Thanksgiving Apple Pie

Thanksgiving Apple Pie

I love thanksgiving. An entire holiday dedicated to thankfulness, togetherness and wonderful food. Many of my favourite things all rolled into one day. I also took this as an opportunity to learn how to make a pie; my very first pie. How I have been interested in baking for years and never made the leap or took the plunge, or whatever other cliché I could use, into pastry recipes is beyond me. And what better way to start off my pastry adventures than a classic apple pie. I improvised two separate recipes and mashed them together for this interpretation of an egg-free pie. The pastry recipe is straight from the stained Five Roses cookbook in my mother's kitchen and the apple filling recipe is adapted from Lee's Apple Pie on the Food & Wine website.

Pastry

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or vegetable shortening
  • 4-6 tbsp ice cold water
  1. Mix together the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening or butter with two knives or a pastry blender until mixture is just crumbly.

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2. Add water a tablespoon at a time until it can be patted lightly together to form a ball.

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3. Form the dough into two flattened balls, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour to make the dough easier to roll out.

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Filling

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 3 pounds assorted apples - I used a mixture of tart and sweet varieties
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  1. Peel, core and slice apples into small wedges.

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2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, orange zest, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves.

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3. In a large bowl, sprinkle the apples with brandy. Add the spice mixture and mix well.

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Pie Assembly

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball of dough so it is about an inch wider than the circumference of the pie plate. Place one layer into the pie place and press lightly to form into the shape of the plate.

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2. Fill the pie plate with apples, adding as few or as many as you would like. I'm a fan of eating overstuffed pies so I jammed as many apples as possible in there.

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3. Add the other layer of pastry to the top of the pie and press the two sides together to seal up the pie, and crimp the edges. Make sure to poke a few holes into the top crust to allow the steam out while baking. Bake the pie in a 450 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes before turning the oven down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cooking for another 30-35 minutes. The high temperature at the beginning of baking helps brown the top of the pastry before the lower temperature cooks the filling.

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Then, we mingle with our friends and family and enjoy the festivities.

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I was also allowed to take over brussels sprout duty this year, as a diehard fan of the vegetable. I pan-fried them with sausage, fresh thyme and a little vegetable oil.

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We found this nifty game called Table Topics where each card drawn from the deck is a new question to start conversation and discussion at the dinner table. There are some really interesting and unique questions, including the very last card we pulled.

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I loved how flaky and chewy this pastry crust was, especially with the soft and gooey apples. The crust browned up nicely, even without the use of an egg-wash, and despite the overflowing filling all the apples were cooked evenly. The pastry recipe itself can be used for any pie filling you may want to try, making this very versatile as well as allergy-friendly. Plus, all the dinner guests finished their slices of pie so I'm hoping that is a sign of a job well done, or I have really polite family members.

What is your favourite type of pie to bake?

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