Archive for September, 2011

The perfect Apple Pie

Nothing is more homey and delicious than a homemade Apple Pie. If you are fortunate to live in an area that is apple growing then you know September and October are the harvest times. In the Northeast we start off with the early varieties such as Honey Crisps, Macouns and of course Macitosh. I salivate just anticipating the first bite of a crisp,tart bite of a honey crisp.
Now as far as baking everyone has there true blue favorites, Some bakers look for the tartness and some look for firmness and a sweeter variety. I have to say my favorite for apple pie is a granny smith. I do not gravite towards them for eating but I like the way they hold up during baking as well as the perfect amount of crispness. I have photographed a fresh out of the oven pie and included our recipe for both pie crust and filling for what we consider to be the near perfection of apple pies.

Enjoy and remember to eat your apples


Pie Crust -makes 2 9″ single crusted or 1 9″ double crusted pie

1 1/2 c ups all purpose flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter

1/4 cup ice cold butter

Place flour in a bowl. Cut butter in using 2 butter knives or a pastry cutter. The butter should remain the size of small marbles. Pour water in slowly and use your hands to bring mixture together. Be careful not to overwork dough. Use only enough water so the dough clings together. Divide the dough in two and wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least a half hour . You can make ahead and leave in refrigerator up to 1 week.

When you are ready to roll out dough, lightly flour board as well as rolling pin. Press down dough and roll in one direction. Be sure to turn over dough frequently to prevent sticking. Roll out to about a 10″ circle. Place into a 9″ pie pan. Fill with apple mixture and roll out top crust. Crimp the edges with fork tines or fingers. When pie is assembled place in refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will secure the butter firms up again and assures a flakier crust.

Apple Filling

8 Granny Smith apples-peeled,cored and sliced

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 t ground cinnamon

1 egg mixed with a 1T water

Mix apples,flour, sugar and cinnamon together. Place into pie crust as instructed above

After removing assembled pie from refrigerator brush with egg wash and sprinkle with 2 t of granulated sugar. Bake in 350 degree over for approx 45 – 50 minutes until the juices run from the pie and the crust in golden brown.

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From CSA to table

What has been most fun about the CSA is being able to get the stuff home and use it right away. It has been a creative outlet of sorts that my family has come to look forward to.  This week there was summer’s end vegetables a plenty.  Eggplant, peppers, the last of the tomatoes, collard greens, onions and jalapenos.  The ingredients spoke to me very clearly this week.  Ratatouille.  I am not a huge ratatouille fan but this simple recipe was really quite tasty.  And the best thing about vegetables that come at the end of summer is that fall is not far behind.

Summer’s End Ratatouille

(4-6 healthy servings)

1 large onion, sliced     2 cloves garlic, chopped     1 red pepper, thinly sliced     1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes     4 medium tomatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces     6 leaves collard or other such greens, chopped roughly

salt and pepper to taste     1/2 cup olive oil

In large skillet add oil, onion, garlic, both peppers and jalapeno.  Cook over medium-low heat until all vegetables are wilted.  Stir in eggplant, cover and let simmer 15 minutes.  Add tomatoes and collard greens, stirring very well.  Cook an additional 20-25 minutes until eggplant is very tender and tomatoes has released all their juices.

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