Hold on tight, this is going to be long…
It’s that time of year, crisp nights, fire places, colorful leaves, hot spiced apple cider, the changing of seasons, wonderful memories, and my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.
I have so many memories of Thanksgiving; we always (& still do) celebrate with my mother’s family. My grandmother insisted (& still does) on a “program” where we “volunteer” to sing a song, read a poem, perform a skit or some such item. We, as children, also dressed up as Pilgrims and Indians. We no longer dress up, but we still enjoy a good Thanksgiving.
Another memory ~ the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and all the delicious goodies we couldn’t wait to get our fingers on. My mom, know as the “Pie Lady” or “Pie Momma” [depending on who you talk to] has always made ALL the pies for our celebration along with roasting a turkey, making mashed potatoes and stuffing (see recipe here), cookies, dinner rolls, popcorn balls & other desserts. The others cooks in the family made other side dishes, additional potatoes & turkeys. That sounds like a lot of food…it is; we have a huge family.
Stay with me… 🙂
Even years (such as last year – 2014) are considered my “Grandma’s” years when all 8 of her children, their spouses and grandchildren  (& now greats [11 & counting]) come together; odd years, each of the 8 families celebrates with their other sides [in-laws] celebrations. As for the pies & the muse for this post, my mother works, each year at making everyone’s favorite type of pie. On average [for the even years] she makes approximately 25-30 pies; odd years she only makes about 15-20. That’s a lot of pie!
The past few years I have been taking some of her load & making a few pies, potatoes and whatever else is needed. Within our family, we have several other dietary issues other than non-dairy (gluten-free, walnut-free & vegetarian), however with my specific dietary changes I’m will now be making non-dairy food to bring along.
For the month of November, I will be sharing several of the recipes that will be gracing our Thanksgiving table this year, starting with this Dutch Crunch Apple Pie.
I hope you enjoy the pie & Thanksgiving too!
Dutch Crunch Apple Pie
single crust Flaky Pie Crust (bonus recipe #1 below)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
2 cup sugar, divided
1 cube (8 tablespoons) + 1-2 tablespoons Earth Balance (EB), room temperature
6-8 small apples or 4-5 medium, cored, peeled & chopped in about 1/2″ to 1″ pieces*
2 teaspoons Cinnamon OR Pumpkin Pie Spice (or any combination of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger)
Combine 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and spices; set aside.
Make topping: combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and (EB); using a fork, work EB into flour and sugar, until crumbly. You can also add a bit of oats (or chopped nuts) and /or additional spices for a different texture/tasting top.
To drained apples add sugar/spice mix that was set aside & combine, making sure the apples are fully coated.
Make the crust & place in pie dish (9″ or 10″); pour apples in [unbaked] crust (don’t overfill); dot with 1-2 tablespoons EB & pour topping over, covering apples.
Bake in 350*F oven for 45-60 minutes or until apples are bubbly & topping & crust are golden brown.
*to keep apples from browning while working the remaining steps cover in water that has a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover with foil & keep in refrigerator. About 10 minutes before using, drain well.
Bonus Recipe 1:
Flaky Pie Crust (for single, double & deep dish)
For Single Crust:
1 1/3 level cups flour
½ level tsp salt
½ Crisco stick or ½ level cup Crisco shortening
3 tbsp cold water
For Double Crust:
2 level cups flour
1 level tsp salt
¾ Crisco stick or ¾ level cup Crisco shortening
5 tbsp cold water
For 9-inch Deep Dish Double Crust or Two 10-inch Double Crust:
2 2/3 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 c Crisco shortening
7-8 tbsp cold water
Mix flour and salt, cut in shortening, using pastry blender until all flour is blended into form pea-sized chunks.
Sprinkle with water, one tbsp at a time; toss lightly with fork until dough forms a ball.
Divide dough in half, if making a double crust. Press between hands to form one or two (for double) 5-6 inch pancakes. Flour dough slightly, roll into circle, between sheets of waxed paper, on damp counter-top. Peel off top sheet. Fold in half and then in half again and gently pick up off second waxed paper sheet. Unfold in pie plate, trim and flute edges.
For baked pie shell: Preheat oven to 425 degrees, prick with fork, bottom and sides of shell to prevent shrinking. Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. For recipe calling for an unbaked pie shell, follow directions of that recipe.
For double crust:
Proceed as above for first crust, except trim edges to ½-inch from edge and don’t flute edges. Take second ball and roll out. After filling shell in pie plate with filling, place second crust on top of pie. Trim edges to ½-inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold top edge under bottom crust and flute edges and cut a steam slit in the top of the crust.
Bonus Recipe 2:
Pie Crust Cookies
Leftover unbaked pie dough
cinnamon & sugar
Roll out leftover pie dough & cut into pieces (or using cookie cutters for shapes, as I did below); sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar & bake in 350*F oven for about 10-15 minutes until crust is golden.
Keeping it real: don’t forget the salt in the pie crust dough & if you do, it is okay. It won’t affect the texture of the crust, it will just taste flat (I know this for sure…I goofed…)
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What is your favorite type of pie? Have you ever had Pie Crust Cookies? What are your family traditions? Do you have a favorite memory?
Comment & let me know.