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pie

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Apple Streusel Pie

October 30, 2013


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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.

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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.

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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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Blueberry Oat Biscuit Cobbler

April 10, 2013

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One of the best parts about having a house with plenty of space is that we finally have the room to comfortably entertain friends on a regular basis. Now, when I say “entertain” I don’t mean elaborate dinner parties. It’s more of a casual rotation of everyday meals that Joe and I would normally eat throughout the week. We usually dress things up by eating in the dining room, opening up a bottle of wine and serving a dessert, all things that we don’t usually do when it’s just the two of us on a weeknight.

If you are one of our friends who has shared a meal in our new home with us, the chances are you have been served this Blueberry Oat Biscuit Cobbler. I think I’ve served it almost a dozen times since we’ve moved into our house, mainly because it’s easy, tasty and semi-healthy. Something about serving a fruit-based dessert seems more appropriate on the weeknight that, say, a chocolate cake.

I’ve found over the numerous times that I’ve made this cobbler that it’s incredibly adaptable based on what you have on hand. Sometimes I cut back the sugar a bit depending on the sweetness of the berries I have on hand. Other times I’ll sub in a little almond meal or use 100% whole wheat flour in the cobbler if I’m feeling extra healthy. And I’ve played around with mixed berries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. All yield delicious results and can be used in frozen form for added ease and affordability. Can you tell I love this dessert?

When I’m making this for friends, I usually time it out so that this is coming out of the oven at the same time friends are scheduled to arrive. That way the cobbler has time to cool and set while we enjoy our meal and it’s still a little warm when its served, always with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a strong cup of decaf coffee.

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I can hardly take credit for the recipe, although I wish I could. Instead of posting it here, I would encourage you to hop on over to the blog Sprouted Kitchen to get the recipe. The recipe can be found HERE!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Madison

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Apple-Berry Pie

April 1, 2013

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Hello, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend celebrating Christ’s resurrection with family. Joe and I enjoyed a long weekend together and spent time with my mom and Joe’s family, including his brother, Jason, and Jason’s wife, Ali, who made the long trek up here from Kansas City. Of course, we like to think that they came to visit us, but I think that the real pull had something to do with our identical twin nieces, Mckinley and Emersyn, who were born three weeks ago. I’ve shared a few photos on Instagram over the last few weeks, but I think this is the first photo of the girls that I’ve shared on Espresso and Cream. We couldn’t be more excited for Amber and Jake!

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And since I don’t have any idea how to transition from adorable babies to delicious pie, I’m just going to move right along and tell you that I made a pie this weekend for Easter dinner. As you probably already know, Joe and I had pie at our wedding in place of the more traditional cake. I created the recipes and my co-worker, Holly, made the pies on our big day. I shared the Cran-Raspberry Pie recipe right before our wedding but with the craziness of the wedding, I completely forgot to share the second pie, Apple-Berry.

My brother-in-law, Jake, has been asking for me to make the apple-berry version for a while now, so the pie served as my contribution to our family meal. I hate to say “best ever” because I’m always afraid I’ll find another dish I like better, but this pie really is quite delicious. It’s sweet and tart and the crust is incredibly buttery and flaky. It’s hardly health food, but in my book there is always a time and a place for fruit pie.

Apple-Berry Pie
I love this pie. Can I say it again? I love it. Probably because it combines my two favorite types of pie: berry and apple. Makes sense, doesn’t it? But seriously, I love the sweetness of the apples paired with the tang of the berries makes it, in my opinion, the perfect pie. Also, there isn’t a huge amount of sugar in the filling, just a 1/2 cup. But I don’t think you need any more than that.
Makes 8 to 12 servings
Ingredients
Pastry:
I used this pastry recipe, which is my go-to recipe for pie pastry from Sherry Yard’s book, Dessert by the Yard
Filling:
*4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
*10 oz. fresh mixed berries (blackberries, raspberries and/or blueberries) or frozen and thawed mixed berries
*1/2 cup sugar
*2 tablespoons cornstarch
*1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon salt
Other:
*2 tablespoons milk
*2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare pie crust as directed and refrigerate or freeze according to directions. To speed the process up, sometimes I freeze the dough for 30 minutes instead of refrigerate for the full length of time specified.
*Roll one of the dough discs out. Place one of the pie crusts into the prepared pie plate. In a large bowl, combine the apples and berries. In a smaller bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Toss fruit with the sugar mixture until evenly combined. Pour into pie crust. Top with second pie crust. Turn ends under and crimp edges as desired. Cut a small steam hole at the top of the pie crust or prick several times with a fork to allow steam to escape. Brush with the milk and sprinkle crust with the sugar.
*Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool at least 1 hour.

Happy baking!
Madison

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Chocolate-Pumpkin Pie (aka Pumpkin Spice Latte Pie)

October 15, 2012

Today, my friends, was the ultimate relaxing Sunday. In fact, Joe and I had an entire weekend full of relaxation, which was exactly what the doctor ordered. Both of us seem to be coming down with a bit of a head cold, and it was incredibly rainy/stormy for most of the weekend, giving us an excuse to do very little other than watch football, bake (things like this Chocolate Pumpkin Pie) and run some errands that have been on the to-do list for quite a while.

Another exciting development? Grinnell got a new restaurant this week. Joe and I have eagerly been awaiting the opening of Prairie Canary in our small town, since the owner is known around Des Moines for being quite the restauranteur. We swung by for brunch on Sunday, and although there were a few kinks to be worked out in the service department (understandable for it only being the third day open) the food did not disappoint. There were a bunch of vegetarian options (I had the tofu curry scramble) as well as options to please my meat eating husband (bacon and eggs, anyone?) If you’re in the Des Moines area, I think it’s worth the trip to Grinnell for dinner some night.

And that baking I did? Well, in addition to my weekly double batch of bran muffins, I also baked this Chocolate-Pumpkin Pie. Since we’re halfway through October, I thought it was high time to make some version of my favorite pie. Last year, it was Caramel Pumpkin Pie, and this year’s twist came from chocolate.

Pumpkin and chocolate have long been one of my favorite combos, and adding a little bit of melted semi-sweet chocolate to the custard base gave the filling an extra smooth texture and sweet, creamy flavor. Joe said this was the best pumpkin pie he’s ever had and likened it to a Pumpkin Spice Latte in pie form. Sounds like a ringing endorsement if you ask me!

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
Inspired by Martha Stewart’s Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients
Crust from Desserts By The Yard by Sheri Yard
*2 1/2 cups flour
*2 tablespoons sugar
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
*16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, cut into small pieces
*1/2 cup ice water
Filling
*6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
*4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
*15 ounces (1 can) pumpkin puree
*1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
*3 large eggs
*3/4 cup brown sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 tablespoon corn starch
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 cup milk chocolate chips, melted (can substitute semi-sweet if desired)

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 350°F. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse with on-off turns until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Combine the vinegar and ice water. Slowly add the ice water to the flour-butter mixture and pulse with on-ff turns until the mixture just comes together. Divide into two portions and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
*Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and chocolate chips. Melt, stirring frequently, until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
*In a second bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the milk chocolate chips. Stir until well combined and smooth. Add the chocolate-butter mixture to the pumpkin mixture, stirring until smooth and well combined.
*Remove one of the dough portions from the fridge. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface into a 1/4-inch thick circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Crimp the edges with your fingers. Pour the filling mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center is still slightly jiggly. Cool for 30 minutes on wire rack. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Before serving, drizzle with the melted milk chocolate. Makes 8 servings

Happy Baking!
Madison

Key Lime Pie

February 27, 2012

Hey, everyone! Hope you had a wonderful weekend and thank you so much for awesome feedback on last Friday’s post. It was so refreshing to hear that I’m not the only one who struggles with feeling the pressure to do things perfectly. Sometimes we just need one another to remember how normal (or crazy!) we all truly are.

Moving on to lighter, but still important, matters, like pie. When we were in Salt Lake City a couple weeks back, we enjoyed an amazing meal. One of those lengthy eating experiences where you order appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts. Call me crazy, but I don’t usually get all that excited about desserts at restaurants. Unless the restaurant is known for something specific, I find restaurant desserts to be overrated and overpriced.

But our dessert that night was different. Our server brought out the most amazing slice of key lime pie I’ve ever tasted. In fact, I forgot that I ever even liked key lime pie until a week and a half ago. Now, I feel quite differently. Something about the smooth simplicity, cutting tang of the limes and the almost-frozen chilled temperature was to die for.

When I searched the internet for the perfect recipe to recreate my experience at home, I knew it needed to be simple and classic. Naturally, I went to Gourmet, still my first true magazine love, for the recipe. Simply put, Gourmet never steers me wrong.

Why have I never made key lime pie before? (If you haven’t made it before, either, you should be asking yourself the same question) It’s ultra-simple, quick to pull together, and killer-good. Oh, and in other news, we’ve got over half a pie left. Someone help me before I eat it all myself!

Key Lime Pie
Recipe from Gourmet magazine, 2003
Ingredients
Crust
*5 tablespoons butter, melted
*1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
*2 tablespoons sugar

Filling
*1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
*1/2 cup key lime juice (or, if you can’t find key lime juice sub freshly squeezed non-key lime juice)
*4 egg yolks

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 350°F.
*In a small bowl, combine the butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir until well combined. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of one 9″ pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes.
*Meanwhile, in a second bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and egg yolks. Stir until well combined. Pour mixture into baked pie crust and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
*Once pie is cooled, place in the fridge and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Cut into slices to serve. Makes 8 servings

Happy Baking!
Madison

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