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apples

Food & Recipes

Pie Week #2 // Apple

September 2, 2016

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Whew. Coming in right under the gun and posting a second pie recipe before the week is over. I made this pie twice in the last week, and I’ve found that pie making is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to do. First, because it’s relaxing and second, because there is nothing like the look of delight on someone’s face when you say that yes, you brought them pie, and yes, it’s from scratch.

Oh, and it’s a great way to use up all the apples that have been coming my way from my aunt and mother-in-law.

I’ve realized that making pie allows me to cater the pie to my exact preferences, too. Take, for example, this apple pie. Joe and I both agree that we like the apples to be soft and free of any crunch, with a hefty dose of cinnamon and a crust that’s deeply golden brown and covered in coarse sugar.

Is that your kind of applie pie? Then this recipe is for you. And me.

This pie series has already been so much fun I can hardly handle it. And now that I’ve been making crust for a while (video to come, I promise!) I don’t need a recipe, just a couple measuring cups and a little extra time.

Pie Week #2 // Apple
Author: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • Pie crust for a double-crust pie
  • 10 cups peeled and sliced apples
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg yolk, whisked
  • 1 tablespoon half and half or heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sugar (turbinado)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease/butter the bottom of a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Set aside.
  2. Roll out half the pie crust to form the bottom crust. Drape pie crust into the bottom of the pie plate and press gently into the bottom and sides of the plate, leaving the crust hanging over the edge of the plate.
  3. In a large bow, combine the slices apples, sugar, corn starch and cinnamon. Stir until evenly combined and spoon apples into pie crust, mounding apples slightly in the center.
  4. Roll out the second half of the pie crust and drape over the apples. Press the crusts together and roll/crimp as desired. Use a sharp knife to cut a few slits on the top of the pie to let steam escape.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and half and half or heavy cream. Brush on pie with a pastry brush. Sprinkle top of pie with the coarse sugar.
  6. Bake pie 45 minutes at 375°F. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour more, until filling is bubbly and crust is deep golden brown. If necessary, cover the edge of the pie crust with a pie shield or aluminum foil to prevent over-browning during the last portion of baking. (For the record, I didn't need to)
  7. Cool at least 1 hour before cutting into slices to serve.

 

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Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Pecans

October 3, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Muffins | Espresso and Cream

After a little bit of a hiatus from sharing recipes on E&C, I’m finally back with something new and ultra tasty to share. Although I have a deep and long-standing love for all things pumpkin, I feel like apples really get overlooked during the fall months because of the popularity of pumpkin. Anyone else feel that way, too? It’s really a shame since apples are one of my favorite foods, and don’t even get me started with apple pie, crisp and cobbler. The best!

While I was at Influence Conference, I got a lot of questions about Espresso and Cream and what type of blog category it falls into. If you would have asked me a year or more ago, it would have been an easy answer: it’s a food blog! But over the past year or so, I’ve been shifting this little site into something that would probably be categorized more accurately as a “lifestyle” than anything else.

Regular readers have probably noticed this shift over the months. Perhaps some of you have liked it, while others have thought it’s been a shift from the original intent and purpose of the site. Since I spend every day at work developing recipes and food content, I’ve found that being able to talk about topics broader than the narrow focus of food has been necessary for me as a person and writer. Although I love food, thinking about it all day and then blogging all about food at night leaves me drained and less passionate than I really am. Having recipes in the mix of content for E&C instead of the sole focus has been incredibly refreshing and given me more excitement for blogging

So for those of you who have been wondering, I figured I would explain a bit about what type of content you will see on E&C going forward. Recipes will never disappear from the site, but my goal these days is to provide you with higher quality recipes (which means fewer recipes!) and more variety in my posts, sharing about life, fitness, pregnancy, family and faith. Thanks for continuing to follow along on this journey and my ever-evolving blog.

Now, back to the recipe at hand. These muffins are really easy to pull together and stay incredibly moist thanks to the chopped apple in the batter. I used a Granny Smith, but feel free to use whatever apple you like baking with best or have on hand! They aren’t ultra sweet, but just sweet enough to feel a little indulgent on a weekend morning. Joe likes them with plenty of melted butter, while I prefer my muffin with a thin spread of peanut butter. But that’s just me, and I’m probably a little strange that way.

Feel free to experiment with the type of nuts used in the recipe as well. I could see walnuts being a really natural fit as well! An added bonus? I’ve found they make a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack and are really great in lunches for hungry husbands (or kiddos!)

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Muffins (1) | Espresso and Cream

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Pecans
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking liners; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the sugars and butter 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy and well-combined. Add in the cinnamon, eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add half the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat until just combined. Beat in the milk, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Stir in the chopped apple and pecans by hand until combined.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin liners. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan. Transfer to wire cooling rack and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

 

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Classic Apple Pie with Ultra-Flaky Pie Crust

July 7, 2014

Classic Apple Pie (1) | Espresso and CreamUpdate: We went in for another scan on Thursday before the long weekend and got some strange news. Things on our ultrasound looked very normal, pretty much a 180-degree change from our scan on Monday. The doctor and the ultrasound tech didn’t know what to make of it all, so I’m chalking it up to God. Sound good? We’ve been told to still expect miscarriage, but that we now have a legit reason to hope. So we’ve been playing a very strange waiting game until Wednesday, and your continued prayers would be much appreciated.

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend! Joe and I spent a lot of time working on the house, in the yard, and even painted our office, a room that I’ve intentionally left out of the E&C house tour because I’ve disliked it so much. We’re a long way from revealing the final product on the blog, but I’ll be sharing some sneak peaks Instagram as we pull the room together.

A few weeks back I made a pie and I would be lying if I said the crust was anything worth eating. Truth be told, it was horrible. Sometimes pie crust is hard and scary, isn’t it? Well, I was determined to have success the second time around because that first attempt was just haunting me. With a new sense of resolve, I went back the the kitchen to make another pie crust for a classic apple pie. The result was amazing, if I do say so myself. It was flaky and tender and perfect enough to bring over to Joe and his friends, who needed a break from painting a house on a hot day.

Classic Apple Pie (2) | Espresso and CreamI based my pie crust on one of my favorite recipes from Sherry Yard in her fabulous baking book, Desserts by the Yard. Over the years I’ve made great pie crusts and horrible pie crusts. And I think that if I had to recap what makes success versus failure, it would be in the way the liquid is incorporated into the dry ingredients. Sometimes I’m feeling impatient and I dump the water in rather quickly, in two or three additions. The problem with doing this is that the water doesn’t get evenly incorporated into the flour mixture and I end up needing to add more water than the recipe calls for.

But when I’m patient, adding just a drop or two at a time and constantly using a fork to stir the flour mixture as I add water, that’s when I have the most success, when the magic of tender, flaky pie crust happens. So give yourself a few extra minutes to incorporate your liquids into your dry ingredients and you’ll be blessed with the end product.

Classic Apple Pie with Ultra-Flaky Pie Crust
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • PIE CRUST INGREDIENTS (for 2 crust pie)
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup ice water
  • PIE FILLING
  • 6 cups thinly sliced Granny Smith apples (peeled and cored)
  • 6 cups thinly sliced Golden Delicious apples (peeled and cored)
  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • TOPPING FOR PIE
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. To make Pie Crust: In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt until well combined. Break up the shortening into small pieces and add the shortening to the flour mixture. Cut the butter into small pieces. Add the butter to the flour mixture, too. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until the butter and shortening are the size of peas.
  2. Gradually add the ice water (1 spoonful at a time) to the flour mixture, using a fork to mix the water into the flour mixture as you add spoonfuls of water. This is key, slowly adding the water. It ensures that you get the flour mixture evenly hydrated without having to add too much water.
  3. Divide dough into two portions and gently press into rounds. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  4. Roll one of the dough rounds out onto a floured surface to form the bottom crust. Press crust into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate.
  5. In a very large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir until well combined. Pour mixture into crust-lined pie plate. (There will be a lot of apple mixture since it bakes down and loses volume.)
  6. Roll out second dough round onto floured surface. Top pie filling with second crust. Roll edges of pie crust together to seal. If desired, crimp edges. Cut two to three slits on top of pie crust for steam to escape.
  7. Heat oven to 375F. Place a metal baking sheet under pie plate to catch any excess liquid. Brush top of pie with the milk. Sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool at least 1 hour. Cut into slices to serve.

 

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Apple Streusel Pie

October 30, 2013


Apple_Streusel_Pie_3
First things first, a little bit of business to discuss. A number of you have requested that I make my recipes easily printable. Ask and you shall receive! Recipe will now be formatted so you can print recipes without having to print the entire web page. Enjoy!

If you look closely at the photos of this apple pie, you’ll notice that the edges are not crimped perfectly. There are spots where I had the right amount of dough and spots where I was a little short and didn’t have the amount needed to properly crimp the edge. The perfectionist in me absolutely hates that.

After making two pumpkin pies that tasted amazing but had crusts that were less than bakery perfect, I decided to really devote myself to making a pumpkin pie that looked pretty enough to be in a magazine. We had Joe’s co-workers and their wives over for dinner last Thursday and, selfishly, I wanted my pie to look perfect. In all my effort to make the perfect looking pie crust, I committed the cardinal sin of pie making: I totally over-worked the dough.

I’ve been known to be a harsh critic of my own cooking, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was the toughest most inedible pie crust I’ve ever baked. Joe noticed. I noticed. I’m pretty sure a couple others at the table noticed, too, considering plenty of crust went uneaten at the table that night. Looking back, it’s pretty funny. At the time, I was mortified.

Apple_Streusel_Pie_2

I really wanted to apologize right then and there to everyone at the table for my terrible pie crust. I make my living as a food editor, for goodness sake! I develop and test recipes every single day. This rookie mistake? Totally unacceptable. But instead I bit my tongue and didn’t say anything, letting the moment pass and dinner conversation carry on. Maybe our new friends did discuss my crappy pie crust in the car on the way home. But I have a feeling they probably didn’t give it much thought, and certainly less thought than I did.

My grandmother was one of the best pie bakers around. Every fall she would make dozens of apple pies with apples from her farm and store them in the freezer for her kids and grand kids to enjoy throughout the year. One hallmark of her pies was the fact that they weren’t the prettiest pies. In fact, you might say they were a little homely. But what my grandmother lacked in finesse she made up for in flavor and texture.

Thinking about her delicious pies, imperfections and all, gave me the motivation to get back in the kitchen after my crust failure and enjoy baking this Apple Streusel Pie without the need to make it look perfect. Sure, it’s a heck of a lot less pretty than my pumpkin pie at our dinner party, but I can assure you it tasted a whole lot better.

Apple_Streusel_Pie_1

Apple Streusel Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe Pastry for Single Crust Pie (your favorite recipe)
  • 6 cups peeled, cored and thinly sliced aples
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Streusel Topping
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375F. Unroll pastry crust into 9-inch pie plate. Flute edges, if desired.
  2. In large bowl, toss together the apples and melted butter. In small bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to apples and toss until well combined. Transfer mixture to pastry-lined pie plate.
  3. In medium bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon. Toss until well combined. Add melted butter and work together with your hands until combined and only small clumps remain. Sprinkle on top of apples.
  4. Cover pie with aluminum foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, bake 40 to 50 minutes more or until crust is golden brown and apples and bubbly and baked through.

Happy Baking!
Madison

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Beet-Apple Juice

October 22, 2013

Juice_1

It’s Tuesday. Tuesday is way to early to start making complicated recipes that require a lot of brain power, right? I thought so. Now that I’m curbing my caffeine addiction, I’ve been dragging a little bit. I think I’m over the worst of it, but I’m still not on my game 100%. I just keep reminding myself that the worst is over. But then I got a huge zit on my chin and I’m thinking that somehow that is related to my lack of coffee. It’s like my body is trying to tell me something.

So, instead of sharing a recipe that requires a lot of brain power, I’m sharing a stupidly simple recipe for juice. Do you really need a recipe for juice? Probably not. But if you’re looking for a killer combination, can I suggest beets and apples. Apples because they are plentiful these days and beets because they make your juice pretty and are packed with nutrients.

Beet-Apple Juice
4 red beets (or golden beets, but it won’t be as pretty)
4 apples

Instructions
Put in a juicer and drink! 🙂

Madison