie crust instructions in this recipe (making three balls and combing two into one). I made the usual two equal sized discs, chilled them, and then used one for the bottom crust and one for the cut outs. I didn’t run into any issues so if you’re more comfortable with following your usual pie dough routine than making three and combining, it should work just fine.
This pie is pretty work intensive but so worth it! It looks incredibly impressive, smells heavenly, and tastes even better. It’s perfect for any fall get together, especially thanksgiving. Stroll into your family dinner with this and it’ll be the star of the show! (unfortunately for the turkey)
20 fresh sweet cherries, pitted or 1 cup frozen unsweetened pitted dark sweet
Caramel Apple Filling:
8 tart baking apples (Granny Smith) (2 to 2 1/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (can substitute pure vanilla extract)
2 – 3 tablespoons coarse sugar
Preheat oven to 375˚F.
Prepare Piecrust. Divide pastry into 3 balls. Combine 2 to form one large ball. Wrap both balls and refrigerate 20 minutes.
For Cranberry Compote: In a small saucepan combine cranberries, granulated sugar, orange juice, orange peel, and a pinch of salt.
Cook over medium heat until the cranberries begin to burst and mixture begins to thicken, stirring occasionally. Carefully stir in cherries. Remove from heat; cool.
For Caramel Apple Filling: In a large bowl gently toss together apples, lemon juice, and lemon peel. In a small bowl stir together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Sprinkle over apples; stir gently to coat.
In a large pot melt butter over medium heat. Add apple mixture. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add whipping cream and vanilla. Continue cooking, stirring often, until juices thicken and apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely.
On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten the large pastry ball. Roll pastry from center to edges into a circle 13 inches in diameter.
Transfer to a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate with a flat-edge rim. Trim pastry 1-inch beyond pie plate edge. Turn edges under, pressing down on rim. Prick bottom and sides of pastry with a fork. Wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes.
Line dough with parchment; fill to top with dried beans or pie weights. Bake 20 minutes.
Remove parchment and weights; bake 2 to 3 minutes more or until lightly golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Reduce oven to 350˚F.
Roll out the remaining ball to 1/8 inch thick. Using 1 1/2- to 2-inch leaf or acorn cookie cutters, stamp out shapes; transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan.
Using a slotted spoon, spoon one-third of the cranberry mixture into the bottom of the pre-baked crust. Layer half the apple mixture on top of the cranberries. Spoon another third of the cranberry mixture on top of the apples in random dollops. Spoon over remaining apples. Spoon remaining cranberry mixture on top in random dollops, leaving pockets of apple visible on top (placing the cranberry mixture in little pockets keeps the apples from being dyed red).
Leave the flat edge of the crust free from filling. Whisk together egg and 2 Tbsp. water; gently brush on edge of crust. Place some of the cutouts on the edge, pressing gently to adhere. Place remaining cutouts on top of filling; brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Place a foil-lined baking sheet on rack below pie in oven to catch any dripping. Bake 40 minutes. Cover edges with foil; bake 10 to 15 minutes more or until crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbly.
Cool on wire rack at least 3 hours before serving.
Pumpkin with chocolate and cheesecake? Yes please. I had chocolate left over from last week’s pie and this seemed to be the perfect way to use it up. Once again melted it in the microwave in 20 second increments and it worked like a dream. I can honestly say, my double boiler days are over.
The pumpkin filling is also very easy to make. Just make sure to follow the directions! Measurements are important in this recipe, remove a 1/4 cup, add a 1/4 cup there…Next time, I think I would also add maybe a tablespoon more butter to the graham cracker mixture. It sticks ok once cooked, but isn’t too substantial and I thought was a little dry. You lose a lot of it on the bottom of the pan. Some extra butter might help to keep it together better.
I used the chocolate shavings I had from last week left on top to garnish. Hands down best pumpkin recipe I have ever had, and that includes any kind of pumpkin pie. Whip a batch of these up this holiday season, and everyone will thank you for it.
*I’ll be on vacation in the San Juan Islands next sunday so no pie post next week. However, I have no idea what pie to make for the week after and would love to hear some suggestions!
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut up, or 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
2 tablespoons butter
Sour Cream Topping:
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
Garnish: pinch of pumpkin pie spice + chocolate curls or chocolate shavings
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup sugar. Stir in the 1/3 cup melted butter. Press mixture evenly into bottom of the prepared baking pan; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and the 1-3/4 cups sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt on low speed just until combined. Remove 1-1/4 cups of the mixture.
In a small heavy saucepan, combine the 6 ounces chocolate and the 2 tablespoons butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Whisk chocolate mixture into the 1-1/4 cups pumpkin mixture. Pour over crust, spreading evenly. Bake for 15 minutes.
Carefully pour the remaining pumpkin mixture over baked chocolate layer, spreading evenly. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes more or until filling is puffed and center is set. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream and 1/4 cup sugar. Gently spread over cookies. Cool completely. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Cut into bars.* Before serving, sprinkle with nutmeg and/or chocolate curls. Makes 24 to 36 bars.
*Test Kitchen Tip: To make triangle-shape bars, cut the cookies crosswise into four strips. Then cut each strip into five triangles (you’ll end up with two half-triangles from the ends of each strip).
To Make Ahead: Bake and chill cookies as directed; cut into bars. Place in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Do not freeze.
1 fully pre-baked 9-inch pie shell (homemade or store-bought)
3 cups whipped cream
1 chocolate bar, roughly chopped or shaved or melted into chocolate curls
Heat chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 20-second intervals, stirring between, until completely melted. Set aside and let cool for about 10 minutes until it is nearly room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
When melted chocolate has cooled, add it to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat the mixture on medium-low speed until thoroughly until combined. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
Switch to the whisk attachment. Add one egg, and beat for 5 minutes of medium speed. Repeat with remaining three eggs, beating the mixture for an additional 5 minutes after each egg. (20 minutes total.)
Pour the filling into a baked pie shell in a pie plate, and use a spatula to spread out the top evenly.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until chilled before serving.
Top with desired amount of whipped cream, then garnish with chocolate shavings or curls.
I know I know. It’s not really a pie in the literal sense. There’s no actual pie dough. But it’s perfect for the blustery weather and dropping temperatures we’ve been having this fall. Plus I just happened to have all the ingredients and mashed potatoes sounded magnificent.
I losely followed Gordon Ramsay’s recipe for Shepard’s pie but I made a few changes. First off, I wrote down actual measurements in case any one wants to follow the recipe and needs the numbers (instead of glugs of wine I tried estimate the amount in cups for you).
Second, I definitely simplified the mashed potatoes recipe. Now i learned some pretty snazzy stuff at culinary school but one of the first things we learned to cook was the potato: this of course included the world’s best mashed potatoes.
No egg yolks, no heavy cream, milk only if you feel the need. Basically, overcook those potatoes, smash them with a ridiculous amount of butter to the consistency you want, add salt till you can taste it and viola. Perfection.
Thirdly, I discovered about halfway through my cooking process that my kitchen was not aptly stocked in tomatoes. Not a single tomato paste can to be found. I scrambled around and found ketchup in the fridge. I’m sure Gordon would be appalled with this substitution and would yell extremely profane words in my face but hey. It worked just dandy.
Make sure you add enough seasoning to the mixture while cooking it on the stove, I think mine could have used a little more salt and pepper. Also, really work on the timing of the mashed potatoes. They need to be hot when you mash them and if you do so too early, they’ll cool down and you’ll have to re-season them. All in all, an easy delicious recipe that’s toasty warm for the autumn weather.
9 by 13 inch casserole dish or a deep dish 9 inch pie dish
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 – 1.5 lbs ground lamb or beef
1 large carrot diced
1 large onion diced
1 celery stalk diced
Pinch fresh rosemary
Pinch fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Several splashes (around 3-ish tablespoons, more if you like the flavor) worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato puree or paste
Several glugs (around 1/8 to 1/4 cup) red wine
1/4 cup Chicken Stock
3 large russet potatoes (about 1.5 lbs) peeled and sliced into even pieces
1/4 cup milk or cream
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
Fill a large pot with 1 quart water and add potatoes and some salt. Turn on high heat. Once it reaches a boil, continue cooking for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes fall apart when pierced with a fork.
Strain the potatoes and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Mash together the potatoes, butter, milk and salt to taste.
While waiting for the potatoes to cook, pour the olive oil into a large, pan on medium high heat and add the meat. Stir for a few minutes until browned and broken into small pieces. Drain and put back in the pan.
Add the carrot, celery and onion, briefly sautéing for couple minutes along with the meat.
Add rosemary, thyme and garlic and stir briefly.
Add worcestershire sauce and tomato puree and stir quickly until combined.
Add the red wine and sweat down for 1 to 2 minutes (until it has all but evaporated.)
Do the same with the beef stock, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Scoop this mixture into the pie or casserole dish and spoon the mash over the top. Poke the top with a fork several time for the peaked look.
Place it in the oven at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes to brown the potatoes and set the pie.
Good lord. Meringue. It’s a tricky one. But this recipe had Limoncello in the title so it had to be done. As far as steps and directions go, it wasn’t too difficult to get through. However, when making a meringue, make sure you read through the entire recipe before you start anything or else you could end up with a filling that refuses to set (oops). Sure was tasty though!
My mistake was I went ahead and started boiling the water, cornstarch and sugar mixture before reading all the way through the recipe. I was busy zesting lemons and didn’t notice it had been boiling too long and I overcooked the starch! I still slowly plopped into the egg yolks but it was definitely more solid than liquid. Once I had it all mixed the filling looked great and I assumed after a long stint in the fridge it would set. No such luck. Definitely on the runny side. Lesson learned: 3 minutes max for cornstarch on the stove! The actual meringue part of my pie was great. Egg whites can be pretty touchy so always let them warm up to room temp and watch closely as you whisk them, they can get over whipped and stiff in the blink of an eye!
Flavor wise, this pie was absolutely heavenly. Equal parts tart and sweet, and who could resist a pie filled with limoncello liquor?? Even with a slightly runny filling, it was was delicious.
Prepare the crust: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and fit into the 9-inch pie pan.
Trim the crust overhang to 1 inch and crimp the edges decoratively. Prick the bottom of the crust 6 or 7 times with a fork, then place the crust in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, leaving the oven on.
Remove the dried beans or pie weights and parchment paper from the crust, and return it to the oven.
Bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cool completely before filling.
Prepare the filling: Combine the water, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium-size saucepan. Whisk until fully blended and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Whisking constantly, cook for 3 minutes. Turn heat to low.
Remove 1/2 cup of the cooked mixture and pour it slowly over the egg yolks in a small bowl, whisking constantly until well combined.
It’s essential that you take your time when adding the cooked mixture to the eggs, otherwise they’ll curdle. Pour it in a gentle, steady stream, whisking vigorously the entire time.
Return the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan on the stove. Whisk the lemon juice, Limoncello, lemon zest, and butter. Beat until the butter is melted and the mixture is fully combined.
Remove the pot from the heat and pour the filling into the prebaked crust.
Prepare the meringue: Using an electric mixer or a whisk, beat the egg whites with the vanilla and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form.
Assemble the pie: Pile the meringue over the filling, mounding it in the center and covering the filling completely. Make sure you touch the edges of the crust all around, to prevent the meringue from shrinking.
Using the lowest broiler setting of your oven, evenly brown the meringue topping for about 1 minute. Or, if you have one, use a handheld culinary blowtorch.
Place the pie in the refrigerator and keep chilled until ready to serve.
I only recently discovered that I like pecan pie. I don’t like peanuts, almonds, walnuts, etc. etc. Don’t even like raw pecans. But pecan pie? Love at first bite.
As this was the first time I’ve made a pecan pie, there were a couple mistakes along the way and few things I would tweak with this recipe. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely delicious. The filling is almost like soft caramel broken up perfectly with the crunchiness of the pecans. I felt it was a little too sweet, the sugar so overwhelmingly rich that I could only take a couple bites (although they were heavenly.) Next time I would probably do 1 cup, maybe even 3/4 of a cup, of brown sugar instead of the original 1 1/4 cup.
I also only had dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar. I’m truly not sure if that would affect how sweet the pie is, I’ll have to check that next time! Although, it definitely gave the pie a darker filling, almost chocolaty in color.
I also discovered (only after I typed it up here) that I used way more butter than the recipe called for! I read it as 3/4 of a cup and not a stick (whoopsies!). It turned out just fine, more butter never seems to cause too much distress. However, I think that might be why the filling rose up so high, flooding much of the top pecan layer.
One more thing: Forgot to buy an orange! So I didn’t have any orange zest and I think this pie would benefit greatly from a little tart citrus flavor.
Even with my apparent dyslexia and a smidge too much sugar, I was quite pleased with my first pecan pie. Will definitely be trying this one again this season!
Preheat oven to 350°F with a baking sheet on middle rack.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round and fit into a 9-inch pie plate.
Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under and lightly press against rim of pie plate, then crimp decoratively. Lightly prick bottom all over with a fork. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (or freeze 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, whisking until smooth.
Remove from heat and whisk in corn syrup, vanilla, zest, and salt.
Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl, then whisk in corn syrup mixture.
Put pecans in pie shell and pour corn syrup mixture evenly over them.
Bake on hot baking sheet until filling is set, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool completely.
It’s official. My favorite season, Autumn, is most definitely on it’s way. Summer has finally relinquished it’s hold over our usually rainy city and given me some breezy, drizzly weather, carrying along with it the wonderfully crisp scent of fall.
Of course, autumn also means the beginning of apple season, ergo apple pie time. I’m partial to Honey Crisp myself, Gala coming in second and Fuji rounding out the competition with a respectable third place.
Apple pie was never my favorite fruit pie. I found most of them to be overly sweet and lacking in flavor at the same time, a result of unripe apples and too much added sugar. Well, Ashley English (of course) came to my rescue. Not an apple pie, but a chai spice apple pie. Now I love chai tea (lattes especially), so I knew I would probably enjoy this recipe but for all you coffee drinkers out there, this pie is worth your while.
I have finally found an apple pie that I absolutely love. The spicy chai mix blends beautifully with the fresh apple slices, and the recipe calls for only 1/4 cup of sugar! The apples give it all the sweetness it needs and the chai blend added the flavor to the pie I always felt was missing.
This recipe made a skeptic like myself fall completely in love with apple pie. It will also quite possibly convert some of you coffee drinkers into chai lovers! For a true taste of autumn, I’ll have to follow Ashley English’s suggestion next time of pairing this wondrous creation with cinnamon ice cream.
Egg wash (1 large egg yolk, 1 tablespoon whole milk)
Chai Spice Blend:
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds or gound cardamom
1/2 teaspoon black tea
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 lbs apples (Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady, Stayman, or Honeycrisp), peeled, cored, quartered adn cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced, for dotting the filling
1 tablespoons turbinado sugar or other coarse sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Prepare the crust: Remove one dough disk from the refrigerator. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and fit it into a 9-inch pie pan.
Trim the crust overhang to 1 inch, then place the crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Prepare the chai spice blend: Using either a mortar and pestle or a spice or coffee grinder, grind the cardamom seeds (if using), black tea, whole cloves, peppercorns, and fennel seeds to a powder.
Pour the ground spices into a fine-mesh sieve placed over a small bowl. Gently shake the sieve so all but the larger pieces fall through. Discard the larger pieces left in the sieve.
To the freshly ground spices in the bowl, add the ground cardamom (if using), cinnamon, and ginger. Whisk well to combine.
Prepare the filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients, including the chai spice blend, in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Using either clean hands or a large spoon, toss until all of the ingredients are fully combined and the apple slices are evenly coated.
Assemble the pie: Pour the apple mixture into the prepared crust, mounding int he center. Dot the surface with the diced butter.
Roll the remaining dough disk into a 12-inch circle. Use a small pastry/cookie cutter to cut decorative images in the dough.
Roll the top crust loosely over your rolling pin and unroll it over the filling in the pie pan, making sure it’s centered.
Trim the top crust overhang to 1 inch and tuck the edges under the bottom crust overhang. Crimp the edges decoratively.
Whisk the egg yolk and milk in a small bowl, then use a pastry brush to brush the wash over the crust.
Place the pie in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425˚F.
Mix the coarse sugar and ground cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle it evenly over the pie.
Place the pie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil to catch the overflow juices and bake for 20 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375˚F and continue baking for 30 minutes to 35 minutes longer, until the crust is golden and juices are bubbling in the center of the pie.