Saturday, November 5, 2016

Thanksgiving Pies

Recipe testing might be the most fun activity ever for this pregnant lady.  Don't miss out on these two incredible pies that just so happen to be perfect for Thanksgiving:

Ree Drummond's Caramel Apple Pie:
The perfect blend of an apple pie and apple crisp topped off with caramel sauce. Don't forget to serve it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream
(recipe after the break with my changes)

And Bon Appetit's "Margaret's Maple Sugar Pie":
A rich and decadent creamy dessert with the same consistency as pumpkin pie but a completely new flavor-a cross between maple sugar candies and caramel. It would be delicious topped off with vanilla ice cream and some spiced or praline pecans. 

PC: Food Network, Bon appetit

Caramel Apple Pie: 

Perfect Spiced Pie Crust:
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks, salted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 egg, slightly beaten

Pie Filling:
5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
1/4 lemon, juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Crumb Topping:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional) (I did not include them)
1/4-1/2 jar caramel topping (I used about a 1/4)

*Special equipment: pastry cutter

For the perfect spiced pie crust: Mix the flour, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a bowl.  Add the butter and shortening. Work the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles.  Add the vinegar, egg, and 5-6 tbsp cold water and stir until just combined. 

Form 2 equal-sized balls.  Place each in a large plastic bag (do not seal) and slightly flatten with a rolling pin.  After flattening, seal the bag tightly.  Place in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to chill.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  

Remove 1 bag of dough from the freezer and save the other dough for another use.  Remove from the bag and place it on a lightly floured surface.  Roll the dough starting at the center and working outward.  Be gentle and patient; it'll take a little time to get the dough completely rolled out.  If you think the bottom is really sticking to the surface below while rolling, use a metal spatula to loosen it.  When fully rolled out, loosen again with a spatula and lift the pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan and tear off any excess dough.  Then tuck under the edges and go around the pie pinching the dough to crimp the edge.

For the pie filling: in a bowl, mix the apples, lemon, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.

For the crumb topping: cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, then add in brown sugar, oats, and salt. ***Please note that I only used about 3/4 of the crumb mixture on top of the pie. I found it to be too much. 

Add the apples to the prepared pie shell and top with the crumb topping. Bake for 1 hour, covering the edge of the crust with foil if it starts to brown too quickly. (I didn't have to do this).  After an hour, sprinkle on pecans if using and then bake for another 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and drizzle 1/4-1/2 the jar of caramel topping over the top.  Allow to cool slightly before serving... or not. Enjoy! 

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond with a few changes by moi

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