Spiced Apple Pie (Thanksgiving Edition!)

One more day until the Thanksgiving feasting begins and I’m so excited to share this recipe with you guys. As we all know, apple pie is a must-have dish at any Thanksgiving spread, but instead of buying a pie this year how about making your own? This recipe has been my signature dish at my families dinner for years! Now I can only hope it can be a hit at your Thanksgiving gathering.

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This recipe is not at all what you call “healthy” but Thanksgiving is not about eating healthy, it’s about coming together with our loved ones and remembering how blessed we all are for what we have. Don’t get me wrong, I love food. I’m a total foodie! But I love food because of the way it brings people together. The dinner table will always be a place where we share time and memories with others, no matter what culture we come from, this will never change. And so, Thanksgiving should not be a day to overeat to the point of feeling sick (no day should be for that matter) it should be about greater things. For more inspiration stay tuned for tomorrows post. I’ll be sharing some tips on how to pace yourself this Thursday! Strong mind, strong body right?!

Top of Pie Crust Design

I have been baking this pie for 5 years now, and I’ve kept a fun tradition when creating the pretty design for the top. You may be thinking, what a pretty way to use a cookie cutter for the crust of a pie. Not a cookie cutter ladies and gents….. It’s a beer bottle cap! I know crazy! The first year I made this pie I didn’t have a cookie cutter on hand so I ended up using a beer bottle cap. It worked so well and made the pie look so darn pretty, I’ve been using it ever since. What you do is punch a tiny hole in the middle of the cap and use a fork to maneuver the cap on and off the dough to create the tiny star pieces. Below is a picture of how you use this crazy contraption. Make sure the cap is cleaned with soap and water before using and there is absolutely no rush present. Of course this opens up opportunities for creativity for anyone who wants to use different cookie cutter shapes. Have fun with it and give it your own twist!

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Pie Crust Instructions:

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. iced water
  • 1 1/4 stick unsalted butter

In a food processor (or by hand with whisk – requires some arm muscles), pulse flour, salt, cinnamon and sugar many times to combine. Cut butter into small pieces and add them as you continue to pulse the flour mixture. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Sprinkle with ¼ cup of ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when you press in your hands. If needed, you can add another tablespoon or two of ice water to help form the dough when you add pressure to it. Place dough on a work surface sprinkled with flour. Form dough into flat disk. Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Before baking, unwrap dough; place on a large piece of floured waxed paper. Roll dough to a 14-inch round. Using paper, lift and wrap dough around rolling pin (discarding paper); carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate. Gently fit into bottom and up sides of plate.

Trim overhang to 1 inch; fold overhang under itself. Pinch between thumb and forefinger to make a uniform edge around the rim. Crimp edge; refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

 

Homemade Spiced Apple Pie

  • ½ lemon (juiced)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 2/3 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/8 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Lightly dust flour on a kitchen work surface, roll dough to fit into a pie plate. Gently fit into bottom and up the sides of the plate. Trim edges and appropriately flush with the rim of the pie plate. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll remaining dough into a flat and thin disk. Using the beer cap as a cutter, cut out enough pieces to completely cover the top of the pie, you might have to continue rolling leftover dough to complete the design. Tip: don’t make the dough too thick or it’ll get stuck in the cap.

Peel and core apples. Thinly slice 2 apples, and cut the other 2 into 1-inch pieces. Mix apples, lemon zest and juice, sugars, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Place apple mixture in piecrust, mounding it in the center. Begin to place dough rounds over the pie filling, starting at the edge and working in a spiral from the outside to the center. Make sure to overlap them slightly for the design to appear to be spiraling.

Once the pie has been covered with the round pieces, lightly brush entire top (each round) of pie with egg wash using a pastry brush. To make egg wash, whisk together egg whites and milk in a small bowl. For texture and presentation lightly sprinkle top with sanding sugar.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pie on a middle rack, while placing a foil covered baking sheet on the lowest rack to catch any juices from the apple. Bake until crust begins to turn golden brown for about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, and bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow pie to cool before serving.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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